Share your scientific knowledge

Up to $1,000 and $1,000 genetics materials grant; Deadline: Early March 2022


A contest that gives awards for your science-related interests and ambitions.

ASHG is proud to support National DNA Day through the Annual DNA Day Essay Contest. DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953.

This contest is open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide and asks students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments that indicate a deep understanding of scientific concepts related to the essay question. They are evaluated by ASHG members through three rounds of scoring.

The 2022 Submission Site is now open! If you have submitted an essay in 2019 or later, please refer to these instructions. If you have not submitted an essay since 2019, please refer to these instructions. A blank submission form is available for your reference as you prepare your submission. You will be prompted to sign in or create an account with ASHG. Note that this is NOT a membership and there is no fee to submit an essay.

2022 Question

The “Father of Genetics,” Gregor Mendel, was born 200 years ago in northern Moravia (now Czechia).  His experiments with pea plants led to observations and conclusions that became fundamental principles of genetic inheritance. These principles include:

1) Each organism has two versions (or alleles) of each gene;

2) One allele is inherited from the mother, and one allele is inherited from the father;

3) Alleles can be dominant or recessive;

4) Genes for different traits are inherited independently from each other.

Because of Mendel’s contributions, traits and disorders that are caused by variation in one gene (For Example, Huntington’s disease, Cystic fibrosis) are called Mendelian traits or disorders. There are also complex traits and disorders (For Example, diabetes, hypertension) that are caused by variation in many genes and, often, environmental factors.

  1. How do Mendel’s discoveries help us understand Mendelian disorders?
  2. How does the study of Mendelian disorders help us understand complex diseases?

For more information, go to DNA Day! Winners and Honorable Mentions will be announced on April 25.


1st Place Winner: $1,000 for student and $1,000 genetics materials grant

2nd Place Winner: $600 for student and $600 genetics materials grant

3rd Place Winner: $400 for student and $400 genetics materials grant

Honorable Mentions: 10 student prizes of $100 each

Questions? Email [email protected]