2019 NYU Policy Case Competition

Feb 28, 2019, 11:59 pm11:59 pm


Event Description

Students from colleges and universities around the world are invited to think critically and innovate by researching, designing and presenting policy proposals on today’s most pressing issues.

Hosted annually by the New York University Politics Society since 2014, the Policy Case Competition is a conference where students of all experience levels are given the opportunity to propose policy solutions in response to the largest and most critical current issues. In the past, teams have won a cash prize and a paid trip to Washington, D.C. 

You can find important information regarding the rules and timeline of this year's Competition below. Please review them carefully and refer back to the outline below in case of any future questions. For any clarifications, concerns, or further questions, please contact [email protected].

Register for the 2019 Policy Case Competition now!



Teams and Topics

Teams of three (3) to four (4) students will compete in this three-round competition. Registration for the competition is free for students.

Students can register individually, with a partial team of two members, or with a full team (of three to four members). Individual applicants and partial teams will be combined with other individuals or partial teams to form a full team of three to four. These teams are assigned by our committee, based on competitors' common interests and geographic location. If you have concerns regarding this process or specific requests, please contact our team at [email protected]. Teams applying with at least three members will not be assigned additional members without the team's express written consent.

During registration, teams will pick their first, second, and third choices from this year's policy topics, found here. Competitors will be notified of their final topic after registration closes. Background papers providing a broad issue summary are provided for all topics.


Round 1: Policy Memo

Each team must submit a written policy memo outlining their key issues and propositions. Proposals cannot be longer than two pages, not including citations. More details, including deadline and submission instructions, will be provided to competitors via email and during the Policy Memo Writing workshop.

The submitted policy memos are graded by our committee. After grading, six teams from each of the five topics (thirty teams total) will be selected to participate in Round 2

Rounds 2 and 3 will occur on April 27th and 28th, respectively, at New York University.


Round 2: Policy Presentations

Each team must submit their presentation deck and an Executive Summary before the Competition weekend. The Executive Summary should be one to two pages long and outline the team's key assumptions and arguments. Judges will receive a copy of each team's Executive Summary and presentation deck prior to presentation.

Every team will have fifteen (15) minutes (the time allotted is subject to change) for their presentation, followed by five minutes for questions from the judges.

One team from each topic (five teams total) will be chosen according to the judges' scores to move into the third and final round of presentations.


Round 3: Final Presentations

The final round of presentations will follow the same format as the second round, but will be on stage in front of a general audience.

In the past, winners have received a cash prize and a paid trip to Washington, D.C.


For Non-NYU students

The Policy Case Competition is not responsible for travel or housing costs incurred by competitors, and non-NYU teams should work with their own university to secure conference funding. A limited amount of travel and housing scholarships may be available for special cases. Please contact the committee at [email protected] for more information.



There will be at least two workshops for competitors leading up to the Competition, one covering policy memo writing, and one covering presentation skills. The dates, times, and locations of these workshops will be distributed to teams after registration. 

Attendance at workshops is mandatory for NYU teams, who must have a minimum of one member in attendance, unless otherwise arranged with the organizing committee. Please let us know in advance if you have any scheduling conflicts. Non-NYU teams will be emailed a recording of the workshop, along with the accompanying slides, although they are highly encouraged to attend the workshops if possible. Please let us know at least 72 hours in advance if you are a non-NYU student planning to attend, so we can submit your information to our security office.



Competition Timeline

Registration Opens: January 31st

Registration Closes: February 28th @ 11:59 PM Eastern Time

Memo Workshop: Week of March 11th

(Round 1) Memos due: March 27th

Round 2 teams notified: April 1st

Presentation Workshop: Week of April 15th

(Round 2/3) Competition Weekend: April 27th/28th


PLEASE NOTE: Photographs and recordings taken at Department of African American Studies events by anyone authorized by Princeton University may be used in publications, both electronic and print, at the discretion of the University and the Department of African American Studies.

Any individual, including visitors to campus, who requires accommodation should contact Dionne Worthy ([email protected]) at least one week in advance of the event.