We invite health professional students to participate in this short essay writing competition during Rare Disorders Month (March 2024). 

The task is based around our Impact of Living with a Rare Disorder in Aotearoa New Zealand White Paper and Impact for Whānau Māori of Living With a Rare Disorder in Aotearoa New Zealand White Paper written following Rare Disorders NZ's Voice of Rare Disorders Survey results from 2023. The White Papers are available here 

First prize is $500 and there are two runner up prizes of $250.

We look forward to receiving thoughtful and thought-provoking submissions from health professional students, and we are excited to see how their reflections will contribute to creating a more inclusive and supportive healthcare environment for individuals with rare disorders.

Essay Prompt

In a concise reflection (no more than 500 words), consider a specific aspect from Rare Disorders NZ’s 2024 White Papers that intrigued and/or surprised you. Explore the implications of this aspect, emphasising how it has the potential to illuminate your career path in health. Discuss how this knowledge about people living with rare disorders will contribute to the way in which you will "show up" for people living with a rare disorder in your professional life as a healthcare practitioner, i.e. how it will shape your future approach to patient care and commitment to rare disorders.

How to enter

Please email your entry as a Word document or PDF to enquiries@raredisorders.org.nz before 11.59pm 31 March 2024. Include your name, phone number, education institution, course, and year of study in the body of the email. By submitting an entry, participants agree to abide by the terms and conditions outlined below.

Contact us

Any queries can be directed to enquiries@raredisorders.org.nz

Terms and conditions

  1. Eligibility:
    • The competition is open to individuals who are currently enrolled as students in a recognised New Zealand health professional program, or who are actively pursuing education or training in a health-related field.
    • Proof of enrolment may be required upon request.
  2. Submission Guidelines:
    • Entries must be original, not previously published and written in English.
    • Entries should be emailed to enquiries@raredisorders.org.nz as a Word document or PDF file, with the participant’s name, phone number, education institution, course, and year of study included in the body of the email.
    • Each participant may submit only one entry.
    • Submissions must adhere to the specified word count limit of no more than 500 words.
  3. Submission Deadline: All entries must be received by 11.59pm 31 March 2024. Late submissions will not be considered.
  4. Plagiarism: Plagiarised entries will be disqualified. Participants must ensure that their submissions are their original work and cite any sources used appropriately.
  5. Judging Criteria:
    • Essays will be evaluated based on originality, creativity, clarity, and adherence to the essay prompt.
    • The decision of the judges is final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding their decisions.
  6. Prizes:
    • Prizes will be awarded to the top essays as determined by the judging panel.
    • The winner will receive a cash prize of $500, and two runner-ups will each receive a cash prize of $250.
    • Prizes will be paid via bank transfer to the winners' designated New Zealand bank accounts only.
    • Winners are responsible for providing accurate bank account information for prize distribution.
    • Prizes are non-transferable and non-exchangeable.
  7. Notification of Winners:
    • Winners will be notified via email or telephone within a reasonable time after the judging process is completed.
    • If a winner cannot be contacted or does not respond within a week, the prize may be forfeited, and an alternate winner selected.
  8. Publicity:
    • Entering the competition gives consent to Rare Disorders NZ to publish the winning and runner up essays and names, photos, and other relevant details of the authors.
  9. Data Storage:
    • By entering the competition, participants consent to Rare Disorders NZ storing their submitted data and entries in line with Rare Disorders NZ’s Privacy Statement and for administrative and promotional purposes.
  10. Disqualification:
    • Rare Disorders NZ reserve the right to disqualify any participant who violates these terms and conditions or engages in misconduct.
  11. Modification or Cancellation:
    • The organizers reserve the right to modify, suspend, or cancel the competition at any time for any reason, without prior notice.
  12. Disclaimer:
    • Rare Disorders NZ assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorised access to or alteration of entries.

By submitting an entry, participants agree to abide by these terms and conditions.