MIND Innovation Contest


Introducing the 2017 MIND Innovation Contest


Co-hosted by UCSF alum Reid Williams, Designer at IDEO in San Francisco & Terri O’Brien, Associate Chancellor & MIND co-PI


In UCSF’s BEST grant application, we proposed an annual “Culture Innovation Contest”.  Our goal was for MIND trainees to propose novel methods of changing the culture at UCSF through trainee-designed and implemented events, resources, or other projects.  


2017 Contest Details

During the design thinking workshop on Saturday, you will be asked to consider, “how might we change the culture at UCSF so that students and postdocs can more openly and effectively pursue the career trajectory of their choice?”  The prototype solutions you come up will be candidates for submission to the Innovation Contest.  Here are some additional design constraints that you will have to work within:

·       Seed funding of $1000

·       You will have 3 weeks to develop prototypes

·       Prototypes have to be submitted electronically

·       Prototypes must target both PhD students and postdocs

·       Winners must implement their proposal within one year (by June 2018)

·       You can expect some staff support from the MIND program team and/or OCPD


Some examples of solutions to the design challenge could include:

  • Town hall style meeting for trainees and faculty to talk about career concerns and get suggestions for how PIs can help them

  • Post career outcomes on an social network platform to enable communication around where career interests are; potentially transferable to lab website or otherwise sorted/searchable by lab


Participation in the Innovation Contest is optional, but we hope you’ll be inspired to work with fellow MIND colleagues on a submission or even multiple submissions.


Here’s the timeline for the 2017 contest:

  • June 3 – “Design Science” workshop and contest launch

  • Concepts from the workshop can be refined

    • New ideas can be developed

  • June 26 - Prototypes due (3 weeks)

  • July 3 – Winners announced

    • Implementation can start right away or in September 2017 (start of the academic year)



We’ll have time to discuss the workshop and answer questions on Saturday.  Afterward, you can email Terri (Theresa.OBrien@ucsf.edu) or Gabi (Gabriela.Monsalve@ucsf.edu) with any questions.