UPDATE: The USM COVID Research & Innovation Task Force announced the six winning teams for the USM Public Health Challenge on February 11, 2021. Click here to read the full press release announcing the winners.
The University System of Maryland (USM) COVID Research and Innovation Task Force is bringing together people, expertise, and resources from our 12 USM universities to rapidly advance solutions to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the generous support of our sponsors—the Maryland Marketing Partnership (MMP); BioHealth Innovation (BHI); the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore (EAGB); the USM Foundation (USMF); Connected DMV; Baltimore Metropolitan Council; and the Maryland Technology Council (MTC)—the Task Force invites members of the USM community to take part in a multimedia, Public Health Challenge seeking creative submissions that highlight ways for USM students, members of the broader university community, and all Marylanders to stay safe and healthy.
Recent news highlighting positive results from large COVID-19 vaccine trials offers real hope for overcoming the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are still months to go before a vaccine will be widely available to the public, and there remains an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide. It is critical that people and communities avoid “pandemic fatigue” and recommit themselves to sound public health practices.
We are seeking engaging and effective public health messaging that promotes continued vigilance and compliance with public health guidelines, while encouraging people to get vaccinated once they are able to do so. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni from USM institutions. Individuals and teams may apply. Submissions will be accepted in two categories:
The top three entries in each category will receive $3,000. Additionally, winning submission may be used by the sponsoring organizations, the partners, or the USM in a future public heath campaign. To apply:
Submissions will only be accepted via the USM COVID Task Force Web portal. No entries may be posted with public access; any entry posted with public access will be ineligible for the competition. Entries must be submitted no later than 9:00 a.m., Monday, January 25, 2021. Winners will be announced February 8, 2021. A collection of USM faculty, representatives of supporting sponsors and/or partners, and key members of the business community will review application and select winners.
Prizes will be awarded to the submissions that most effectively:
Questions can be referred to COVIDSolutions@usmd.edu.
Before proceeding to the Entry Form, please read the Additional Rules and Requirement and Additional Terms and Conditions.