The 7th annual Student Voice Prize is now live! The international essay competition, run by Findacure and Medics4RareDiseases, invites medical and biological students from across the world to enter an essay that raises the profile of rare diseases. Students are offered the opportunity to be paired with a patient group (such as ours), the winning prizes include publication in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases and the chance to speak at Findacure’s and Medics4RareDiseases’ annual conferences with all travel expenses paid.

Eosinophilic diseases, like all rare diseases, are too often left undiagnosed as little time is dedicated to them in medical training. We need projects like the Student Voice Prize to challenge the doctors, nurses and scientists of tomorrow to think about rare diseases today. It will both enrich their future learning and further our goal of providing educational resources and events for healthcare professionals to help them recognise symptoms, diagnose and treat Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases.


This year’s questions revolve around COVID-19, telemedicine and the rare disease patient experience, allowing students to share their thoughts on how healthcare can be improved for a large, but poorly represented community. This is students’ chance to become a champion of the rare disease community - in fact, many former entrants have gone on to become proud ambassadors for their patient groups.

In 1500 words, please answer one of the following:

Question 1

How has the global COVID-19 pandemic affected clinical research into rare diseases? What lessons can we take from the current situation to improve the delivery of rare disease research in the future?

Question 2

Rare disease patients often experience disjointed care, being passed from specialist to specialist, or having to attend numerous poorly planned hospital appointments. Use a case study to demonstrate the rare disease patient experience of the health service, the importance of coordinated care plan, and the role technology (such as digital health and telemedicine) can play in supporting the patient experience.

Question 3

Reflect on the impact of shielding during COVID-19 on rare disease patients and their families. How has COVID-19 changed the rare disease experience?

Former winner Rebecca NunnPrizes

  • The winner will have their essay published in the world-renowned Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
  • Speak at Findacure’s annual conference Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases (all travel expenses paid)
  • Speak at Medics4RareDiseases annual symposium The Unusual Suspects Symposium at the Royal Society of Medicine (all travel expenses paid)
  • Cash prizes of £200 for the winner and £100 for the runners up, whose essays may also be featured on BioMed Central’s blogs

How to apply

Find more information, rules and regulations, and the entry form on the Findacure website. Open to all medical students, trainee nurses and undergraduate and masters students enrolled in biological sciences.

Deadline is at 9am GMT, 16th November 2020.

Good luck, and if you choose to write about eosinophilic diseases we would be delighted to help you!