DNA Day Essay Contest

$100–$1,000Award Amount
13Number of Awards
3/7/2023Submission Deadline

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The American Society of Human Genetics is a body that envisions a world where people everywhere can realize the benefits of human genetics and genomics research. The society was established in 1948 and founded its own journal, “The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG)”, in 1949. The journal is still published today and continues to share scientific research around human genetics.

ASHG as well as its members champion the importance of genomics, genetics, and advocate for policies that support research and advancement in the field. The ASHG is now part of a network of societies and organizations. They have even helped create or inspired the creation of some of these organizations.

As a way of celebrating National DNA Day, which celebrates the day the Human Genome Project was completed, the ASHG created the DNA Day Contest. The program awards a total of $3,000 to 13 students based on the essays they have written on the provided topic. The scholarship also rewards winning teachers with genetic material grants. The contest exposes students to scientific research at a young age.

Key Information of DNA Day Essay Contest

Study Details

Area of Study


Country of Study


Specific Schools


Scholarship Details

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Award Amount


Number of Awards


DNA Day Essay Contest Timeline

January 7, 2023

Application Opening Date

Application opens for submission of entries.

March 7, 2023

Application Closing Date

Entries will no longer be accepted from this date.

April 25, 2023

Award Announcement Date

Scholarship Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • Eligible Grade: High School Freshman – High School Senior
  • Maximum Age: Any
  • Required GPA: Any
  • Geographic Eligibility: Any
  • Gender: Any
  • Race/Ethnicity: Any

Application Requirements

Here’s what you need to submits besides your application.

  • Essay

How to ace the DNA Day Essay Contest


Ensure citations and references are properly done

All information that is not considered common knowledge should be cited. Cite the source If you got the information from somewhere else. Referencing should be done in APA or MLA style.


Avoid inaccurate technical words

You are not compelled to use technical words, and moreover, the judges don't expect you to. So don't feel obligated to, but if you do make sure you use the correct terms.


Use recent citations in your essay

Only make use of references that are within the last five years as scientific knowledge changes rapidly.


Do not focus too much on details

Go straight to the fundamental ideas, and avoid spending too much time on the little details. You should also avoid overstating facts on the current state of medical sciences.

How the DNA Day Essay Contest is Judged

All essays will be judged on the overall accuracy of science content. The use of relevant evidence in support of an argument/answer is a major criteria. Only essays well-focused on the question/topic will be selected. Essays will be checked for writing quality such as composition, clarity of thesis, grammar, syntax, and spelling. Essays will be screened for the appropriateness of citations and referencing. The quality of these two contributes to 15% of the score.

Why We Love the DNA Day Essay Contest


Application is open to all high-school students

There is no GPA requirement for participation as entries are also accepted from students worldwide. There is no age, racial, ethnic, or geographical restriction attached to the eligibility.


The Contest also rewards teachers

Teachers are not left out on rewards in their role in preparing and guiding their students for the contest. The scholarship program also rewards teachers by offering grants to teachers that produced the winning students


Students are exposed early to academic research

The program challenges young students to question, examine, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. This early exposure enables them to forge on to build wonderful careers in genetics.

5 Facts About the American Society of Human Genetics


The essay competition is an ASHG initiative

The scholarship is supported by the American Society of Human Genetics in honor of National DNA Day.


It is a celebration of milestone achievements

DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix structure of Deoxyribonucleic acid in 1953.


The competition offers a learning opportunity

The essay competition is also another platform for students to develop research skills and make critical personal judgments


ASHG helps publish exceptional essays in journals

ASHG also publishes essays with good content as review articles in their journal for free.


The program encourages original work

Being a research-based scientific essay contest, ASHG discourages all forms of plagiarism, plagiarism equals automatic disqualification.

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