The Student Voice Prize 2023

SVP23 is now CLOSED for entries

The winner will be announced on Rare Disease Day 2024

A huge thank you to all the students and patient groups who participated in this year’s competition. The winners and runners-up will be announced on our website and social media on the 29th of February 2024.

What is The Student Voice Prize?

The Student Voice Prize is an annual, international essay competition that raises the profile of rare diseases 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!

The patient pairing scheme is


The competition is


for entries

Why rare diseases?

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. The Student Voice Prize challenges the doctors, nurses and scientists of tomorrow to think about rare diseases today. After all, with a lifetime risk of 1 in 17 in the UK, it’s not rare to come across them!

You can find out more about rare diseases here.

How does it work?

Each year The Student Voice Prize team poses three questions centred around rare diseases and the patient experience to medical students, nurses and anyone who will be working in healthcare in the future.

These questions encourage the students to consider not only the scientific and medical side of rare diseases but also the impact on patients and families, including their mental as well as physical health, all with the aim of encouraging a more holistic view of healthcare and rare diseases.

What makes this competition unique?

The Patient Pairing Scheme

**Please note, the patient pairing scheme is now closed for patients and students, but you can still enter the competition without it!**


The Patient pairing scheme is exclusive to The Student Voice Prize.

To give students a real insight into the patient experience, we give entrants the opportunity to be paired with a rare disease patient group so they can understand the challenges of living with a rare condition.

This not only informs their essay but also gives them the knowledge to effectively treat and support rare disease patients and families during their careers.

It’s great for patient groups too as they have the opportunity to share their rare condition and experience with the medical professionals of the future!

The prizes

  • The competition winner will be published in the world-renowned Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases! 
  • Runners-up essays will be featured in blog format on BioMed Central’s ‘On Biology’ and ‘On Medicine’ blogs
  • Cash prizes 
  • The chance to attend and speak at scientific conferences!
  • We even have a dedicated shortlist for non-native English-speaking students who enter! 
Previous SVP winner receiving certificate at conference

The Student Voice Prize is proudly sponsored by


The rare disease community deserve the best support. emotive is a global medical communications agency who partner with life science companies to help reduce the diagnostic odyssey, enhance community engagement and improve health outcomes for those suffering from a rare disease.

Emotive logo

Working across medical & scientific affairs, brand & patient engagement and PR & advocacy, we are all driven by the desire to transform lives by inspiring change that has a positive impact on health. Using key insights gathered from ten years working on multiple rare disease global product launches, including advanced therapies, our team of over 70 scientific, creative and digital experts based in the UK and US provide the very best medical communications guidance and support in this challenging area.

We are also very proud of our ongoing pro-bono work with Medics4RareDiseases (M4RD), providing commercial, creative and strategic expertise to support their mission of raising awareness of rare diseases within the medical curriculum and profession.