Conflict Studies Essay Contest

The Cheyney Ryan Peace and Conflict Studies Essay Contest is an annual competition sponsored by the Master's degree program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at the University of Oregon.

It seeks to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students internationally to consider and write about issues related to conflict and its resolution.


$500 each to the three authors whose essays are selected by the judges.


Full-time undergraduate students worldwide from any field of study.

Essay Topic

We know that psychological and social well-being are tied in significant ways to our sense of belonging, and that a key part of our identity is based on the groups to which we belong - our family, our community, our nation, our ethnic group, etc.

We also see how our national, ethnic, or religious identities can be the source of much destructive conflict.

How can we reconcile this dilemma? How do we encourage the positive elements of group identity and, at the same time, avoid the perils of identity affiliations?

Submission Guidelines;

  • Maximum length 2500 words, written in English. There is no minimum length and no penalty for brevity.
  • Essays must be submitted electronically as an email attachment to Ellen Laing at, in MS Word or PDF format.
  • Each page must be double-spaced, written in Times New Roman, font size 12, and have a page number and header with essay title only (no author name or other identifying information on the essay pages).

    Footnotes should be single-spaced. Footnotes do not count towards the 2500-word limit. All margins should be 1" (approximately 2.5 cm) each.

  • Each essay must be accompanied by a cover page with:

    Essay title

    author name

    author's university

    mailing address

    telephone number

    academic email address


    phone number and email address of someone we may contact at the university (Faculty member, Department Chair, or registrar) to verify that the author is enrolled as a full-time student.

    Application Deadline;Dec. 15th,

    For more information and application, visit: Conflict Studies Essay Contest Website