Entries Close Tuesday, 1 March 2022

We are looking forward to
seeing you in 2024!

Entries due Friday 22nd March 2024.

This year we ask primary and secondary school students in Ireland and Northern Ireland to create a short project on any philosophical question they consider important to think about in the current time. It can be a general or a timeless philosophical question, or one that reflects on current circumstances. See below for information about the sort of written and visual projects that may be submitted.

The best entries will be awarded a prize and they will be published on the UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life website or the IYPA website.

All entries should be submitted by Friday 22nd March 2024. Entries should be emailed to the IYPA email address: youngphilosopherawards@ucd.ie.

All second level students and 5th and 6th class primary level students on the island of Ireland are eligible to apply. Individuals, groups and classes may submit an entry. Please make sure you include the names of all participants or your class name and contact details at the top of your work. See instructions below.

How do I participate?

  • Decide whether you want to work as an individual or a group (this may be a class).
  • Choose a philosophical issue that you find interesting and important.
  • Create a specific philosophical question which will be the focus of your project.
  • Discuss your question with your family, friends, and teachers.
  • Find information about your topic in books, on-line articles, and magazines.
  • Examine the different views on the question that you have raised and keep notes.
  • Create a project in response to the question or issue you think is most important. Your project can be in the format of a blog post, essay, letter, short story, dialogue, comic, podcast, or film.
  • If writing a blog or a written project you may include images to accompany your work. The length of written projects should be a maximum 1500 words.
  • Films or podcasts should be no more than 8 minutes in length.
  • Let us know when you are using another person’s ideas or words and make sure that you provide a list of references with all of your sources.

How do I participate?

  • Philosophical questions are juicy questions that create a lot of discussion and give us lots to think about.
  • Philosophical questions have more than one answer.
  • Philosophical questions prompt us to reflect on different and conflicting answers or views.
  • Philosophical questions deal with abstract, big ideas, which however are relevant to our everyday lives.
  • Quite often philosophical questions concern themselves with ethical issues. Do we have the right to treat nature as a resource? Do we have a moral obligation toward refugees? Should we limit our freedom in order to protect other people from dying? Do we have a responsibility to fight against inequality? These are timely philosophical questions which have a direct relation to problems that humanity currently faces.

When you find yourselves asking such questions, then you can be certain that you have entered the philosopher’s zone!

How do I submit?

All entries should be submitted by Friday 22nd March 2024. More information to follow.

Entries should be emailed to the IYPA email address: youngphilosopherawards@ucd.ie

When you submit your entry, you must include the following information on your work or typed in the email you send:

  • Name (or the names of all members of your group or your class name)
  • School
  • Year Level
  • Email Contact
  • Teacher or Parent Name and Contact Details


About the IYPA

Since the launch of the Irish Young Philosopher Awards in 2017 by President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins, the IYPA has become a major philosophical and educational event in Ireland. It has now grown into an International Award forum that invites students from around the world to partake in philosophical thinking and discussion.

The aim behind the IYPA is for primary and secondary school students to explore philosophy through an award program and festival. Students are asked to create complex projects and are judged according to their critical and ethical thinking, creativity, collaboration, philosophical analysis and innovation. Winning projects in the past have raised important philosophical questions such as: ‘Is it Ethical for Robots to be Caregivers?’ (Overall Winner 2018), ‘Why is Nature Beautiful and why do we Destroy it?’ (Overall Winner, 2019), ‘What do we owe to each other’ (Winner of the 2020 Special Covid-19 Ethics Prize), and ‘Should we Grant AI human rights? If so, when?” (Overall Winner, 2021). To view some more highly commended IYPA projects, visit https://www.ucd.ie/cepl/iypa/

Philosophical thinking touches on a wide range of issues ranging from classical questions about the nature of reality, perception and knowledge, to contemporary questions about racism, poverty and animal rights, for example. Furthermore, philosophical thinking can be conveyed in multiple forms. One can take the classical path of writing a philosophical essay or choose to express their thoughts by preparing a short film, cartoon, or podcast. We encourage you to put on your thinking caps; be creative and reflexive; research some key ideas and philosophical problems; discuss them with your friends, family, teachers and class at school; create a philosophical project and enter the IYPA! We look forward very much to seeing you there!