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Dornsife Public Health Case Competition

Case Competition: Create innovative solutions to address a real life public health issue impacting Philadelphia

The Public Health Case Competition, developed by the Office of Public Health Practice at the Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), is open to all DSPH undergraduate, MS, and MPH students who want to engage in a unique learning experience, address a Philadelphia public health problem in a team environment, and have a chance to win prize money!

The annual competition brings together up to ten interdisciplinary teams of four or five students to create innovative solutions to address a real-life public health issue impacting Philly.

Over just two weeks, teams collaborate effectively and quickly before presenting their intervention to a panel of judges on competition day.

Read a summary of Dornsife's second annual Public Health Student Case Competition, which was held on Thursday, February 18, 2021.


  • Winning Team: $1000 per team
  • Honorable Mention: $500 per team
  • People’s Choice Award: $500 per team


Important Dates

January 19, 2021 – Registration Opened

January 24, 2021 at 11:59 pm – Registration Closed

January 27, 2021 – Team selections announced

February 1, 2021 at 9:00 am – Competition topic and booklet released to teams

February 18, 2021 – Case Competition Day

Frequently Asked Questions about the Case Competition

Registration Period 

What should I do if I have one or two people for my team but not a full team?

You can register as a partial team.

If you register as an individual, will you be in a team of 4 or 5?

Yes. The Practice Office will build teams using a lottery system if you register as an individual or partial team.

Will teams that have 5 people have priority over teams with 4 or partial teams?

No, it will completely be a lottery system.

Were there a lot of people last year who couldn’t participate because of the lottery system?

Last year we did first-come first-served, but we chose to do a lottery system this year due to the complex nature of matching teams on a first-come first-served basis.

If I get selected to participate, do I have to confirm that I want to take part in the competition?

Yes, each team member must confirm their participation by midnight on January 29 or their spot will be given to someone on the wait list.

Deliverables and Competition Period 

What are the deliverables?

There will be 2 deliverables: One graphic deliverable and one written deliverable. Then students will participate in a Q&A session for judging.

How many times are you able to meet with your team's mentor?

2 times for an hour each. Mentors will be matched with teams randomly. We have mentors from all departments. Students should go to mentors with specific questions, not for help with ideas.

Competition Day 

What if I can’t come to Competition Day?

Only 2 team members are required to participate on Competition Day in the Q&A session. At least 1 team member must be present for the awards ceremony. We encourage as many to participate as possible, but we understand that there may be conflicts with class, work, etc.

How much time will be given to answer questions from the judges on Competition Day?

There will be 7 minutes of questions from the judges.

How many judges will there be?

There will be 3 judges. The judges will be Dornsife faculty members.

Will we be able to watch other teams?

Judging will be private. We’re going to have more teams this year, so it will be a longer day. The Practice Office may decide to record sessions so that they are publicly available, but we haven’t decided yet. There will be an awards ceremony on Competition Day, and everyone will be able to attend.

For More Information

Watch virtual information session

If you have additional questions please contact Jordan Wood at

Read about our first annual Public Health Student Case Competition, held in January 2020.

Winning students pose with giant check