The Public Policy Challenge

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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. 

Applications due October 21 - Apply Now!

Questions? Email

The Public Policy Challenge - Watch the Video! 

The Public Policy Challenge News

As a former City Council Fellow, Meghan O’Connor (Fels ’16) has a strong grasp of the complex policy issues facing the City of Brotherly Love. But this past summer, she wanted to deepen that expertise with an experience in policy work at the federal level.

“I found out we had a Fels alum...

When Pennsylvania’s leading health care coverage coalition met in Harrisburg last week to explore the post-ACA landscape, they could count one passionate and dedicated Felsian among their ranks.

Jen Gable (Fels ’16) attended the Pennsylvania Health Access Network’s (PHAN) annual...

José Luis Castro (Fels ’90) has been named chairperson of the Steering Group of the Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance, an international non-governmental organization that seeks to combat the spread of non-communicable diseases through global policy solutions. Mr. Castro will serve as chair...

PPC Grant Manager Dylan Hewitt caught up with Nicole La Tournous and Brianna Robers for their take on the Penn Public Policy Challenge and what advice they have for participants this year:

Dylan Hewitt: How did...