Kelly-Douglas Fund
Kelly Essay Prize | Application


Also see the main Kelly Essay Prize page  


Any full time MIT undergraduate — with the exception of previous winners of a Kelly Essay Prize — may submit an essay written during his or her years at MIT.  The work may have been conceived for an MIT subject. Contestants are encouraged to consult with appropriate members of the faculty while preparing his or her submission (naturally, any assistance received should be acknowledged in the essay).


Essays may range from 12-20 double-spaced pages, with standard one inch margins. A group of shorter papers, a translation, a work of creative fiction, or a study exceeding 20 pages (exclusive of notes and bibliography) will not be considered.

Beginning this year the Kelly-Douglas Fund has restructured the terms of the annual Kelly Essay Prize to admit a wider range of student essay submissions than in years past. For this year’s competition, all forms of non-fiction prose in the 12-20 page range are eligible for consideration. In addition to submitting research essays written for HASS subjects, students may submit personal essays, memoir, cultural commentary, creative non-fiction, travel writing, field reports, science journalism, etc.  

Submitting an Essay for Consideration

Applicants must submit two unstapled copies of the essay. These must be accompanied by an Entry Form which you can download here.

The author's name should appear only on the entry form, since submissions are read without the Committee knowing the author's name. The title of the essay should be entered on both the entry form and on the first page of the essay.

Entries are due by May 5, 2023 at 5 pm Eastern.

Submissions should be delivered or mailed to the following address:

The Director | Kelly-Douglas Fund, Essay Prize 
c/o Fund Administrator
Literature Section
14N-407 MIT
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA 02139


Entries are judged by a panel drawn from the different faculties within SHASS, who read each essay without knowing the author's name, On occasion, the total prize money — usually split between two winners — may be divided among three deserving essays, in a proportion to be decided by the Committee for that year. Prize winners are notified in late April.


For additional information visit the main prize page. 

Entry Form Cover Sheet