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.

Submission Guidelines

  • Open to NPS students, faculty, and staff.
  • Essays must be no more than 3,000 words, excluding footnotes, endnotes and sources. 
  • Essays are judged in the blind. Include word count on title page of essay but do not include author name(s) on title page or within essay.
  • Submit essay as a Word document at www.usni.org/npsessay no later than 31 March 2021.
  • Essay must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere. 



Selection Process:

Final selection of the winning essay will be made by the Proceedings staff. Since we receive so many submissions (more than 100 per month!), notification of acceptance on one of our platforms can take 4-6 months. We will notify you via email if your essay is selected for a prize or for publication.

Announcement of the Winner:

The winner will be published in the July Proceedings and recognized by the Naval Postgraduate School.

Selected Submissions

Dr. Britta Hale
Cosponsored by
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Naval Postgraduate School Foundation
Cosponsored by
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Naval Institute

Previous Winners