Public Policy Challenge

Congratulations to 2016 National Invitational winner Ballot Ready from the University of Chicago! Ready more about their winning idea here.

The Public Policy Challenge is an interdisciplinary competition that is open to policy-minded Penn students who have an interest in any issue area.

The Challenge is an unparalleled opportunity for students to experience, connect, and serve

Experience the policy process within a real world context.

The Challenge builds on an emerging area of concentration at Fels – the civic campaign – which describes the process of turning policy ideas into action. Students will begin to think of themselves as policy advocates and entrepreneurs. Guided by workshops and mentors, each team will choose a research-based policy proposal and will package it with an integrated campaign plan. 

Connect with colleagues across schools and disciplines.

University students and faculty from almost every field are able to affect public policy, but too few opportunities exist for policy work across disciplines. Genuine solutions to public challenges require leaders to draw upon a network of individuals and organizations with various types of specialized knowledge. The Challenge creates a forum for fostering interdisciplinary collaboration around common interests, broadening student networks, and strengthening ties across Penn.

Serve the community in which you live, focusing on significant regional issues.

To an increasing degree, metropolitan regions around the United States are finding it necessary to move beyond purely local interests. But traditional politics can create barriers to these efforts, as the scope of most decision-making bodies remains either too broad or too narrow for effective regional action. The Challenge requires student teams to identify ways in which local leaders can work together toward mutual benefit. Teams will tailor their plans to the specific needs of regional stakeholders, some of whom will serve as final judges. 

Questions? Email

View the 2016 Penn Finalists here!

The Public Policy Challenge News

Jen Gable (Fels '16 & Perelman '16) is co-author on a new report from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) PolicyLab that explores means of increasing adolescent HPV vaccination rates. Gable began working with CHOP PolicyLab through the Fels Public Leadership And Service (PLAS)...

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Championing a website to help voters navigate the dizzying array of local candidates on the ballot each election, University of Chicago Team “BallotReady” took home top prize at the 7th National Penn Public Policy Competition...

By Bill Rivers, MPA Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

[Note: This article is part of a capstone research...

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Championing a proposal for prison-issued ID for returning citizens, student members of the “Individual Dignity Project” clinched top prize at the 7th Annual Penn Public Policy Competition last weekend. Salomon Moreno-Rosa, Samantha Waxman and Sarai Williams walked away with a...