Think Essay Prize

Submissions have now closed for the 2024 Think Essay Prize.

The Royal Institute of Philosophy is pleased to announce the inaugural essay competition for Think.

Think is our journal designed to be a fully accessible but challenging journal and the successful submission will be published alongside articles from leading philosophers from across the world.

The judging will be undertaken by:

  • Dr Stephen Law, editor of Think. Previously Reader in Philosophy at Heythrop College University of London, Stephen Law is now based at Oxford University Department of Continuing Education and researches in the philosophies of mind, language, metaphysics, and religion.
  • Chrisantha Fernando trained in medicine at Wadham College, Oxford and worked for a couple of years as a doctor. He was fascinated by brains and evolution, so he did an MSc at Sussex in Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems, followed by a PhD in simulating the origin of life with Eors Szathmary. They developed a theory of Darwinian Neurodynamics, and about 10 years ago he joined DeepMind to work on the interaction of evolution and learning. He’s now mainly interested in the origin of external representations, algorithmic creativity, and cultural evolution in large language models.

We are looking for essays of not more than 1,200 words that engage with any one of the following three themes.

  • Could a machine think?
  • Is it morally wrong to eat meat?
  • Can I know that the world I experience is real?

The winner will be published in an issue of Think, the shortlisted candidates will win a year’s free subscription to Think, and other prizes will be awarded to all those who make the longlist.

Your essay submission will be assessed for academic merit and rigour and we look forward to receiving your submission via the link here.

Please read the Rules of Entry below before completing the form.

  • Rules of Entry & Eligibility Criteria

    1. Word documents should be submitted to the Royal Institute of Philosophy (TRIP) up to and including the deadline date of midnight on Sunday 31st March 2024.  Submissions after this date will not be accepted.

    2. In order for us to consider your essay, email your Word document to

    3. Authors can be of any nationality and based anywhere in the world. They must be aged between 16-18 years old.

    4. Essays must be an original work and submitted in English, using 12 pt font, double line spaced, Calibri font or similar.

    5. The essay must not exceed 1,200 words.

    6. There is no requirement for notes or references in your submission.  If there is a particular requirement to reference a work, then please include in your title as sub text.

    7. Use one line breaks no indentations to mark new paragraphs.

    8. Multiple submissions are accepted, although only one submission per topic will be considered.  If multiple submissions for the same topic are received, the first to be submitted will be the only one considered.

    9. As part of the submission process an explanation from the author explaining why the work should be considered can be included.

    10. Whilst there will be one overall prize winner, the Royal Institute will look to create age group categories that recognise high quality entries by age range.

    11. The administration team and the judge has the final decision as to whether an essay is eligible.  No correspondence will be entered into.

    12. Should the work be accepted to the longlist those authors will be advised.  Those submissions not accepted to the longlist will not be receive any correspondence from the Royal Institute.

    13. The author accepts by submitting their essay to abide by the rules of the prize. 

    14. General enquiries about the prize should be sent to