Michigan’s new program, Innovation in Action, is a five-month competition facilitated by SPH faculty and staff that aims to give graduate students from any and all disciplines at UM the opportunity and the entrepreneurial skills to innovate solutions to current issues in Public Health.
Interested students will form teams in the fall based on common interests and complementary experience, and throughout the academic year these teams will attend a series of intensive workshops and training sessions to help them develop their project ideas as well as their presentation skills, all of which will culminate in the competition finals in the spring. At the finals, teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges who will first narrow the group down to the top five teams, and then will decide on the competition winners after these top teams make a second pitch in front of a public audience.
Teams are to be judged on many different criteria that take into account how well the project defines and addresses a particular public health problem, how feasible and sustainable the project is, and of course the potential scope of impact the project has on the identified problem. Presentation quality and level of innovation are also considered in the judging.
First, second, and third place teams along with the team that wins the “Audience Choice” title will receive cash awards of $10,000, $7,500, $5,000, and $1,000 respectively to help them get their projects off the ground.