The NPS Foundation/U.S. Naval Institute Annual Essay Contest Award is jointly sponsored by the NPS Foundation and the U.S. Naval Institute to encourage writing for publication and critical thinking among students, faculty, and staff at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Essays should be based on thesis, research, or operational experience that best advances the military profession.


Open to U.S. Naval Postgraduate School students, faculty or staff members.

  • For NPS students: The essays can be directly related to a thesis or recent operational experience.
  • For NPS faculty or staff members: The essays could address an issue of particular relevance to the military profession.


3,000 word maximum (excludes footnotes/endnotes/sources).

Prior Publication:

Your essay must be original , not been previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.



Submission Guidelines:

  • Email essay as a Microsoft Word attachment to [email protected] with NPS Essay Contest in subject line of the email.
  • Include word count on title page of essay but do not include your name on title page or within essay.
  • Provide separate attachment to include biography and complete contact information—i.e., home mailing address; and work, home, and cell phone numbers.
  • Deadline: 31 March 2019.

Selection Process:

Final selection of the winning essay will be made by the U.S. Naval Institute's Editorial Board.  All essays will be judged in the blind—i.e., the judges will not know the authors of the essays.

Announcement of the Winner:

The winner will be published in the June issue of Proceedings and will be recognized at the Naval Postgraduate School (date to be determined).  Some additional essays will be accepted for publication in Proceedings.

Selected Submissions

John Arquilla and Peter Denning
Cosponsored by
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Naval Postgraduate School Foundation
Cosponsored by
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Naval Institute

Previous Winners