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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 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!

Held annually each February, the competition brings together up to ten interdisciplinary teams 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.

The 2024 case competition day was held virtually on Wednesday, February 21. The theme was the intersection between public health and housing

Prizes

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

thumbnail images of seven infographics about housing rights in Philadelphia

During our fifth annual competition in 2024, seven teams were tasked with creating a "Know-Your-Rights" flyer to inform Philadelphians about their rights concerning housing and health justice, focusing on either poor housing quality or eviction protections.

Teams designed their flyers to provide resources and answer housing questions for community members.

Read all about the 2024 competition and see each team's flyer.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Case Competition

Registration

How do I register?

Registration will open in January '25. Students interested in the next case competition should look for an announcement about open registration. 

Can online students participate?

Yes! The competition is open to on-campus and online students.

What should I do if I have one or two people for my team but not a full team of 4 or 5?

You can register as a partial team.

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

Yes. Teams are created 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. The lottery system is due to the complex nature of matching teams.

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 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. Each team has 10 minutes to present followed by a short Q&A from the judges.

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 and 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. There will be a virtual awards ceremony on Competition Day, and everyone will be able to attend.

If you have additional questions please watch the 2024 info session video or contact lead event organizer Tariem Burroughs.

Dornsife's Public Health Case Competition was developed by the Center for Public Health Practice and is coordinated by the Office of Education.


Read about our first annual Public Health Student Case Competition in 2020. Teams were asked to find solutions to mitigate the potential negative public health impacts of the 2019 Hahnemann Hospital closure in Philadelphia.

In the second annual Public Health Student Case Competition in 2021, teams addressed COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and created an outreach plan for a targeted community in Philadelphia.

The third annual Public Health Student Case Competition in 2022 addressed the topic of protecting vulnerable populations from extreme heat events.

The fourth annual Public Health Student Case Competition in 2023 addressed the topic food insecurity and food injustice in Philadelphia.

Winning students pose with giant check