Email Print Share

EHR/Covid-19 Challenge


Covid-19 Challenge


Home How to Enter Judging Eligibility/Rules FAQs Timeline Resources


How to Enter

Applicants can access the submission portal by CLICKING HERE during the submission open window.

Submissions will be accepted beginning October 14, 2021. The deadline for submissions has been extended to 11:59 PM EST January 30, 2022.

Who Can Submit on behalf of the IHE?

Submissions must be made by an institution-wide administrator. For the purpose of this challenge, institution-wide administrators are defined as the Chief Executive Officer or Chief Academic Officer.

For systems of higher education: Each campus that is part of a system of higher education may be considered a separate institution for purposes of submission to this challenge, if the campus is geographically separate from the other campus(es), and if the campus has its own chief academic officer.  Alternatively, a system may submit to the challenge as one entity if the submission describes system-wide actions that will be taken by the whole system (IHEs in the system will not be eligible to submit to the same challenge category). IHEs should coordinate their efforts within the institution to assure that only one (1) entry per category is submitted (and across the system if applicable).

Submissions from individuals, or groups of individuals, will not be accepted because we are seeking entries describing institutional action(s) to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Impacted individuals should be consulted and should contribute to the development of any institutional systemic action. A statement acknowledging the individuals or groups that contributed to the idea(s) should be included in an acknowledgement section on the cover page.

Challenge Submission Content

This challenge is seeking institutional actions that will address systemic issues that have been exacerbated or revealed by the pandemic. Submissions must describe institutional action(s) taken to ensure DEI in STEM for the long-term. Institutional actions are those that result in changed policies, practices, or procedures. For example, policies related to standardized test scores and financial aid calculations for undergraduate or graduate admissions may be changed across the institution to address the pandemic's impact on graduate student admissions over the next five to 10 years.

The submission must focus on institutional action(s) taken for the targeted group described in the challenge category to which the entry is submitted: 1. STEM undergraduate students at two-year IHEs (including community and technical colleges); 2. STEM undergraduate students at four-year IHEs; 3. STEM graduate students and postdoctoral researchers; or 4. STEM faculty. An IHE is welcome to submit different entries to each of the challenge categories for which the IHE is eligible. A single submission should not address more than one of these categories, but may address the transitions into and from that category (i.e. high school to college, postdoctoral researcher to faculty, etc.). Each submission is expected to include all the actions that have been, or will be, implemented at the institution, therefore multiple submissions within one category are not permitted.

A submission may describe actions that are institution-wide and/or actions that are not institution-wide, such as actions taken by a college or a single academic unit (department or office) within the institution. Actions taken within one classroom or research laboratory are not included in this challenge because we are seeking institutional actions that result in systemic change. Although laudable and encouraged, actions undertaken by individual students, faculty, staff, or administrators should not be submitted to this challenge as these are not institutional actions.

STEM includes all the sciences and engineering fields supported by the NSF including the social, behavioral, STEM education research, and economic sciences.

Submission Sections: Submissions must include sections A, B, and C described below, noting the page limits. An image can be included but is optional (section D).

A. Cover Page (1-page)

  • The name of the IHE submitting the entry, the full name, title, and contact info for the administrator(s) submitting the entry, and the email and phone number for a secondary point of contact that can answer questions about the submission.
  • Brief introduction to the institution with contextual information on the population(s) of focus in the challenge submission. Links to additional institutional information may be included.
  • Acknowledgement statement listing the individuals or groups that contributed to the development of the actions.

B. Narrative (3-pages)

  • Description of the anticipated long-term impact(s) of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diversity, equity, and inclusion of STEM [undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, or faculty] at the IHE. Explain why these impacts are potentially significant to DEI in STEM and need to be addressed. Cite the evidence used to identify these long-term issues for DEI in STEM at the IHE. Evidence sources might include internal policy and data reviews, focus groups, surveys, etc. and external sources such as the DEI research literature, COVID reports, etc.
  • Description of the evidence-informed, institutional action(s) that the IHE has, or will, implement to address the anticipated long-term negative impacts of the pandemic on the diversity, equity, and inclusion of STEM [undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, or faculty]. Be sure to accurately cite the sources of the ideas for the actions that have been or will be implemented. Include enough information so that others would be able to replicate and adapt the work (links to websites with more information is acceptable but the website content will not be reviewed for judging purposes).
    • Be clear if the action(s) have been implemented or will be implemented.
    • Describe how long the IHE will continue the action(s) and the reach of the changes within the institution (STEM programs or whole institution for example).
    • Include information about the institutional resources, such as staff time and effort, needed to implement the action(s).
    • Clearly outline the expected outcome(s) of the institutional action(s) (how will the institutional actions ensure DEI in STEM despite the pandemic).
    • Describe plans for evaluating or monitoring the effectiveness of the action(s) over time and/or to identify any unexpected long-term impacts from the pandemic on DEI in STEM.

C. References cited in the narrative section B (1-page) References are not required if there are no citations in the submission. The one page for references cannot be used to provide other information to support the submission.

D. (Optional) One high-resolution graphic image or picture that illustrates the DEI problem(s), actions implemented, or other image representative of the submission.

  • Images or pictures may be black and white or color and must fit on one standard page (8.5"x11") when printed.
  • If an image or picture is included, the submission must also include a completed and signed NSF image release form with the option for "NSF and External Use" selected on the first page of the form.

Page Format: Single-spaced, 0.5 inch margins, and minimum font size 11.

Electronic format: The cover page, narrative, and references should be combined into one file in Adobe PDF format. The image or picture should be saved as a high resolution (300 DPI not to exceed 50 MB) .png, .tiff, .jpeg, or .pdf file (no videos accepted). The completed and signed NSF image release form should be saved as an Adobe PDF format.

Submission Portal: In the submission portal, all fields on the submission page should be completed following the directions below.

  1. Title field: Enter a title for your submission using the following naming convention: "Category Code: Title of Submission"

Category Codes:

  • Category 1 (2-Year Undergraduates at IHEs): "2YUG"
  • Category 2 (4-year Undergraduates at IHEs): "4YUG"
  • Category 3 (Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers): "GSPD"
  • Category 4 (Faculty): "FAC"

Example 1: If the submission is for the Graduate and Postdoctoral category and your submission title is "Moving Forward Together," enter the Title as GSPD: Moving Forward Together

Example 2: If the submission is for the 2-year Undergraduate category and your submission title is "Full-STEAM Ahead," enter the Title as 2YUG: Full-STEAM Ahead

  1. Brief Description field: Enter a description of your entry. [500 Character Limit]
  1. Description field: Enter "see uploaded files."
  1. Upload files: Upload all required elements as a single PDF file. Required Elements (RE) include: cover page, narrative, and references. See descriptions in A, B, and C above. If the submission includes an image or picture (item D above), then upload the high-resolution image file (.png, .tiff, .jpeg, or.pdf) and the completed and signed NSF image release form as an Adobe PDF file.

Files should be named as follows with hyphens but no spaces:

  • Required Elements: RE-Category Code-[file name]
  • Image File: Image-Category Code-[file name]
  • Image release form: Form-Category Code-[file name]
  1. Rules, Terms & Conditions: Check the box indicating that you have read the rules, terms and conditions of the challenge
  1. Click the "Review and Submit" button at the bottom of the page
  1. Click the "Submit" button once reviewed to complete the entry.


  • IHEs can submit entries in more than one category, however, only one entry per category will be accepted. If submitting to more than one category, please submit two separate entries noting each category in the Title field as described above.
  • At any point the IHE's representative can click "Save Draft" to save and complete the submission at a later time.
  • The IHE representative will receive an automated email confirming submission of the entry.
  • Submissions can be edited in the submission portal at any point prior to the January 30, 2022, submission deadline.