Call for nominations: Michael Baptista Essay Prizes 2014, deadline extended


The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) is calling for nominations for the 2014 Michael Baptista Essay Prizes.

The deadline is Aug. 24. Nominations are limited to York University students only.

The Michael Baptista Essay Prizes recognize annually, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, an outstanding scholarly essay of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at York University from a humanities, social science, business or legal perspective.

The friends of Michael Baptista and the Royal Bank of Canada, where he was a senior vice-president until his untimely death, fund the prizes. They celebrate his spirit and success, the importance to him of his Guyanese roots, his outstanding achievements at the Royal Bank and his drive and love of learning.

If you are a York faculty member who graded an exceptionally accomplished piece of student work (at the graduate or the undergraduate level) of relevance to these regions this past academic year, we encourage you to nominate the essay in question.

The prize includes a monetary component of $500 per award winner. Winning essays will also be featured on CERLAC’s website.

The essays may be from a full or half course during the 2013-14 academic year or a summer 2013 course. Major research papers at the graduate level may also be nominated. Submissions should be no longer than 35 double-spaced pages (exclusive of bibliography). Deadline extensions are available in instances where significant rewriting is required to shorten the work to within that limit.

To nominate:
Request a nomination form from CERLAC at or download the Baptista Prize nomination form.

Submit the nominated paper and accompanying form to CERLAC no later than Aug. 24. Both can be submitted electronically via email to: Hard copies are not required, but can be sent to: CERLAC, 8th Floor, Kaneff Tower.

Please note: Only faculty members can nominate a paper.
Students may not self-nominate. Students who have received top grades and high praise on their papers, however, are encouraged to bring the existence of this prize to the attention of their instructors, so that they might nominate the paper if they so choose. A student may have only one essay entered into the competition in any given year (if more than one is nominated, the student will be asked to choose which is to be entered into the competition). Faculty members may nominate no more than one paper per level of study (max. two overall) in any given year. For the purposes of this award, an “undergraduate student” is a student enrolled in an undergraduate program who has received no prior postsecondary degree.

The papers submitted will be reviewed by two to three faculty readers with research interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. Both the prize winners and the nominating faculty members will be advised of the decision by approximately the end of September 2014.

For more information, visit the Michael Baptista Essay Prize website.

Read prize-winning essays from previous years or contact CERLAC at ext. 55237 or for more information.