Science for Youth Global Essay Competition 2021

2021 Theme: Science for My Future

This global essay competition intends to capture the thoughts of young people on how they view science in relation to themselves and their future. The Mahathir Science Award Foundation is a firm supporter of the involvement of youth in science, particularly for the betterment of quality of life in the nations they reside in.

Submit your essay [here] THE LINK HAS CLOSED

Download the full competition leaflet [here] 

Download the cover page (for essays submitted via post) [here]

Untuk melayari halaman ini dalam Bahasa Melayu, sila klik di [sini]


Who is eligible to participate?

Anyone who is between 13 to 18 years old (in 2021). The essay competition is open globally.

Will participants receive a certificate?

Yes, everyone who submits an entry that fulfills the terms and conditions will receive a digital certificate of participation via email.

How long must my essay be?

Less than 1000 words (not including title).

What is the format of the essay?

  1. Font type: Arial
  2. Font size: 12pt
  3. Formatting: Single spaced (1.0) and justified


There are no restrictions on how you structure your essay (eg. number of paragraphs). However, we will not be accepting poems.

Please do not include any personal details (eg. name, address) in the essay document. These details should be provided in the online form or cover page (if submitting by post)

If submitting online, please upload the essay in PDF format, and follow the guidelines on how to name your your essay document (as mentioned in the online form)

How do I submit the essay?

There are 2 ways:

  1. Online – click on the Submit your essay [here] button on this page (scroll up) and you will be redirected to an online form. You may be asked to sign in to your Google account to access the form. Fill in the online form and upload your essay there.
  2. Post – Complete the cover page (download here) with your details and post it with your essay to our postal address:


Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF)

902-4 Jalan Tun Ismail,

50480 Kuala Lumpur



How are essays judged?

Our judges will use 4 main criteria for judging essays:


  1. Originality and creativity
  2. Language and style
  3. Relevance to topic/ content
  4. Structure/Clarity


Who do I contact if I have any questions?

Please email

What is the deadline for submissions?

1 March 2021 (11:59 GMT+8)

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced in late May 2021. We will notify winners by email/phone call. Due to the large number of submissions, we will only be contacting winners on their essays.

The winners will be announced on our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

What will winners receive?

The top 3 essays (based on overall score from both English and Malay essays) will receive:

1st Prize: RM3000 (approx.. USD750) and the opportunity to ask 3 questions to one of our Mahathir Science Award Laureates

2nd Prize: RM2000 (approx. USD500)

3rd Prize: RM1000 (approx. USD250)

Terms and conditions

  1. The essay submitted must be the original and unpublished (including content published online) work of the participant. Plagiarism will result in automatic disqualification from the competition.
  2. The Mahathir Science Award Foundation and programme strategic partners reserve the rights to use and edit your submitted work for clarity in any promotional or printed materials.
  3. Entries containing any types of offensive and/or restricted content as determined by the Mahathir Science Award Foundation at the Foundation’s sole discretion, will be disqualified.
  4. Each participant is allowed to submit ONE (1) essay only. Essays must be the sole work of the participant, co-authored essays will not be accepted.
  5. Judges’ decisions on the 3 winners are final, appeals will not be entertained.