The essay contest gives undergraduate medical students the opportunity to explore any theme of interest to them in the history, social studies, sociology, ethics, and humanities of the health sciences. It also provides them with the chance to be mentored by an expert in their topic drawn from the Library’s Board of Curators or elsewhere to complete their project, and to use the rich resources of the Osler Library and other libraries at McGill.
The Osler Society is responsible for promoting the contest and encouraging participation. Essays are written with the help of a mentor during the summer and submitted in October. Three finalists will be chosen and will present their essays on Osler Day. Prizes will be given of $250 for third place, $500 for second place, and $1,000 for the winning essay. The first-place winner will also receive the Osler Library Board of Curators' medal. The top essays will also be published on the library website. A list of the 2013 winners and their essays and reflective pieces are available online.
The two step process is as follows:
1. Submit a 1-page proposal stating the research topic and potential sources of information. Include your full name, department and year, and contact details. Proposals are reviewed by a committee. The committee will also assign a mentor to assist you in developing the essay. Before submitting a proposal, students can contact the Osler Library of the History of Medicine for research help. The due date for 2015 is May 1st, 2015. Submit your propsal to: osler [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca
1. With the help of your mentor, produce an essay of 3,000 words maximum (not counting notes, bibliography, appendices, tables) on the approved topic, using the resources of the Osler and other libraries. References should be formatted according to a recognized citation style. Also submit a 1- or 2-page reflective piece describing: which library resources you came to know well due to your research; how your skills grew as a researcher; and how using library material helped you to increase the scope, depth, and significance of your subject. The due date is October 1st 2015. Submit your finished essay and reflective piece to: osler [dot] library [at] mcgill [dot] ca
The three finalists will present their essays on Osler Day in November. The three prizes will be awarded on the basis of the quality of both the essay and the presentation.