The Student Voice – Essay Competition

Do you want to be a published scientist?


Well you can be, with the launch of Findacure’s annual student essay competition –  The Student Voice! As if that wasn’t enough entrants also have the chance to win a cash prize of up to £200, and attend our scientific conference.

There are over 7,000 rare diseases, which affect an estimated 350 million people worldwide. Despite this only 400 have licenced treatments, and medical students receive little training in their care. Back for a third year, “The Student Voice” aims to raise awareness of rare diseases in the doctors and researchers of tomorrow, as well as giving an outlet for their rare disease experiences and thoughts.

Thanks to our partnership with the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (OJRD) last year’s competitors made a real impact, with three different entries published in BioMed Central’s On Biology blog, and our overall winner was published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases itself. All of this published work can still be seen on the OJRD rare disease day page. For 2016 we have renewed this partnership, meaning that once again our overall winner will have the chance to be published free of charge in this open access, peer-reviewed scientific publication.

If you are a medical student, biology undergraduate or masters student, or studying for a health related undergraduate or masters degree, all you have to do to see your name in print is write a 1,500 word essay on one of these three topics:

1. The impact of a rare disease is much more widespread than its direct symptoms. Discuss how, with particular reference to the patient experience.

2. How can rare diseases lead the way in medical research and clinical innovation?

3. How can clinicians and researchers, including students, help to deliver the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases?

An expert panel of scientists, clinicians and patient groups drawn from Findacure’s extensive rare disease network will judge the essays, along with the editor of OJRD.

The winning entry for each question will receive a cash prize of £100, as well as winning the opportunity to attend our scientific conference on Rare Disease Day – the 28th February 2017. Here they will receive their prize and meet key clinicians, researchers, patients, and pharmaceutical companies in the rare disease field.

One essay will be declared the overall winner and will receive an additional £100 as well as having their essay published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases!

Entry forms and essays must be submitted by 9.00am on Monday 14th November and emailed to Rick Thompson ([email protected]). The entry form and rules and regulations can be found at the links below.

For more information email [email protected].


We are pleased to announce that Students 4 Rare Diseases are now supporting The Student Voice, meaning that the winning author in each section will now also secure a free ticket to the S4RD conference, while the winner will have the chance to speak at the event.

Download Essay Competition Materials

Rules and Regulations
Entry Form