2017/2018 Boston University
Trustee Scholarship
Competition Essays


Boston University Trustee Scholars are encouraged to develop well-informed and well-reasoned views of important political, social, and artistic issues. We select students who have a sense of how to present persuasive arguments in support of their views. With that in mind, please select one of the questions below, indicating your choice and respond with an essay explaining your perspective in 600 words or less.

  Some have described the worldwide appeal of populism–a grass-roots force associated with a distrust of political and cultural elites, the attraction to common-sense solutions, and an upsurge in ethnic, religious, or national pride–as a response to the upheavals of globalization. Over the past decades, technology and global trade have cost jobs and emptied cities, income inequality has grown exponentially, and, for many, the values of community and identity seem more threatened today than ever before.

In your view, is the appeal of populism a necessary and positive corrective to the challenges of globalization, an unrealistic or inadequate response to the current age, or some combination of both? Is it an example of democracy at its best or a danger to democratic institutions?

   Biospecimens routinely taken during medical procedures such as blood tests, biopsies, and surgeries can be an important source for research into a variety of diseases. In some cases, this research has led to breakthroughs in the development of new drugs and therapies. While protocols are now widespread requiring explicit consent from patients before any specimens are used for research, researchers predict future areas of research, especially regarding genetic material, that are unknown today.

Do you believe patients must give their consent before any biospecimens from their bodies may be used for research? Must all possible areas of research be specified? In cases where the research leads to commercially viable treatments should they or their families be compensated?

   The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: “One cannot escape the world more certainly than through art, and one cannot bind oneself to it more certainly than through art.”

With extended reference one novel, poem, play, piece of music, or work of art, please discuss what you believe this sentence to mean.

In addition, please submit a short essay of no more than 300 words, to the statement below:

“Something that’s not on the resume”

Give us a glimpse of a passion, dream, or mental pursuit that absorbs and delights you.

Please submit this form by December 1, 2017. For questions about the Trustee Scholarship essays or the Trustee Scholarship Competition, please call 617-353-2320 or email scholars@bu.edu.

Boston University's policies provide for equal opportunity and affirmative action in employment and admission to all programs of the University.