Frederick Douglass Prize

The Frederick Douglass Prize is a college-wide contest to select the best undergraduate research paper in the field of Black Studies. In May of each academic year, the winner will be awarded a $500 prize by the Frederick Douglass Institute and Department of Black Studies.


Contest opened to all undergraduates at the University of Rochester.


This year's deadline is Monday April 22, 2024.

Research Topics

Essays must have a clear research focus in Black studies. All global fields within Black studies are welcome, including:

  • African studies
  • African-American studies
  • Afro-Latinx studies
  • Caribbean studies

All academic disciplines are also welcome, such as history, literary studies, anthropology, music, film and media studies, performance, art history, philosophy, and psychology. Interdisciplinary work is especially encouraged.

Essay Format

The essay must be a minimum of 8 pages (double spaced) and should not exceed 25 pages. The essay should be the result of the student's work in either fall 2023 or spring 2024. Only one essay per student per contest year may be submitted.

Faculty Sponsor

A faculty sponsor is required to review the student's essay; please fill out and submit a Faculty Sponsor Form, as well as write a letter of support.


Please submit essays and support letters using the Faculty Sponsor Form, or email them directly to no later than Monday April 22, 2024.