Undergraduate Public Policy Competition


2017 Public Policy Competition Winners:

  1. Malvika Govil and Rebecca Lopez
  2. Anjali Bhatla and Cyrus Ghaznavi
  3. Hannah Todd

2017 Finalists:

  • Policy Initiatives Targeting Maternal Morbidity and Death by Snigdha Banda, Eshaan Patel, Davind Yang 
  • Values as a Key Consideration in the Effort to Reduce Drug Prices in the U.S. by Charis Wang 
  • Better Care for Children With Medical Complexity by Hannah Todd
  • Policy Proposal to Incentivize the Development and Adoption of Diagnostic Tools to Combat Antibiotic Resistance by Megan McCurry, David Cirillo, Aparna Narendrula 
  • Expanding Opportunities for Primary Care Access and Practice in Medically Underserved Areas of Texas by Malvika Govil, Rebecca Lopez 
  • A Policy Prescription for Treating High Pharmaceutical Costs by Cyrus Ghaznavi, Anjali Bhatla 


In fall 2013, the Baker Institute Student Forum hosted its inaugural undergraduate public policy conference. This annual competition allows undergraduates to present their policy solutions for the nation’s pressing issues and interact with policy experts and representatives from the corporate, medical, academic, nonprofit and government spheres.

This year's conference addresses health policy. Rice undergraduate students are invited to submit a policy proposal on how to best address existing problems or new opportunities in the health sector. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with professionals from the Houston health policy field. Six to 10 finalists will be selected to present their policy papers at the Baker Institute to a panel of experts on April 8, 2017. The top three presenters will receive cash prizes and publication of their papers in The Rice Cultivator, the university’s undergraduate public policy journal published through the Baker Institute.

The submission deadline for the 2017 Public Policy Competition is January 27, 2017. Submit your policy proposal on how to best address existing problems or new opportunities in the health sector, and you could be one of six to 10 finalists selected to present their policy papers to a panel of experts at the Baker Institute.

Submission Requirements

  • This competition is open to all full- or part-time students currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program at Rice University.
  • Submissions must be between 3,000 and 6,000 words.
  • All competition submissions should be sent to bisf@rice.edu. Please include your paper as both a Word document and a PDF, if possible. Additionally, please list the names and contact information of all team members.

Key Dates

  • Submission Deadline: February 5, 2017
  • Notification of Finalists: March 3, 2017
  • Competition: April 7-8, 2017


Either individually or in groups of up to three, submit a 3,000- to 6,000-word proposal on how to best address existing problems or new opportunities in the health policy field. Proposals must include an abstract and a cover page (please print the names of the authors on this page only). Text must be Times New Roman, 12-point font and double-spaced. Papers will be accepted through January 27, 2017.

Non-committal interest form: https://goo.gl/forms/4lWY67ZP5hPPp4Zo1


Click here for the official 2017 Policy Competition rulebook

Click here for the official 2017 Policy Competition flyer