2021 Global Health Technology Challenge

Competition eligibility criteria:

  • Teams can be comprised of undergraduate students from any major.

  • Design must address a global health need using a technical approach.

  • Projects can emanate from coursework or other extracurricular activities.

  • Teams should incorporate the design constraints encountered in providing healthcare in resource-limited settings.

About the Competition:

The Rice 360° Institute for Global Health Eleventh Annual Undergraduate Global Health Technologies Design Competition will feature student teams from national and international universities who will present low-cost technologies they have designed to address global health challenges in resource-limited settings. The 2021 Competition will be held entirely virtually, with students, coaches, and mentors joining from locations around the world.




All semi-finalist teams will receive coaching from mentors in industry, medicine, and academia. Using insights from coaching sessions, teams will prepare videos no longer than 3 minutes to communicate their designs. Judges from across the globe will evaluate students’ videos to select three finalist teams, who will present their work on March 26, 2021 at the virtual competition finale.

December 16, 2020

Registration opens

February 12, 2021

Registration Closes

Entries will be judged on the quality of the problem definition, the effectiveness and potential impact of the design solution, and the likelihood that the design solution can be successful in improving healthcare delivery in a low-resource setting.

February 19, 2021

Semi-finalists notified & matched with coaches

March 10, 2021 at 12PM CST​ 

Deadline for Semi-finalist Video Submissions

March 20, 2021

Finalists Notified

March 26, 2021

Finalists present at Virtual Competition Finale

9:00 am - 10:30 am CST

Key Dates and Deliverables

December 16, 2020: Registration Opens

February 12, 2021: Registration Deadline

Registration form must include:

  • Problem Definition (50 words or less)

  • Abstract (300 words or less), must include:

    • Description of the design problem and assessment of need for solution

    • Design criteria and constraints

    • Description and status of your proposed solution along with successes, limitations, and future work.

      • If you choose, you may include one figure or table with caption.

*References and credits do not need to be included in abstract.

  • Project Video—“Elevator Pitch”

    • Create a video about the problem and your team’s general approach. It should not focus greatly upon your proposed or actual solution, its technical details, or include any proprietary information surrounding the project. You will upload this video in the registration form as an unlisted YouTube video.

February 19, 2021: Semi-finalist teams notified & matched with coaches

All teams selected as semi-finalists will be matched with a Design Coach, who represent experts from industry, medicine, and academia. Design Coaches will mentor teams in preparation for the semi-finalist video submissions.

March 8, 2021: Semi-finalist Video Submissions Due

Each team should submit a video no longer than 3 minutes by March 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. CST. Video content should include:

  1. What global health challenge motivates the technology?

  2. What is the global health need your technology addresses?

  3. Who will benefit? (Example: “Patients in low-resource hospitals where suction pumps are needed but there is no electricity.”)

  4. How will the technology fit/fill the need? (Example: “The suction pump avoids the need for electricity as it is solar powered.”)

  5. What is your proposed solution?  Please specify any results/findings if you have had a chance to test the technology. (Example: “We have tested the suction pump measuring the vacuum it generates using a vacuum gauge” or “we have compared the suction pump to an existing suction pump at the hospital”, or “we plan to do a pressure test”…)

  6. What are your successes, limitations and future plans?

March 19, 2021: Finalists Notified

Using the design evaluation rubric, Judges will select three finalist teams to present at the Virtual Competition Finale.

March 26, 2021: Finalists present at Virtual Competition Finale

At the Virtual Competition Finale, three finalist teams will share their designs with live questions from attendees. Following the Keynote Address, awards will be presented to finalist teams based on judges’ evaluations.

Past Competitions

Competition Videos

Semi-finalist Video

Submission Guidelines:

  • Each team video should be no longer than 3 minutes. Videos exceeding this duration will not be considered.

  • Each team video must be submitted to:    Emily Mitaro (ecm2@rice.edu) as a public or unlisted YouTube link. Please note that private YouTube videos will NOT be accepted due to software integration issues.

  • Each team video must include a minimum of one team representative. Please note that all of your team members are welcome but do not need to be included in your video.

  • The purpose of this design competition is to evaluate your global health innovations, NOT your video editing skills. We encourage you to consider your video submission as a virtual presentation—consider providing a demonstration of your prototype (if applicable), connecting with your audience, etc. as you would during a live presentation.

Evaluations of designs

Semi-finalist and finalist video presentations will be evaluated by design judges using this evaluation rubric.

We encourage all teams to consider this evaluation rubric when preparing your design videos.


Please contact:

Dr. Ashley Taylor



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Rice360 Institute of Global Health Technologies
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