The 2012 CUNY Nobel Science Challenge: The Science Behind the Prize

The 2012 CUNY Nobel Science Challenge: The Science Behind the Prize

A Competition for CUNY Undergraduate Students

The Nobel Prizes in physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, and economics were recently announced.  CUNY undergraduate students are invited to describe in 1000-1500 words, the scientific concepts behind the work for which one of the 2012 Nobel winners received their respective prize and the present and future significance of the research to humanity. The essays must make the science accessible to the lay person.

The essays will be read and judged by a distinguished CUNY faculty committee.  Three prizes will be awarded in each category (physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry, and economics) and one additional prize will be awarded to the best essay submitted. 


 First Prize:                 Apple iMac Computer

Second Prize:            Apple iPad III

Third Prize:               Amazon Kindle wireless reading device

First Prize winners from each category will be forwarded to a second faculty committee that will select the Grand Prize winner for the best essay submitted overall. The Grand Prize winner will receive $3,000.

Essays must be submitted by 11:59pm on December 3, 2012.  They should be in Microsoft Word or PDF format and submitted by email with subject heading “CUNY Nobel Science Challenge –your essay category” to:

Questions may also be submitted to the email address above.

Please note:

  • Essays that exceed the word limit will be rejected. (Bibliographies, charts, etc. do not count in the limit).
  • Essays will be judged on accuracy and clarity.
  • No portion of your essay may be copied from other sources without appropriate citation of the sources. Essays will be checked for original content using source-verification software. You must cite your sources within the text and as a list at the end of the document.
  • When you submit your essay, include the following in the body of the email: your college, major, class standing (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior) and a phone number where you can be contacted.
  • Previous first prize winners are not eligible for this year’s competition.
  • All first degree undergraduate students currently registered in a degree program at CUNY are eligible.

 Winners will be announced in February, 2013.

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