Student Essay Contest Canada


Essays should include a cover page with the title, the key research question, a summary of the findings (max 150 words) and its (practical or policy) implications (max 150 words).  Essays should also display original thought, sound research principles and follow established academic practice with regard to citations, plagiarism and will provide necessary references.

The essays will be adjudicated by a committee composing of representatives from the CIC Victoria Branch and the Centre for Global Studies. Evaluation will be made based on originality, presentation of argument, policy relevance and overall scholarly excellence. The winning paper will be offered the opportunity to be published on the CIC national website and the winning authors will be invited to present their papers to the CIC Victoria Branch and the Centre for Global Studies as part of their “Global Talk” series.

Essays should be submitted as one PDF file by email no later than 1 March 2018 to: and addressed to Dr. Oliver Schmidtke, Director, Centre for Global Studies with “CIC-CFGS Essay Contest“ in the subject line.  Winning entries will be notified within 30 days of the close of the contest.  All entries will become the property of the CIC Victoria Branch and the Centre for Global Studies.

Bernard Chernos Essay Contest

Each year, The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust (CCLET) runs a nation-wide high school competition to commemorate the contributions of the late Bernard Chernos, a civil libertarian, lawyer, and lover of lively debate. Student submissions must respond to one of the questions about fundamental freedoms posed by the CCLET that year.

NEW FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR: Students have the option to submit their responses as an essay OR video “rant” in the style of Rick Mercer, one of Canada’s most famous political humorists.

Students currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 in a Canadian school are eligible to participate.

Teachers of Civics, History, Law, Politics, World Issues, World Religions, English, and Social Studies: This contest makes for a great ready-made classroom project. Consider assigning it to students and submitting the best selections to our contest!


1st place: $500 + book
2nd place: $150 + book
3rd place: $100 + book

For more details on how to participate, download this year’s contest flyer here.

If you would like to see previous years’ questions, download them here.


Congratulations to the 2017 winners of CCLET’s Bernard Chernos Essay Competition!

1st Place: William Dunstan, St. Matthew High School, Ottawa, ON
2nd Place: Desislava Stoianova, Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, ON
3rd Place: Kirandeep Deol, Old Scona Academic, Edmonton, AB

For a listing of previous years’ winners, click here.

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