This prize is for the best philosophy paper written by a first- or second-year student at Yale-NUS College, supported by an alumna. It shall typically be awarded annually, for an essay written and submitted to a course during the first semester in the academic year the prize is awarded or the second semester the yeaer prior, with one winner (who will receive SGD 300) and two runners-up (who will each receive SGD 100). By accepting the nomination, prize-winners also agree to allow the college to share the winning essay with the donor. In exceptional circumstances, the judging committee may choose not to award the Prize in any semester on the grounds that no paper of sufficient merit has been submitted. In such cases the remainder of the prize will be rolled over to the next academic year.
Eligibility: All applicants must be in their first or second year and enrolled at Yale- NUS College as a student. Exchange and visiting students enrolled at Yale-NUS College in their first or second year are also eligible for this prize. Typically, papers will be 1200-3000 words long and can fall within any area(s) of philosophy. Students who have been awarded the Prize in a previous semester will remain eligible in following semesters. There will be an essay prize administrator who will be responsible for advertising the prize and administering the procedures described here.
Nominations. Papers deemed worthy of consideration by the professor teaching the course will be nominated for the prize. Ordinarily only 1 paper – though in exceptional cases 2 papers – may be submitted per seminar group.
Criteria. Papers will be assessed on a number of dimensions, as appropriate to the genre of the paper. These dimensions may include clarity, rigor, appropriate use of texts, sensitivity to context, synthesis of ideas, depth of understanding, and originality of thought.
Judging process. Papers will be judged anonymously by a committee comprising all faculty members in the philosophy major. Each paper will be read by two faculty members, and each faculty member will select up to two papers for the prize shortlist. All shortlisted papers will then be read by all faculty members; faculty members will separately and briefly note one significant strength (if any) and one significant weakness (if any) of each paper. These notes will be made available for review by all faculty members. Finally, each faculty member will rank all shortlisted papers (ties permitted), and the winner and runner-up papers will be the papers with the lowest overall scores.
Communication regarding the Prize. The Prize will be advertised to students every semester – though note that students cannot nominate papers for the Prize. All students whose papers are nominated, shortlisted, or selected as winners or runners-up will be notified of this as soon as possible. The winners and runners-up will have their papers uploaded onto the Yale-NUS College Philosophy page (if they consent).
Timing. Advertising for the Prize should occur roughly in week 8 of each semester. Nominations should be made by the end of each semester. Judging will take place after the end of the first semester.