Essay Contest


Entry deadline: April 5, 2024

The National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) established this student essay contest to encourage new thinking and thoughts to advance the practice of public administration and public policy. This essay contest was also established to help advance the development of future public administrators. The essays should focus on one of the following topics:

  • Social Equity
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • The Government Workforce
  • Public Engagement
  • Community Collaboration
  • New Technologies
  • Community Resiliency
  • Improving Government Outcomes

The essays must focus on the practices and techniques used related to these topics and include actual examples or short case studies.

Submission Guidelines

  • Open to all full-time
    • undergraduate students studying government, political science, public administration or public policy, and
    • graduate students studying public administration or public policy at a university with classrooms (this includes satellite campuses) located in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area.
  • Essays must be no more than 2,500 words, double-spaced, excluding end notes and sources. Include word count on the title page of the essay. Submit as a word document.
  • Essays are judged in the blind. Do not include the author’s name on the title page or in the body of the essay.
  • Essays must be original work and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.
  • Submit the essay entry to


First Place Prize: $2,000
Second Place Prize: $1,500
Third Place Prize: $750

Along with the cash prizes, each winner will receive:

  • a three-year membership to the American Society for Public Administration, and
  • all three essays will be placed on the NCAC website and highlighted in the NCAC newsletter.

The first-place winner will be expected to discuss their essay at the NCAC Annual Meeting in May 2024.

All essay submissions must be sent to by 11:59 p.m. on April 5, 2024.