MIND Innovation Contest

Co-hosted by UCSF alum Reid Williams, Designer at IDEO and 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.  

Contest Details

During the design thinking workshop, participants are 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 they come up will be candidates for submission to the Innovation Contest.  Here are some additional design constraints that participants have to work within:

  • Seed funding of $1000
  • 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
  • Winners can expect some staff support from the MIND program team

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. 


Please email Terri ([email protected]) or the MIND Program ([email protected]) with any questions.