Doing Good with Good OR - Application Process


SUBMISSION DATE - May 15, 2024  (11:59pm pacific) 

Submit an application (including a reference letter by Academic Advisor and a nomination letter by partner organization involved in the project), a 600 character abstract describing the achievement of the research, and a 3 page summary of achievements focusing on the societal impact and the centrality of operations research tools used in the research via the online link.

By end of June, 2024 – Finalists to be announced

By September 3, 2024 - Finalists must submit a full paper, describing the project and its outcomes

October 20 - 23, 2024 - INFORMS Annual Meeting, Finalist presentations (up to 4 presenters per session, no more than 6 finalists)

October 20 - 23, 2024 - INFORMS Annual Meeting, First prize announcement (the winner will be chosen after the presentations)

INFORMS is again sponsoring a competition to encourage student research and practice that has societal impact. The "Doing Good with Good OR Student Competition" will feature the most exciting work performed by students in partnership with public and private organizations that yields tangible and beneficial outcomes for individuals, communities, and organizations. Such work will be infused with OR/MS methods and could appeal to multiple disciplinary and application-area interests.

Submission Process

  • A nomination letter by an academic advisor and a nomination letter by a partner organization describing the societal impact of the work and the portion of the work (including the project duration) solely completed by the student entrant(s) during the time they were enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program (undergraduate or graduate).
  • Up to three-page summary document (excludes references/citations) that describes what the entrants accomplished (focusing on the societal impact and the centrality of the operations research and management science tools used).
  • 600 character abstract of the achievement
  • Submissions should be uploaded online. Click here to submit.
  • Finalists (announced by July 8, 2024) must submit no later than September 3, 2024 a full paper (a maximum of 30 pages, double spaced, 12 point font) describing the project and its outcomes.
  • Entrants will be expected to report on a project done in partnership with an organization that can certify that the results of the project have had, or are likely to have, a significant societal impact.
  • Any work with positive societal impact that has been completed within the last 3 years (class project, thesis research, independent study, internship, voluntary work) is eligible unless it has already received an INFORMS award.

Qualifications of Entrants

  • Main contributor(s) must be a full-time student(s) (undergraduate or graduate) in a degree-granting program during the period in which the study was performed
  • Partner organization may be non-profit organization, government, or a for-profit company (a project for a for-profit firm must take care to demonstrate social significance beyond increased revenues or reduced costs)
  • Other contributors may include:
    • Members of the partner organization
    • Faculty advisor(s)
    • Note: The nomination letter should clearly state the percentage of the work that is attributed to the student(s)
  • The project submitted must not have won a prize nor been a finalist in a previous Doing Good with Good OR student competition.
  • Study should be completed within the last 3 years.
  • No student entrants will be allowed to be a contributor on more than one project

Judging Criteria

Entrants will be expected to report on a completed, practical application and must describe results that had significant, verifiable and preferably quantifiable societal impact. Societal impact should be construed to mean an impact on individuals, communities and organizations that goes beyond that associated with a private-sector for-profit initiative. The criteria used in judging the entries include the following:

  1. Implementation. Is the work implemented and in use?
  2. Impact/Value. What are the major quantified (e.g., lives saved, increased number of people with access to clean water, improved literacy rates) and non-quantified (e.g., process streamlined, delivery systems improved) impacts of the work? How important was the work to the partner organization and/or society?
  3. Technical Solution. Is there a technical innovation in the project? Innovation may stem from the creation of new methods as well as the application of existing methods to new problems or new environments
  4. Difficulty. What political, technical, and social challenges had to be overcome in completing the project?
  5. Transportability. Is this work portable to other applications?

Meeting criteria 1 and 2 above is essential; the work must have been implemented and resulted in significant benefit. Criteria 3 to 5 are important but finalists need not necessarily be strong in all categories. The competition is open to students enrolled full-time in degree-granting programs.


  • Finalists will be encouraged to consider submitting their paper or extended abstract for peer review to an appropriate INFORMS journal.
  • An OR/MS Today article will feature the finalist.
  • Finalists will present their work at INFORMS Annual Meeting during special sessions.
  • The winner will be announced after the presentations at the INFORMS Annual Meeting and will receive an award.
  • There will be a cash award for the winner as well as the finalists.
  • If all submissions are judged by the selection committee to be of insufficient quality to select finalists, the selection committee may declare that the competition is deserted for the current round.

2024 Committee Co-Chairs:

Amir Karimi
University of Texas at San Antonio

John Harris

Have questions?  Please email:  [email protected]