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Who can participate in this open call?

Anyone who cares about the UNC community, including (but not limited to) students, staff, faculty.  It doesn’t matter if you are in Eswatini or Carrboro, we need you. You can submit an idea as an individual, or work together in teams and submit an idea as a group. 


Who is organizing and supporting this open call?

This call is organized by an independent group of students, staff, and faculty at UNC (see team for details). We believe in the power of the Carolina community.


What methods are used in the open call?

We will use crowdsourcing methods co-created by UNC faculty and students (details here). The basic idea is that groups of people can work together to solve problems that individual experts cannot.


Where can I go to learn more about open calls and crowdsourcing methods?

If you are interested in open calls and crowdsourcing as a strategy for solving public health problems, please check out these useful resources:


How does this open call relate to re-opening?

This is the beginning of a dialogue and a campus-wide movement to ensure the health and well-being of the UNC community. The timing and details of re-opening are decided by the university. More details about the UNC Roadmap are available here.


What is the impact of COVID-19 on black, indigenous, and other people of color?

COVID-19 is more common among black, indigenous, and other people of color, reflecting racial/ethic disparities in health. A report from the non-partisan APM research lab here explains more here.


What if I don’t have an idea but still want to contribute?

The collective will need input and help from many folks. Email us if you are interested in learning more and pitching in: 


Who are the judges?

Judges will include UNC students, faculty, staff, and local community members. Any judge with a perceived or actual conflict of interest will recuse themselves. The names and affiliations of all judges will be publicly available once they are confirmed.


Will I retain my intellectual property?

Yes, you will retain all intellectual property that is submitted. However, be aware that the point of this open call is to create open-access tools, strategies, and messages.


Where do I submit?

You can learn more about how to submit your ideas here.


What is the deadline for participating in the open call?

All submissions must be received by 11:50 pm ET on Thursday, 16 July 2020.


Can I submit more than one idea?

YES! Please submit as many ideas as you wish.


Can I create a message related to contact tracing?

Yes! Contact tracing is an essential component of the COVID-19 public health response. Activities or engagement related to promoting contact tracing efforts is encouraged and would be responsive.


What are the prizes?

We will have prizes for individuals (based on merit), groups (based on merit), and participation (random 5% of all contributors). More details about prize amounts will be announced soon.

We will also have special prizes for teams that include students, staff, and faculty; people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19; those who are currently self-isolating because of COVID-19. Selected finalists may be also given an opportunity to take an elective course for credit in the fall to further develop their plan.


Are there any other ways to get involved in the re-opening process?

There are! The Carolina Collective encourages you to also check out an open call being run by Arts Everywhere, called Start Well, Stay Well, which is focused on creative arts-based proposals. Please note that the Start Well, Stay Well program is being run by a different group than the Carolina Collective open call and has its own separate deadlines, structure and submission process.


How do we know that good ideas will actually be implemented?

UNC is fortunate to have leadership who believe in the power of public health. In addition, our Steering Committee and Organizing Committee will strongly advocate for the implementation of exceptional ideas. We will do everything that we can to help ensure that great ideas are implemented.


How would implementation work for a project focused on social business?

We have discussed potential implementation mechanisms with UNC administrators, UNC leaders, and our Carolina Collective Steering Committee. For example, if a group created a mask design that they wished to sell, we would help to implement this idea and have the mask sold at student stores. Half of the revenues would go to a UNC fund and half would go to the team who submitted the idea.


What is the official UNC policy on wearing masks and the availability of COVID-19 testing?

Masks will definitely be an important part of new expectations for campus. General advice on this can be found on the Campus Roadmap and more specific details will be forthcoming as the Roadmap is updated. These and other policies will be decided by the university.


What is that data supporting wearing face masks to prevent COVID-19 transmission? 

Several systematic reviews suggest that facial masks can prevent COVID-19. Check out the effects of face masks from these two open access articles:


What are the recommendations regarding SARS-COV-2 testing for the re-opening of institutions of higher education (IHEs), like UNC?

Testing is one component of a comprehensive preventative strategy against COVID-19. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted interim considerations regarding SARS-COV-2 testing to help IHEs protect students, faculty, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19 during the re-opening process. Check more about the recommendations on this CDC webpage.