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2020 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition


What is the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition?

The NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition is a day-long event that allows graduate students in public policy and related fields to test their skills on real-world data. This year, using a turn-based, participatory simulation developed for the competition by the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming, student teams will take on cabinet-level positions of a virtual country. Participants enter policy decisions in the simulation software to see how their policies affect their citizens, their economy, and the migrants themselves.

As part of the competition, teams will be expected to put together a policy memo and presentation. Evaluations of student performance will be based on two factors: 1) Their team’s simulation scores, and 2) Observations by subject matter experts serving as judges at each host site.

What happens on the competition day?

The competition is an all day event. Teams will travel to their host site, where they will undertake three rounds of the simulation: twice in the morning, plus once after lunch. Each round will last approximately one hour.

After the three rounds, student teams will be given time to put together a policy memo and presentation. Experts in related fields will serve as judges.

The experts will evaluate the policy memos and the presentations. Following the presentations, a short debriefing will explain the logic and data behind the simulation. Winners will be announced at the end of the day.

What are competition teams and how do I form one?

Teams are made up of three to five students. In previous years, participants have been randomly assigned to teams at their site. This year, we are also offering schools the option of placing all their participants on the same team, creating a “School Team.”

The option to have participants randomly assigned is still available.

If your school cannot field five participants, you can opt to fill out your team with randomly-assigned participants from other schools.

Deans/Program Directors/PAA Advisors can nominate students and/or student teams. Nominators will provide the names of at least one and up to eight potential team members (five team members and three alternates). Nominators can decide whether these students will form a “School Team” or be randomly assigned. Alternates will be randomly assigned if all five team members register. Nominations for the 2020 competition will open later this year.

Each school can only nominate one team: five members and four alternates. Other interested students can apply as individuals.

Individual students may apply to compete. Self-registering students may apply in late 2019/early 2020.

What if I’ve been nominated?

Students who have been nominated by a Dean/Director/PAA Advisor to participate in the competition will be notified by a NASPAA Simulation Competition team member. If you intend to participate in the competition, you will need to register here. As a Dean/Director/PAA Advisor nominee, you be placed in the priority applicant pool. You will need to register by the deadline (TBA)