Undergraduate essay competition

If you are passionate about pathology or are an aspiring pathologist, then the undergraduate essay prize is your opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm.

This competition is now closed. Please check back for updates on our 2019 competition. 

Our 2018 competition

The 2018 Essay Competition is now closed. The essay title was: ‘Discuss the interactions between human and animal health’.

We asked entrants to think broadly about the topic, whether talking about zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance, immunotherapies, oncology, metabolic disease or any of the other myriad of ways in which human and animal health can, or could, interact. There was the option to give a broad view, or choose something specific and write about a particular aspect of the links between human and animal health. We encouraged participants to use creativity and originality alongside the facts. 

The winner of the 2018 Undergraduate Essay is Pat Lok, who is studying a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) at Anglia Ruskin University. Pat will be presented with her prize in early 2019. She chose to write about interactions between human and animal health, and the way in which pathologists of the future will need to prepare for the challenges posed by climate change, changing natural habitats and a growing population. 

You can read Pat's essay below:

We spoke to Pat to get a few words on why she decided to enter. 

Why did you apply?

Having read "Spillover" by David Quammen elicited my interest in the field of One Health and so I was intrigued by this year's theme for the essay competition. In addition, my summer internship at the Met Office taught me a lot about planetary health and how involved it is with human and animal health and that sparked my motivation to write an essay on it.

What did you learn?

From researching for the essay, I learnt about the fact that the relationship between animals and humans is constantly transforming and the different relationship dynamics in various cultures was fascinating to read about!

What are your aspirations in pathology?

I have a special interest in one of the branches of pathology - toxicology - since it's applied in various situations: household chemicals ingested by children is a common cause for A&E admission and the unjust use of chemicals in warfare (i.e. Douma chemical attack in Syria) is something that I have strong emotions for and so I am considering pathology as one of the careers to pursue after finishing medical school.

Next year's competition

The theme and essay title for the 2019 Essay Competition will be announced in summer 2019. 

  • The competition runs annually and is open to medical, biological science and veterinary science undergraduates.
  • The essay has to be no more than 1,000 words, excluding references and bibliography.
  • A prize of £200 will be awarded to the winning entrant, as well as having their essay published on our website and in the College magazine, The Bulletin.
  • Full details, including essay specifications and format, can be found in the Terms and Conditions, can be found below: