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Published 28 May 2020

ANZCCART Secondary Student Essay Competition

The ANZCCART New Zealand Secondary School Essay Competition, organised in collaboration with Royal Society Te Apārangi, seeks to inspire students to think critically about the role animal research plays in today’s society and to engage with the challenges that surround animal use.

What are the prizes?

First prize – a cheque for $100; second prize $75; and third prize $50. The first, second and third prize winners’ essays will be published on the ANZCCART website and a range of other sources.

Eligibility criteria

Students who are currently enrolled at an approved secondary education institution in New Zealand or engaged in home education that has been approved by the Ministry of Education are eligible to enter.

The deadline for submissions is 21 September 2020. The winning essays will be announced on 23 November 2020.

Essay prompt

Write an essay responding to the prompt below.

Outline your personal position on the use of animals in research in New Zealand.  Justify your position using biological concepts and processes that relate to the use of animals in research in New Zealand, analysing and evaluating the biological knowledge related to this issue.

Discuss the biological and social implications of your position on the use of animals in research in New Zealand.  Use three different opinions or viewpoints that named individuals, groups or organisations have about the use of animals in research and teaching in New Zealand.  Comment on your sources and information by considering ideas such as validity and bias.

Please note:

This prompt aligns closely to the NCEA Assessment Standard AS91154 Biology 2.2 Analyse the biological validity of information presented to the public.

Essay rules

The submitted essay will be the author's original work and shall be no more than 1,500 words (excluding references). Collaborative writing by two or more authors will not be accepted. Only one essay shall be accepted from each student.

Essays should include references, which should use a commonly used citation style, for example APA 6th edition. Plagiarism detection software may be used to assess correct citation of sources.

The essay must not have been published elsewhere or submitted to any other essay competition. However, an essay that has been submitted for course work will be accepted for this competition. No revisions to the essay will be accepted after it has been submitted to ANZCCART.

Essays must be emailed. The entrant's name must NOT appear on the essay itself. You must include a separate cover page that includes your full name, email address, contact phone number, the name of the school or situation at which you are studying, and evidence of your current enrolment as a student.  Please send the essay as a Word doc, or pdf file.

Organisers reserve the right not to award in any category at its own discretion and without recourse to the entrants.

Entries must be sent to anzccart@royalsociety.org.nz, with ‘ANZCCART Secondary School Essay Competition’ in the subject line. 


All contributions will be evaluated blind by ANZCCART or their nominees based on focus on the essay prompt, clarity of their argument, depth of understanding of the topic, accuracy, originality and overall writing style, described below. Please bear in mind that the award takes into account essay category, word length and other restrictions on the essay.

Marking criteria

The student integrates relevant biological knowledge to develop a comprehensive informed response on the issue of using animals in research and teaching in New Zealand by describing:

  • the biological concepts and processes relating to the issue;
  • one biological and one social implication (economic, ethical, cultural, or environmental) of the issue;
  • two different opinions or viewpoints about the issue (one for and one against) from named individuals, groups or organisations;
  • a personal position.

The personal position is explained by giving reasons, with supporting evidence, on why these have been chosen.

An analysis and evaluation of the biological knowledge related to the issue is used to justify a personal position by ONE of:

  • comparing the significance of the biological and/or social implications, OR
  • commenting on the sources of biological knowledge used by considering ideas such as validity (date/currency, peer review status, scientific acceptance) or bias (attitudes, values, beliefs).

Alternative formats that meet these criteria will also be considered. Examples of such formats could include:

  • Poetry
  • Visual presentation with accompanying text
  • Media clip
  • Song, rap, or other musical presentation.

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Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi