Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Essay Competition

Competition History

The Pozen Family Center for Human Rights sponsors the annual Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Essay Competition, which honors the memory of Ignacio Martín-Baró, a Jesuit priest from El Salvador who earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Chicago. Martín-Baró taught at the Universidad de Centro America in El Salvador and was a leading scholar on social justice and human rights. In 1989, Martín-Baró and seven others were assassinated by the Salvadoran army for their commitment to El Salvador’s dispossessed.

Read award winning essays from previous years.


The Pozen Center will award three prizes to UChicago students in the amount of $500 (five hundred dollars) each for the best essays in the field of human rights. Sumissions may be analytic or critical essays, empirical research papers, term papers or personal essays on any human rights issue. Essay topics are not restricted to the field of Latin American studies. Submissions will be judged by student category, with one prize awarded in each.

Essays should be limited to 6,250 words for College students and 10,000 words for graduate students. 


Essays may be submitted by students in any division or department at the University of Chicago. Competition is restricted to enrolled students. The award categories are:

  1. Undergraduate students
  2. Master's and Professional students
  3. Doctoral students

2016 Application Process

The Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Essay Competition winners are selected by a committee of faculty and staff chosen by the Pozen Center. Award announcements will be made in mid-May.

Submissions due by 8am CST on Monday, April 4, 2016