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Laird Essay Contest

Undergraduates who win the contest are awarded a $250 cash prize. Graduate students who win receive a $500 cash award and $75 worth of books (of their choice. Laird Essay Winners may be invited to present their papers at the last CREES Brownbag Lecture of the academic year.

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All University of Kansas students actively pursuing interests in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies (REES) in any KU academic program are eligible to submit an essay of 2,000 words on any topic dealing with the region.

The essay should be a "think piece," not a formal research paper.

It should explore a key issue relevant to the region based on any discipline. For example, students could explore the causes and consequences of the recent political changes in the region, discuss the implications of Europeanization on national languages and literatures, the role of religion today, or compose an essay on another topic.

Students may use papers from KU classes, but submissions must be reformatted to meet the following criteria: typed, 2,000 words, double-spaced, and in 12-point font size. 

Starting in 2014 Laird Essay awards will be distributed to two categories: Undergraduate and Graduate. Undergraduate essays will only be compared with other undergraduate essays, likewise with graduate submissions.

If you have further questions regarding the topic or submission, please contact the department at