Global Health Technologies

Design Competition

The Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies 14th Annual Undergraduate Global Health Technologies Design Competition will feature national and international student teams presenting low-cost technologies designed to address global health challenges in resource-limited settings. The 2024 Competition will be hosted on April 12, 2024, on the Rice University Campus in Houston, Texas, with virtual participation options also available to student teams. 

All teams selected as semi-finalists will have the option to receive coaching from mentors in global health. Using insights from coaching, teams will prepare oral presentations (<6 minutes), which will be presented live at the competition finale on April 12 to a panel of judges from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including medicine, engineering, and public health. Judges will select awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, along with an award honoring the design that best considers diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the design process.  

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.

Award Information

Rice360 is thrilled to offer cash prizes for top competitors at the competition.  Judges will select award winners based on the evaluation rubric here. 

The 2024 competition awards include: 1st Place: $5,000, 2nd Place: $3,000, 3rd Place: $2,000, Crystal Sea Award: $1,000, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award: $1,000, People’s Choice Award: $500

Crystal Sea Award: $1,000

The Crystal Sea Award ($1000) honors student innovators who leverage innovation to address an unmet health need. The Award aims to incentivize and celebrate student-led innovation that improves global health equity. The 2024 Crystal Sea Award will go to a team whose design best expands innovation in materials sciences or digital innovation. The Crystal Sea Award honors Dr. Li's grandfather, Haiqing Du, a materials science professor in Hunan University in China. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award: $1000

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award ($1000) honors student innovators who thoughtfully consider diversity, equity, and inclusion issues throughout the design process. The Award aims to elevate and celebrate student-led innovation that advances equity by designing global health technologies that address unmet health needs, particularly for marginalized populations.

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. 

How to Apply 

The application form includes the following three requirements:​

  1. Problem Definition  -  50 words or less
  2. Abstract  - ​300 words or less and must include:
    1. Description of the design problem and assessment of the need for the solution
    2. Design criteria and constraints
    3. Description and status of your proposed solution, along with successes, limitations, and future work
    4. You may include one figure or table with a caption (not required)
  3. Project Video - Each team should submit a video about the problem your team aims to solve and your team’s general approach

Please kindly note that team videos should not include any proprietary information surrounding the project. Teams will upload this video as an unlisted YouTube video in the application form.

Video content should answer the following:

  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?

Evaluations of applications

Applications will be evaluated by design judges using this evaluation rubric. We encourage all teams to consider this evaluation rubric when preparing their applications.

Design Competition Rubric


Please contact:
Michelle Nodskov