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Using Standards in the Global Fight Against COVID-19: ANSI Announces 2021 Student Paper Competition


Reminder to apply by April 30, 2021: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in conjunction with its Committee on Education (CoE), has announced its 10th annual paper competition with the 2021 theme, The Use of standards in the global fight against COVID-19. The competition is part of a long-term effort to spread awareness among postsecondary students about the strategic significance of standards and conformance.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of life around the world, from the way we socialize to the way we work, standards continue to play an integral role in responding to the global health crisis. From the countless disruptions to existing infrastructure, to the creation of new social norms, the effects of a global pandemic will undoubtedly last for years to come—and standards can provide support during recovery.

Student Paper Theme: Use of Standards in the Global Fight against COVID-19

In order to highlight the importance of the standards that play a critical role in responding to large-scale emergencies, the ANSI 2021 Student Paper Competition requires applicants to explore the use, or absence of standards in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Applicants can consider specific aspects of the pandemic and identify any specific standards used, or needed, to address that particular issue. Some examples are the widespread use of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical equipment, social distancing, telecommuting, distance learning, vaccine development, transportation, contact tracing, among others.

ANSI also encourages applicants to draw from personal experiences during the pandemic. Whenever possible, reference specific standards and the organizations responsible for their development. An available source of information is available on ANSI's COVID-19 news site:

Who Can Apply?

The paper competition is open to students enrolled full- or part-time in associate, undergraduate, or graduate programs during the period of September 2020 to April 2021 in U.S. higher education institutions. A small number of finalists will be invited to give an online presentation to the review team before a winner is chosen.

All entries must meet submission requirements and will be reviewed by top-level industry experts, including members of the standards community, experts in government, industry, professional societies, and academic institutions. Winning papers will be published on, and potentially in other media outlets.

A cash prize will be awarded to the first and second-place winners. ANSI reserves the right to award no prizes based on the determination of the judges. The winning papers will be announced in Q3 2021.

For full submission criteria, access the ANSI 2021 Student Paper Competition flyer. Email entries by April 30, 2021, to Lisa Rajchel, [email protected].

About the ANSI Committee on Education

The ANSI Committee on Education oversees all Institute initiatives related to standards and conformity assessment education and outreach, fulfills the objectives of the United States Standards Strategy (USSS), and responds to other issues that may be delegated by the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, or the National Policy Committee.

About ANSI

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations.

The Institute represents and serves the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide. ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). For more information, visit


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