IRUA Scholars Program 2023

The IRUA Scholars Committee invites interns and recently graduated employees of IRUA member companies to participate in our annual Scholars essay program. Participating scholars will submit a 3,000-4,000-word white paper on an industry-relevant topic of their choosing, with the winning entries earning monetary prizes to help offset their education expenses.

For the 2023 program, eligibility is open to any individual meeting the following criteria:


We are excited to announce an update to our 2023 eligibility criteria to allow for co-authored essay submissions! Recognizing that many member companies’ internship programs involve interns collaborating on summer projects, effective immediately for this year’s Scholars program, we are happy to accept submissions from teams of two or more individuals. See Additional program information below for more details.

Interested individuals must complete and submit an application, available Here

Choice of topic is entirely up to the participant and papers should provide a detailed explanation of the topic, its relevance to and (potential) impact on the reinsurance industry. Authors must cite all sources in footnotes and must have contractual right to use any graphics or images.  Papers must be submitted in Microsoft Word format by September 1st, 2023.

The IRUA Scholars Committee will review the submissions and determine the winning participants and the number and value of prizes to be awarded. Winners will be announced no later than mid-October, and the grand prize winner will see their paper published on the IRUA’s website and made available to our community of subscribers.

The Scholars Awards program is funded by member contributions so if you have questions or wish to make a financial contribution please contact Executive Director, Jerry Wallis, at

In addition to the essay program, the Scholars Committee endeavors to build relationships with college and university risk management and insurance programs across the country with the goal of expanding exposure to career paths in the reinsurance industry. Specific programming is under development and we welcome hearing from students, alumni, educators and administrators as we build on our engagement.

Additional Program Information

  • In 2022, a total of $14,500 was awarded among the top four authors;
  • Participants can be working in any department at their employer/host company; however, the host company must be an IRUA member. Don’t know if your company is a member?  Contact Jerry Wallis at;
  • All authors – whether submitting individually or jointly – must individually fulfill eligibility requirements;
  • An individual may only submit one paper, whether solo or co-authored;
  • All submitted papers will be scrubbed of any indicators of authorship and be part of a single shared judging pool;
  • Award amounts will be similarly blind to authorship and amounts awarded to any joint entries will be split evenly among all authors.

Application Due Date:  As soon as you know you would like to participate
Essay Due Date
:  September 1, 2023
Submission of Application & Essay:  Application and Word-formatted essays are to be emailed to Maria Sclafani at

We will confirm receipt of applications and essays by return email.

A copy of the essay program’s eligibility criteria can be obtained by clicking on the link below. To download a Scholarship application, download from the link below and email it to Maria Sclafani in our administrative office at:

Click HERE to download the application
Click HERE to download the criteria.

2022 Scholars Essay Program – Winning Papers
First prize: Kevin English of Liberty Mutual Re took the top prize with his paper entitled: The Importance of Nuanced Contract Wording in Light of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict”

Second Prize was split between Sophia Fioretti’s (HSB, Wellesley College) essay entitled “You and I, Plus AI: Adapting to the Democratization of Artificial Intelligence” and Kelsey Brown’s (Odyssey Re, Middlebury College) entry entitled “InsurTechs: Are they a Disruptive Innovation?”

An Honorable Mention Prize was awarded to Justin Canelli(Odyssey Re, Case Western Reserve University) for his essay entitled“What to Expect When You’re Expecting Insolvency”

Thanks to the generosity of our members, a total of $14,750 was distributed to these awardees among our largest pool of participants in a number of years.

For more information regarding the Scholars Program or becoming a member of the IRUA, please contact Jerry Wallis, IRUA Executive Director at:

Please note that the specifics of the Scholars Program are subject to change at any time by either the Scholars Committee or the Board of Directors.