The theme of this year’s competition is ‘Virus’. This has been very much in all of our minds as we face the Covid-19 pandemic. But we invite entries that relate also to Virus as it comes up in other aspects of life and society. We encourage prospective entrants to think of virus, viral, virulent and related terms in their everyday as well as their scientific usage.
The range of possible topics is vast, drawing on life sciences research and medicine, but also on software, social media and everyday contexts. For purposes of illustration only, we offer these as possible project topics:

  • How a submicroscopic organism changed our world;
  • The Life of a Virus (or a Virologist)
  • How ideas, images, stories or memes ‘go viral’;
  • Efforts to develop antiviral drugs and vaccines;
  • How and why computer viruses are propagated;
  • What makes Covid-19 conspiracies so virulent?
  • How past pandemics have influenced our understanding of this one

Entries are welcome in many – and mixed – media formats. Again, just as examples for guidance, written texts may be essays, memoirs or other narratives; photos, infographics, comic strips or other visual forms may be used as illustration, or as the main content; interviews may be presented in written, video or audio forms.
During the winter months, the Mary Mulvihill Association aims to hold a virtual roundtable discussion that will consider various aspects and possible treatments of the Virus theme. More information will be available on our website and social media platforms.

The award is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in an Irish higher education institution at the time of submission. In addition to the overall award of €2,000, the judges may, at their discretion, make an additional award of €500 for a highly commended entry.

Joint entries or individual submissions are eligible. The competition is open to unpublished work or material published or broadcast after 1 September 2019. Submissions for the award should include evidence of current registration as a student, and an attestation that the submitted work is the applicant’s original work.

In the event that the electronic file of the work is too large to send by email, please contact the Administrator in good time for advice on how submission. Queries on this and any other matter should be directed to the Administrator of the Mary Mulvihill Award:

Finished submissions may be sent to this address or uploaded to by Midnight Thursday 30th April, 2021.