Annual Essay Prizes for Undergraduate and Masters Essays

The Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto is pleased to invite submissions for two annual awards for the best Undergraduate and MA student essays on a subject related to any field of Italian Studies.

The University of Toronto Italian Studies Annual Essay Prize is awarded for the best essay submitted by an undergraduate and MA student enrolled in any College or University in Canada, or by students not currently enrolled in an undergraduate or MA program but who have received their BA or MA degree from a College or University in Canada within the past year (12 months) prior to the application.

Each University of Toronto Italian Studies Annual Essay Prize comes with an award of CA$500.  

The University of Toronto Italian Studies Annual Prizes are intended to foster university study and research in the field of Italian Studies, as well as to give excellent students from other institutions the possibility of knowing first-hand the leading institution and community in the field of Italian Studies in Canada.

  • Cover Letter including the following information: Applicant’s name; institutional affiliation; local, permanent and e-mail addresses.
  • Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • University transcripts.
  • Essay on a subject related to any field of Italian Studies. Please note that the Author’s name should not appear on the essay title page (to follow the cover page) or on any other page of the text since the essays are submitted anonymously to the readers. Also please ensure that the name of the author cannot be found by consulting the “properties” of the file.
    • Essays should be no longer than 7,500 words, including footnotes but excluding bibliography.
    • Essays can be a self-standing work or a portion of a larger work. In the latter case, applicants may want to include in the submission a description of how the essay fits within their larger project (i.e. MA dissertation). That description, of maximum 750 words, will not count towards the essay’s overall word limit.
    • Essays may be submitted in English, French or Italian.
    • Quotations from works other than in the language of the essay should be cited in the original language.
    • Students working primarily with translations may quote the translations, but they should provide the corresponding original Italian or Latin or other text in parentheses.
    • Illustrations are acceptable if they are analyzed in the essay, or if they help illuminate a point made in the essay.
    • The format of the essay should conform to either the Chicago or MLA Style Sheet guidelines. Body text should be set in Times New Roman 12, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins.
  • The essays remain the intellectual property of their authors.

Submission deadline for 2023 prizes will be November 17th, 2023. 

All submissions must be sent as e-mail attachments to, with the following object: “University of Toronto Italian Studies Annual Prizes.”

Files should be saved as documents with either a .doc, .docx, a .pdf extension. No hardcopy submissions will be accepted.

Recommendation letters are not required nor accepted.

All applicants will receive a letter notifying the results of the competition as soon as possible.

Each essay will be firstly evaluated anonymously by two readers based at the University of Toronto and chosen according to its topic.

A special committee from the Department of Italian Studies will proceed to rank the essays according to the evaluation received from the readers and the quality of the rest of the application package.

The special committee is committed to foster fairness and equity in higher education.

The special committee may, at its discretion, split the award between two applicants if ex aequo (each to receive one half of the prize), or it may make no award.

Ryan Hamilton (Undergraduate essay 2021)

Meghri Doumanian (Master essay 2021)

Katherine Yampolsky (Undergraduate essay 2020)

Jan Marta (Undergraduate essay 2019)

Marcus Prasad (Master essay 2019)