Medical Student Essay Prize - Closed

Applications for the 2021 Medical Student Essay Prize are now closed.

Medical students from the UK and Republic of Ireland are invited to submit an essay, no longer than 1000 words, answering the following question: 'As a medical student, what would encourage you to consider a career in T&O and what are the perceived barriers to such a career?' There is a one essay entry per student limit. 

The winning essay will receive the following:

  • BOA-recognised certificate
  • £100 prize money
  • Free registration, travel and overnight accommodation at the BOA Annual Congress paid for by the BOA

Silvia Allikmets, a final year medical student at King’s College London, is the winner of the 2020 BOA Medical Student Essay Prize. You can view her essay here.



How do I Submit my Essay?

You will be required to submit an essay application form along with your essay. The essay application form is linked on the BOA Medical Student Essay Prize webpage; please complete this and send it, along with your essay, to There is a one essay entry per student limit. We do not accept essays which are co-authored. In order to help you begin working on your essay, please note the following:

In the application essay form you will be required to confirm the following: 

“I certify that the attached material is my own work. I also certify that I have formally certified or formally acknowledged the words and ideas of others.”

Am I eligible?

The competition is open to all medical students in the UK or Republic of Ireland. If you have submitted in previous years but you are still a medical student, you are welcome to re-enter the competition for the 2021 prize.

Medical Students from the UK or Republic of Ireland who are studying abroad are not eligible to submit an essay.

We do not accept essays which are co-authored.


Is There a Word Count?

The maximum word count for the essay is 1000 words. The essay title and references/figures/tables (including in-text references) are not included in the Word Count, but any accompanying text i.e. the name of the table if stated above/below it, will be counted in the Word Count. Appendices are not encouraged but may be used to present relevant additional information referred to in the essay. We usually receive a large number of submissions and the people marking the essays are not expected to read Appendices and therefore these should not be used to display details which are essential to your work.

Can I include Graphs or Images in my Essay?

Yes, you may include graphs and/or images. Any accompanying text will be included in the word count.

Does the Word Count include References and Figures?

The word count does not include your references/figures/tables, including in-text references, but does include the accompanying text to any included figures.

What Referencing Style shall I use?

There is no preferred referencing style.

When is the Final Deadline?

The deadline for the 2021 Medical Student Essay Prize is 30th April 2021. There is NO deadline extension.

When will the Winner be Announced?

All participants will be informed of the result and the winner will be contacted directly. Further information will be available once the 2021 Medical Student Essay Prize has launched.

Will I Receive Feedback?

Due to the high number of submissions that we receive each year, the BOA are unfortunately unable to provide individual feedback.

Who can I Contact if I have a Problem?

Our policy team are happy to help you with any queries you may have regarding the essay prize. You can contact us by email at or by telephone on 02074056507.