IAEA 2020 International Essay Competition for Students and Early Career Professionals


Entries are invited from students and professionals below the age of 35 for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2020 International Essay Competition on Nuclear Security. The deadline for submission of entries for the IAEA Essay Competition is 6th September, 2019.

IAEA Essay Competition

Students and Early Career Professionals are invited to submit innovative and original essays on the topic “Future of Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts“.



The essay competition aims to promote creative thinking and wider awareness about nuclear security challenges and opportunities, including those highlighted by the Conference. A similar competition was held in conjunction with the 2016 International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions.

The IAEA especially encourages women and nationals from developing countries to participate in the essay competition. Students and professionals involved in the multiple disciplines supporting nuclear security, including natural and social sciences, engineering, law, international relations and other legal, policy and technical disciplines are encouraged to take part. The IAEA also welcomes entries by early career professionals from governments, competent authorities, including regulatory bodies, intelligence agencies, security agencies, response and law enforcement agencies, industry, academia and the non-governmental sector.

IAEA International Essay Competition Eligibility.

  • The competition is only open to nationals of IAEA Member States
  • Applicants must be 35 years of age and under (born after 1st January 1986). Finalists will be requested to send their identification documents (E.g. copy of passport) to facilitate administrative arrangements and travel to Austria
  • Essay maximum word count: 1,000
  • Entries in any official language of the IAEA (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) will be accepted. However, applicants should note that for an impartial and fair judging process, best essays will be translated into English if needed and be subject to a blind evaluation at the final selection stage. Therefore, applicants who wish to ensure the quality of the translation may choose to submit their essays in English
  • Only one essay is allowed per entrant. Once an essay has been submitted, applicant will not have the opportunity to revise it. Please carefully check before submitting the final copy and ensure that all supplementary information is correct
  • All essays must be an original work by the applicant in their own words, except for quotations from published and unpublished sources, which are clearly indicated and acknowledged as such. Citations must follow internationally recognized styles (Chicago, MLA, ACS, IEEE, NLM, Vancouver, AAA, APA, APSA, etc.), and applicants can at any time be requested to provide clarification of the source. Any content that can be identified as plagiarism will immediately be disqualified.

IAEA Essay Competition Award.

  • Three finalists will receive cash prizes of €2000 and a certificate signed by the IAEA Director General;
  • In addition, the finalists will receive flight tickets, accommodation and daily living expenses to attend and present their essays at ICONS 2020 side event in Vienna, Austria (10-14 February 2020). The essays will be posted on the IAEA Conference Website with a link on the IAEA Conference App for the duration of the Conference and included in the conference proceedings.

How to Submit Entries for the IAEA Essay Competition.

The submission e-mail should:

  • Be sent to ICONS2020@iaea.org
  • Contain “Essay Competition 2020″_”applicant’s family name” in the subject line – E.g. Essay Competition 2020_Smith
  • Have the essay as an attachment in MS Word format
  • Contain the following information in the body of the e-mail:
    • Applicant’s first and last name as in the passport:
    • Title (Mr/Ms):
    • School/organization/affiliation:
    • If a student, enrolled programme (bachelors, Masters, PhD)
    • Country of passport:

Official Link

Submission deadline: Friday, 6 September 2019, at 11:59 p.m., Vienna Time (CET)


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