Skip to Main Content

YES Competition References

YES Competition ReferencesEffective May 19, 2011, YES completed its eighth and final competition. Please read the YES Closure Statement for more details.

The PDFs below contain information about the competition and on writing research papers, provided here as teaching resources.


Download the YES Competition Information and Research Project Guidelines.

Download Writing Your YES Research Paper: Tips for Success for helpful tips on preparing a research report.

The future health of the American population depends, in large part, upon the knowledge and ability of our upcoming health leaders, practitioners, and researchers. The Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) Competition for original student research was designed to inspire talented students to investigate the many behavioral, biological, environmental, and social factors that affect health and, based upon this knowledge, to identify ways to improve the health of the public. The YES Competition awarded up to 120 college scholarships each year to high school juniors and seniors who conduct outstanding research projects that apply epidemiological methods of analysis to a health-related issue.

Epidemiologists seek answers to why some people get sick and others don't. In other words, epidemiology is the science of exploring patterns of disease, illness, and injury within populations with the goal of developing methods for prevention, control, and treatment to improve health.

The basic skills required by epidemiology—framing the right question, collecting relevant information, and analyzing it to answer the question—are skills that help students succeed in any area of future work. The study and application of epidemiology promotes a way of thinking that can be used effectively in both scientific and nonscientific settings. As a science, epidemiology helps explain the world in which we live and has strong links to personal decisions that each of us make every day. As a way of thinking, epidemiology can help explain significant historical events and inform current decision-making in a broad variety of sectors. Leaders of communities, states, and countries often rely on epidemiological analysis of data when they make critical policy decisions that may affect the well-being of their residents.