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Health Policy Brief Writing Contest

3rd Annual Health Policy Brief Writing Contest

[download guidelines and submission form]

Do you have policy-writing chops? It is a valuable skill if you want your research to have a bigger impact or pursue policy work.

Submit a policy brief for a cash prize of $1,000 and bragging rights! 1st place receives the Aaron B. Katz Award for Excellence in Health Policy Writing!

What is a policy brief? A policy brief presents a concise summary of information that can help non-expert readers understand, and perhaps make decisions about, public policy issues. Policy briefs may give objective summaries of relevant research, suggest possible policy options, or go even further and argue for particular courses of action.
Why are policy briefs important? Succinct evidence-based information helps policymakers decide what to do. A policymaker is someone making or influencing policy, such as an elected official or agency director. Policy briefs are important for researchers; making research findings easily digestible increases the likelihood of research being read and acted upon by policymakers. The Center for Health Innovation & Policy Science (CHIPS) in the Department of Health Services in the UW School of Public Health helps students and faculty produce high-quality policy briefs that translate research into policy action.
What are we looking for? We are looking for a succinctly written policy brief on a health-related topic (broadly defined). The winning submission will incorporate high-quality writing and visual communication appropriate for policymakers, as defined above.

Submissions can be based on a class assignment but will be scored based on the evaluation rubric below. You can also team up on a submission, but you have to share the prize money if you win!

The winner(s) will be recognized virtually at the School of Public Health's Awards of Excellence in late spring quarter. The winner receives $1,000 and the Aaron B. Katz Award for Excellence in Health Policy Writing. An additional award of up to $500 may be made if the quality of submissions warrant. The award-winner(s) and their brief will be featured on the CHIPS website. You (all) will also have bragging rights for having won the third annual Health Policy Brief Writing Contest!

Deadline: March 29, 2021 at 5:00pm

Submit your submission with the completed form to with ”2021 CHIPS Health Policy Brief Writing Contest” in the subject line. And if you're submitting as part of a group, please cc all group members in that email.


  • Submissions may come from an individual or group. Individuals must be affiliated with the Department of Health Services (enrolled in a Health Services degree or certificate program or in Health Services-offered classes within the past 12 months). Group submissions require that at least one person meet this criterion.
  • Policy brief submissions should be fewer than 1500 words and no more than four pages, submitted as a PDF. The submission form should be submitted as a separate Word document.
  • References should be submitted in the same PDF as the brief but as a separate reference addendum up to one page in length.
  • Target audience information (policymaker type and geographic scope or jurisdiction) must be included on the submission form.
  • Author(s) must allow non-exclusive rights for publishing on the CHIPS website and other CHIPS media.
  • Any questions should be sent to

Past Winners and Their Submissions

2019-2020 Guidelines and Submission Form

Winning Announcement

Projects Carolyn A. Fan (1st place)

Projects Madeline Frost (2nd place)

2018-2019 Guidelines and Submission Form

Winning Announcement

Projects Left to right: Khanh Nguyen Le (2nd place), Michelle Garrison, and Kim Serry (1st place)

Health Policy Brief Writing Workshops

Periodically, CHIPS holds policy writing workshops to share how to write effective policy briefs. In these workshops, attendees will learn persuasive communication, how they apply to policy briefs, what policy briefs are, and how to take research into the policy space.

2019-2020 Workshop