Scholars

About the IRUA Scholars Program

The first part of the program enables IRUA member companies to encourage their own interns to apply to participate in the Scholars Awards offering monetary scholarships with amounts determined by the Board based on a competitive written essay submission. Initially, an intern must complete and submit an application since, for tax reasons, only U.S. citizens and individuals legally permitted to work in the United States are eligible for the program. The specifics of the Scholars Program are subject to change at any time by either the Scholars Committee or the Board of Directors.

Once approved an essay must be submitted by the September 1st cut-off date.  Essays must be a 10-20 page “white paper” on a specific insurance or reinsurance topic of your choice and should provide a detailed explanation on the relevance, impact or potential impact to the reinsurance industry.  The IRUA Scholars Committee will review the essays submitted and determine the winners of an award, the number and monetary value of which will be decided each year. The goal is for winners to be announced by mid-October each year.

The second part of the Scholars Program will expand the IRUA outreach to the risk management and insurance schools at universities and colleges nationwide through visits and presentations by IRUA member company executives. The goal is to expand the exposure to reinsurance for students/interns through enhanced networking and interaction with existing industry professionals. This aspect of the program is still being developed.

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 jwallis@irua.org.

Important Essay Details

All applicants must be a summer intern at any IRUA member company and currently enrolled at a full-time college or university. Only applicants with a U.S. Social Security number are eligible.

  • In 2017 IRUA awarded a total of $17,000 to the winners of the essay contest.
  • In 2018 the total amount will be determined by the Board of Directors based upon donations received from members. The essays are judged and amounts awarded by the Scholars Committee
  • In order to qualify, essays must be a 10-20 page “white paper” on a specific insurance or reinsurance topic of your choice and should provide a detailed explanation on the relevance, impact or potential impact to the reinsurance industry.
  • Interns can be working in any department at their host company; however, the host company must be an IRUA member.

Applications and Completed Essays Deadlines:

Application Due Date:  As soon as you know you would like to participate
Essay Due Date
:  September 1, 2018
Submission of Application & Essay:  Application and Essays are to be emailed to: Maria Sclafani at mcs@irua.org.

NOTE – Upon submission, you will receive an email confirmation when your application/essay has been received.  Over the course of the following 12 months each winning paper will be published in the Journal of Reinsurance so be sure to read it when it hits your email inbox!

A copy of the Scholarship 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: mcs@irua.org.

Click HERE to Download the Scholarship Application
Click HERE to Download the Scholarship Criteria

2018 Scholarship Award Winning Papers

First Place:  Luke Schwenke of the College of William & Mary in Virginia.  Luke interned at Markel Corporation and received first pace for his essay entitled:Insuring against Unknown Cyber Attacks in the Age of the Internet of Things”

Second Place: Sean McDermott of Loyola University in Maryland.  Sean interned at Transatlantic Re and recived second place for his essay entitled: “Blockchain Technology – Why the Insurance/Reinsurance Industry will Never be the Same”

Third Place:  Elizabeth Cunningham of the University of New Hampshire.  Elizabeth interned at Crum & Forster and received third place for her essay entitled: “Cannabis Coverage: A Redirection of Insurance?”

Thanks to the generosity of our members a total of $17,750 has now been disbursed to these awardees.

Congratulations to all winners and our thanks to all the other student interns who submitted papers and our member companies for making this the highest award level year in IRUA history.

Over the course of the next 12 months each paper will be published in the IRUA’s Journal of Reinsurance, which is available as a benefit of membership or as a paid subscription. The unique Journal has, over the past 25 years, provided over 400 articles on technical reinsurance texts; financial related articles; current, emerging & potentially future risk explanations & analysis and is used by, among others, The Institutes as a source for CPCU study materials and by attorneys as a source of expert reference. All articles are available to members and subscribers in the “JOR Archive” section of our website.

For more information regarding the Scholars Program or becoming a member of the IRUA, please contact Jerry Wallis, IRUA Executive Director, at jwallis@irua.org

2017 Scholarship Award Winning Papers

First Place:  Michael Tanner Sowa of the University of Connecticut.  Michael interned at Aspen Re and came in first place for his essay entitled:  The New Industrial Revolution – Big Data and its Collision with Traditional (Re) Insurance”.

Second Place: Patrick Levandoski of the University of Georgia. Patrick interned at Crum & Forster and received second place for his essay entitled: “Effect of Autonomous Vehicles on Insurance Markets and How to Capitalize”.

Third Place Equally:

Robin Lieb of the State University of New York, Albany.  Robin interned at Arch Re and tied for third place along with Gregory Marzilli  for his essay entitled: “Space Tourism Insurance Isn’t Rocket Science – Is It?”.

Gregory Marzilli of Louisiana State University.  Gregory interned at Aspen US Holdings and tied for third place along with Robin Lieb for his essay entitled: “Unchaining the Insurance Industry: The Impact of Blockchain Technology and Smart Contracts”.

Thanks to the generosity of our members, a total of $17,000 has been disbursed to these awardees.

Congratulations to all four and our thanks to all the other student interns who submitted papers and our member companies for making this the highest award level year in IRUA history.

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.