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ASPPH Public Health Innovation Lab 

March 18 @ 5:00 pm March 22 @ 7:00 pm

What is the Public Health Innovation Lab?

Undergraduate and graduate students in the DC-metro area are invited to participate in ASPPH’s first Public Health Innovation Lab. In this team-based experience, students will learn how to apply innovation strategies, processes, and technology to develop solutions to pressing public health challenges of their choosing. This exclusive opportunity is limited to ten teams, who will compete for a $1,500 prize. 

Why Participate in the Innovation Lab?  

Participating in the Innovation Lab will provide teams with access to extensive training, as well as the opportunity to win great prizes! Teams will learn about human-centered design (HCD) from recognized experts and will have the opportunity to use HCD tools and strategies to develop a real-world solution to a public health challenge. Teams are encouraged, but not required, to develop a technology-based solution. 

In addition to expert training in HCD, the winning team will: 

  • Receive $1,500 ($500 per team member) 
  • Be highlighted in ASPPH’s social media and Friday Letter 

All team members will receive: 

  • A Certificate of Completion (an excellent addition to a career portfolio!) 
  • Access to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Skills Center in Arlington, VA 
  • Snacks and beverages during the in-person sessions

When and Where does the Innovation Lab Take Place? 

  • Virtual Orientation Session – March 4: Zoom 
  • In-Person Sprint – March 18-21: To be announced; located at a Metro-accessible location in either Washington, DC or Arlington, VA. 
  • In-Person Final Pitch – March 22: Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Richmond Hwy, Arlington, VA (co-located with the ASPPH Annual Meeting) 

*All registered participants will receive a letter of participation from ASPPH, including details about the learning experience, to provide to professors, should you need an excused absence for class. 

What happens in the Innovation Lab? 

All participating teams will attend a virtual orientation session on March 4, 2024, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET via Zoom. In this virtual session, you will: 

  • Receive a brief primer on the use of HCD in public health 
  • Receive an overview of the Innovation Lab schedule and approach 
  • Be guided through an activity to begin mapping and selecting the public health problem your team will address 
  • Have a chance to ask any questions about the Lab 

Next, teams will attend an in-person Sprint March 18-21. This will include in-person sessions each day, Monday to Thursday, from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET. During these sessions, teams will receive expert guidance in applying HCD to their identified problem and will work through facilitated activities to move from idea to solution.  Teams will need to complete some work outside of the sessions, at times that work best for their team, to finalize their solution and pitch. 

Finally, on March 22, from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET, teams will pitch their solutions to a panel of expert judges at the 2024 ASPPH Annual Meeting, in Arlington, Virginia. Pitches will be judged on criteria such as: 

  • Innovative idea/prototype 
  • Use of design thinking approach and strategies 
  • Introductory proof of market 
  • Introductory competitive advantage 
  • Response to questions from the judges 

Registered teams will receive additional information on the pitch and judging criteria closer to the event date. 

How Do I Sign Up? 

First, form a team of three graduate or undergraduate students. Innovation benefits from multiple, diverse perspectives, so each team should be comprised of students representing diverse disciplines or subjects (e.g. public health, nursing, medicine, law, business, engineering, communications, IT, gender studies, anthropology, sociology, economics, etc.) or diverse disciplines within public health (e.g. environmental health, policy, prevention and community health, etc.). Teams are encouraged, but not required, to include graduate and undergraduate students. 
Have your team and are ready to participate? Register by Friday, February 23.  

One person can register the entire team. You will need the following information for each team member:  

  • Name (first, last)  
  • Pronouns  
  • Email Address 
  • University  
  • Major 
  • Have you done any human-centered design work previously? (Y/N button) 
  • On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not at all knowledgeable and 5 being very knowledgeable), how knowledgeable are you about human-centered design (sometimes called design thinking)?  
  • Dietary allergies or restrictions  
  • Emergency contact (Name, Phone Number) 

Teams will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Have Questions? 
Contact Tracie Seward, Senior Director of Educational Pathways and Undergraduate Education, at students@aspph.org.