The International Neuroethics Society (INS) and the International Youth Neuroscience Association (IYNA) are pleased to announce a call for submissions for the Neuroethics Essay Contest in 2020. Now in its seventh year, the contest aims to promote interest in neuroethics among students and trainees around the world.

Participating authors can submit essays in one of three categories: 
  • Academic
  • General Audience
  • IYNA-INS High School Neuroethics Essay Competition

One winner from each category will be selected in August and recognized at the 2020 INS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC — the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to neuroethics.

All winners will receive a free 1-year INS student membership and a $250 prize. Winners who attend the annual meeting will also have their meeting registration fee waived and will receive a Michael Patterson Travel Stipend to help with expenses.
Participation in the contest is open to any student in high school or secondary school, any post-secondary student, and any postdoctoral fellow or similar early-career trainee.

Students in high school or equivalent secondary school programs must submit their essays to the IYNA-INS High School Neuroethics Competition category. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional level may submit an essay to either the Academic or General Audience categories. Recent graduates who are serving in a postdoctoral position, medical residency, or other early-career trainee program are also eligible to submit to either of these categories.

There are no restrictions regarding an author’s program or area of study. The committee encourages essay submissions from authors training in fields such as neuroscience, law, medicine, philosophy, and many other social and natural sciences.
Topics / Requirements
Essay submissions can cover any topic in neuroethics and should address a focused problem at the intersections of the mind and brain sciences, ethics, and law. Example topics include, but are not limited to: neuroenhancement, brain stimulation, ethics of neurodegenerative illness, philosophy of mind, clinical ethics in psychiatry and neurosurgery, neural imaging, big data and neuroscience, brain–computer interaction, military applications of neurotechnology, and free will.
Essays must be written in English by a single author and may not exceed word counts for each category: a maximum of 2,000 words for the Academic category and 1,000 words for the General Audience and High School categories. Essays produced for or derived from previous coursework are eligible as long as they meet all other requirements.
Essays for the Academic and General Audience categories are submitted to the INS by email. Essays for the High School category are submitted to the IYNA Journal.

Submissions must be received by July 10, 2020 at 11:30 p.m. EDT.
Essays will be judged on their originality and structure of argument, conceptual clarity, rigor of defense, quality of writing, and conclusions. Submissions undergo a blind review by two or more referees from the INS Student/Postdoc Committee or the IYNA Journal editorial team. Contest referees include students and postdocs from the fields of neuroscience, law, medicine, philosophy, and other areas of the sciences and humanities.
See the essay call for complete requirements and submission instructions. 
Share the call
We encourage you to share this call for submissions with your colleagues and students who may be interested in neuroethics.

  • Forward this email to students, faculty, and other departments
  • Mention the contest and call in newsletters by your department, institution, associations, or other networks
  • Print out and distribute the promotional flyer (PDF)
  • Retweet our announcement from @neuroethicsinfo

Thank you for supporting the contest by sharing it widely. See all sharable resources on the call webpage.
Winning authors from 2019: Khayla Black, Sunidhi Ramesh and Prithvi Nathan; pictured with supporter Dr. Michael Patterson, far left, and Hank Greely, past president of the INS, back row second from right.
About the contest
The Neuroethics Essay Contest has recognized at least two authors for outstanding scholarship each year at the INS annual meeting since 2014. The General Audience category was added to the contest in 2017 to encourage the practice of communicating science to the public. In 2019, eligibility was extended to high school students with the help of the IYNA. Since its inception, the contest has been supported by Dr. Michael Patterson, former editor of the Kopf Carrier and long-time supporter of neuroethics.
The International Neuroethics Society is an interdisciplinary group of scholars, scientists, clinicians, and other professionals dedicated to encouraging and inspiring research and dialogue on the responsible use of advances in brain science. People at all stages of their career join the Society to interact, learn, and participate in dynamic discussions that further the growing field of neuroethics.
The International Youth Neuroscience Association is a global, youth-led nonprofit which supports and advocates for neuroscience education. The IYNA Journal publishes articles on neuroethics and other neuroscience topics. Since its founding, the IYNA has expanded to represent over 3,000 members in 80 countries.