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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 seven interdisciplinary teams of up to five students to create innovative solutions to address a real-life public health issue impacting Philly.

Over just one week, teams collaborate effectively and quickly before presenting their intervention to a panel of judges on competition day in front of a live audience.

DSPH held its first annual Public Health Case Competition on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Thank you to the students, faculty, staff, and others interested in public health who attended the competition as audience members.

And, of course, thank you to our eight teams of competitors for your thoughtful solutions and presentations!


  • $500 per member of the winning team
  • $200 per member of the runner-up team

How Does the Case Competition Work?

  • Teams are given one week to work to devise a practical solution for the case scenario.
  • During the work period, students meet with their assigned faculty mentor for one hour. The mentor will be randomly assigned to each team.
  • Students may consult literature or other media sources, but not faculty or other experts other than their assigned mentor.
  • All team members must present their case to a panel of expert judges. Judges will include faculty and public health practitioners from local community partner organizations familiar with the case scenario. Presentations will be open to the public and must be under 10 minutes, followed by a 5-minute Q&A.
  • Teams are expected to develop a proposal for a timely policy or programmatic intervention to mitigate the health issue within a realistic and specified spending limit. The most effective solution will take into consideration the economic, political, and social aspects facing Philadelphia in addition to the specifics of the particular health outcome and its contributing factors.
  • Teams are judged on the following qualities of the proposed strategy and/or presentation: Justification, Innovation, Organization of Intervention/Evaluation, Specific Philadelphia Context, and Effective Delivery.
  • All participants are required to attend the judging presentation in order to be eligible for prize money.

Important Dates

January 8, 2020: Registration opens

January 9, 2020: Information session

January 15, 2020: Registration closes

January 21, 2020: Teams are announced

January 23, 2020: Case opens

January 30, 2020: Judging presentations and ceremony

How to Register

  • DSPH students can register as a full team, partial team, or as an individual.
  • Please note that a maximum of eight teams can compete.
  • Each team must have at least two different Dornsife departments represented from Community Health and Prevention, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Health Management and Policy, or Undergraduate. For example, no team can consist of all Community Health and Prevention MPH students.
  • Eligible teams will be selected on a first-come first-serve basis. Team registration does not guarantee a spot in the competition. A wait list will be maintained for those teams that are not initially included.

Note that individual and team registration closed on January 15, 2020.

For More Information

If you have any questions please contact Caroline Voyles, Director of Student Placement and Partnership Development, at

The Office of Public Health Practice recorded a virtual information session that provides information about the competition.