2023 Potomac ACM Policy Challenge


The Potomac ACM Policy Challenge encourages talented students who value a peaceful future, collaboration, and intellectual experience to conduct research on technology policy outside of the classroom. We believe young students can influence their community by increasing engagement, knowledge, and awareness about technology policy and forming a public consensus. Public awareness, comprehension, and participation can help shape tomorrow’s technology policy.

The Challenge, organized by the Potomac Association for Computing Machinery Chapter, is a forum for students free to apply, showcase their research, exchange ideas, and improve their communication skills while competing for awards. Our candidates will use their knowledge and skills to advance the profession and make a positive impact.


September 8, 2023 – End of Day, Anywhere on Earth (AoE), UTC -12


Before the submission deadline, a candidate must have accrued the following:

  1. A sustained level of contribution to activities in technology policy over time, with a clear impact within their community.
  2. An original research manuscript in technology policy under a research advisor.
  3. Enrolling in a college-level course, including college-level classes in high school: the A-Levels, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

The Challenge is open to students from any country. Candidates must be twenty-two years old or younger by the submission deadline date.

Each candidate must provide the following:

  1. The candidate’s resume
  2. A signed Potomac ACM Policy Challenge author release
  3. A reference letter from the research advisor
  4. A manuscript in MS Word format in line with the ACM reference guide

The manuscript shall have a maximum of 6,000 words (the word count limit includes the title, abstract, tables, figures, and references list). The Challenge Committee evaluates each candidate independently of others and makes every attempt to recognize various accomplishments in scholarship and communities equitably. We use double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and candidate identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the process.

Suggested Research Topics

Selection Criteria

Successful candidates for the Challenge must impact technology policy in scholarship and leadership contributions. Therefore, the research advisor’s reference letter should address the candidate’s most significant accomplishments and conditions, such as:

  • Specific theoretical or practical achievements that demonstrate innovation, originality, and creativity.
  • Leadership roles provide evidence of outstanding service to the community.
  • Candidates who receive/qualify for free or reduced lunch in the school participate in a TRIO program qualify for fee waivers from the ACT, College Board, and NACAC.

Dates and Deadlines

Applications are open for 2023 in July 2023.

If you wish to be considered for the 2023 Challenge, your submissions and all supporting materials must be complete by September 8, 2023.

We will announce the shortlist on September 22, 2023.

The Challenge Awards will be determined before October 6, 2023.

The Challenge Awards will be determined before October 6, 2023.

For questions on the above, please get in touch with challenge@potomac.acm.org.