The Student Voice Prize

The 2021 Student Voice Prize
is now CLOSED!

What is The Student Voice Prize?

The Student Voice Prize is an annual, international essay competition that raises the profile of rare disease within the medical field, particularly with medical students, nurses and scientists who may have never come across rare diseases in their training.

Beacon and Medics4RareDiseases host the competition together and the winner gets published in The Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases!

Why Rare Disease?

Rare diseases affect approximately 350 million people worldwide and still they’re some of the most difficult conditions to diagnose. Despite the large number of people affected around the world, little time is dedicated to rare diseases in medical school. It is why The Student Voice Prize challenges the doctors, nurses and scientists of tomorrow to think about rare disease today. After all, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 17 in the UK, it’s not rare to come across them!


How did we know that you’d scroll to this section first! Ready to be amazed?

The 2021 Prizes include:

📰   Publication in one of the world’s most widely read scientific journals

🗣️   Speaking engagements

🧳    Free trip to scientific conferences with all travel expenses paid*

🙋    Become an advocate for rare disease 

 🩺   1 year membership to the Royal Society of Medicine  

💰    Money

*COVID dependent 

Who Can Enter?

If you fall under any of the following categories, you can enter The Student Voice Prize essay competition!

  • Medical students
  • Trainee nurses
  • Undergraduate and masters students enrolled in biological and health sciences studies (pharmacy, biology, genetics, biomedical science, pharmacology, public health etc)

Please note: Entries from PhD students will not be accepted

Calling Students From Around the World!🌍

We’re looking for entries from across the globe.

Don’t let distance stop you from applying!

Two of our past winners have been from Australia and New Zealand, so there’s no reason that our 2021 winner can’t be you!

We’ll happily fly the winner out for an all-travel-expenses paid trip to the UK (again COVID dependent), so what do you have to lose?

2021 Questions

Question 1

Rare Diseases and Health Inequalities:

350 million people worldwide are affected by rare diseases. 3.5 million of these are in the UK. These patients are commonly subjected to health inequalities. Explore this by choosing an example of a rare and a common disease, from the same speciality, to compare and contrast. Discuss the causes underlying these inequalities.

Question 2

Rare Diseases and Intersectionality:

A wide range of factors, such as race, wealth, and gender, can impact an individual’s experience of healthcare and society in general. This is known as intersectionality. Use a case study to demonstrate the specific challenges faced by patients with rare diseases on a daily basis. Discuss how intersectionality can mean that these people experience greater disadvantages.

Question 3

Rare Diseases and Research Participation:

Patient participation in research has massively helped to accelerate the development of treatments for rare diseases over the last decade. Discuss the benefit of patient participation in rare disease research and suggest barriers that exist to their participation. Explore how healthcare professionals can support patient involvement in research.

Thank you to our 2021 sponsors who make The Student Voice Prize essay competition possible!


Our Gold Sponsors for 2021: 



Linguamatics, an IQVIA company, delivers market-leading Natural Language Processing-based AI platform for high-value knowledge discovery and decision support from text. They empower their customers to speed up drug development and improve patient outcomes by breaking down data silos, boosting innovation, enhancing quality, and reducing risk and complexity.

Linguamatics award-winning NLP (natural language processing) platform is proven across multiple real-world use cases. Linguamatics has been trusted for over 15 years to deliver actionable insights that address your most pressing bench-to-bedside challenges with quantifiable ROI.

EUSA Pharma


EUSA Pharma is a dynamic, global biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and rare disease, continuously striving to confront gaps in patient care. As a global biopharmaceutical company, EUSA is committed to deliver solutions that can have a meaningful effect on life, helping patients across a range of therapy areas.

Founded in 2015, we are continuously looking for new opportunities to confront current gaps in patient care. Our ambition and entrepreneurial culture drive us to explore, acquire and in-license products that we believe can bring about real change for patients.

Our Silver Sponsors: 


The Student Voice Prize is part of M4RD 2021. M4RD would like to acknowledge and thank their sponsors. To find out more about how M4RD works with sponsors please visit


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