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Fraser Institute Student Essay Contest 2016

Fraser Institute Student Essay Contest 2016

Showcase your ideas on public policy and the role of markets by entering our essay competition. We are looking for the next big idea in policy reform. Identify a single, specific, practical policy change that will have a big impact on the quality of lives (the social and/or economic well-being) of citizens. Your policy change can be applied to any level of government (local, provincial, or federal) in Canada or the United States. The policy change does not have to be an original idea – it can already have been successfully implemented in another country or jurisdiction.

Your essay should use empirical analysis to measure the impact the policy reform would have. Cite research to support your policy, including historical evidence, if applicable. Your essay should demonstrate an understanding of competitive markets and/or an understanding of the impact of government intervention.

You can look at policy reform in a variety of areas including taxation, trade, technology, aboriginal issues, education, health care, the environment, energy, crime, regulation, etc.

Specific examples of policy changes are the introduction of the TFSAs, TILMA, physician co-pays, incentive pay for teachers, legalizing marijuana, etc.


Small Change – Big Impact: Improving Quality Of Life One Policy Change At A Time.


Fraser Institute


High School: 1st Prize: $1,500; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500

Undergraduate: 1st Prize: $1,500; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500

Graduate: 1st Prize: $1,500; 2nd Prize: $1,000; 3rd Prize: $500


June 1, 2016


  • The contest is open to Canadian and foreign students.
  • A student is defined as someone who attends school in the 2015/2016 school year or is enrolled to attend in 2016/2017.
  • Submissions will be considered from secondary and post-secondary (undergraduate and graduate) students in all disciplines.
  • There will be three separate categories: high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. The category definitions are based on your status in the 2015/2016 school year; for example, if you are an undergraduate student from fall 2015 until spring 2016, you qualify in the ‘Undergraduate’ category.
  • An essay can have more than one author, and any prizes awarded will be split evenly between the authors.
  • The category in which the essay will be considered will be that of the author with the highest level of education; for example, if you are an undergraduate student and you co-author with a graduate student, your essay will be considered in the graduate category.
  • Essay must be between 1,000-1,500 words, not including references.
  • Entry must be a single document; the header of each page of the essay must include the author’s full name and a page number.
  • Essay entry must include a cover page, which the name of the author(s), mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address.
  • High school students should include school and grade. Post-secondary students should include school, major, and year of graduation.
  • Entries must be submitted online or by mail.
  • Entries may only be submitted once. Further submissions with revisions will not be accepted.
  • Entries must include references cited from academic sources. Any academically acceptable referencing style may be used.
  • Please note that if you are a finalist and include a graph in your essay, you will be required to end it to us in an Excel file with the underlying data in order that we can recreate it in house. If you want to include a previously published graph for which you do not have the underlying data, you must cite its source appropriately to prove that you have permission to reuse it.
  • Failure to follow these rules may lead to disqualification from the contest.
  • Entries will be judged on originality, clear expression of ideas, and understanding of competitive markets and/or the impact of government intervention.
  • All entries and ideas become the property of the Fraser Institute. In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners may be published in Canadian Student Review once they have gone through the peer review process.
  • Enter the essay contest here.


For more information, contact the Education Programs department at or by phone at 1∙800∙665∙3558 ext. 538


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