BHI Paper Competition!!

May 22, 2018

Black Hole Essay Competition

The Black Hole Initiative announces awards for original essays on the topic of Black Holes

First Prize:          $10,000

Second Prize:    $5,000

Third Prize:        $4,000

Fourth Prize:    $3,000

Fifth Prize:        $2,000

As the first interdisciplinary center for the study of black holes, the Black Hole Initiative (BHI) is a nexus for scholars from fields in which black holes play prominent roles: Mathematics, Philosophy, Astronomy, Physics and History.  A central mission of the BHI is to foster cross-disciplinary studies and communication of results in the rapidly growing are of Black hole science. 

Engaging essays that illuminate research and ideas are solicited. 

  1. Essays should be no longer than 1,500 words, written in English with a non-specialist audience in mind, and using accessible figures and equations only as necessary.  Work may describe research, but the intent is that the competition not duplicate the function of traditional academic journals.  Work that forges links across BHI disciplines through novel connections, explanations, or perspectives is encouraged, but not required. Essays that focus on a particular topic withing the broad field of black hole science will also be of interest.  A short abstract and list of references will not be counted towards the essay length. 
  2. Essays should be sent as a single PDF file, no later than August 1, 2018 to Barbara Elfman ( and include a cover page with the following information: Author name(s), author affiliation(s), contact email address(es), and essay abstract.
  3. The awarded essays will be published in the print and on-line versions of Nautilus Magazine (  Winning authors will be notified later this fall, please stay tuned!
  4. The essays will be judged anonymously by a panel selected by the Black Hole Initiative senior investigators, and the decision of the judges will be final.

The Black Hole Initiative is supported through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.