NJEPA Higher Education Challenge: Innovations for Tomorrow

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Challenge Proposal Submission Deadline
Has Been Extended Until February 24, 2023

Thank you for your interest in this NJEPA Higher Ed Program! This is the first year of our Challenge and we look forward to hearing from our future emergency managers on innovations for the future!

Please review the Challenge information below. To view the full details and instructions on submitting a proposal you will need to create a profile and log in, instructions for that are below. This does not commit you to submitting a proposal.



There are many current and emerging issues and problems that the public and private sector Emergency Management, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and First Responder communities face in the United States and across the world. These challenges test us to develop better plans, policies, and innovative ideas to best serve our communities at the local, county, state and national levels.

Real solutions for these real problems are needed. Recent history is showing us that, as a profession, we need to better combine technology, scientific research, and human resources, as well as human behavior, to create a safer world of the future. To this end, the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association (NJEPA) is inviting our academic partners—through their emergency managers of the future—to present solutions to topics that are timely and important to them.

We are looking to those in higher education to help us to think through some of these problems and offer a glimpse of how we can address some of these hard issues, through open forum and discussion, identifying “best practices” for the future. Those interested, will be asked to identify a real-world problem that the Emergency Management, Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and/or First Responder community faces or will face, and share a proposed method to reduce, mitigate, and/or resolve that issue or problem for this community.


Ultimately, any way we find to develop fresh solutions for the future is a win!

However, prizes will be awarded to the individual/team members who best presents a clearly defined issue and proposes the most comprehensive solution to address that issue.

The presentation that excels in the scoring criteria will receive:

  • Physical recognition (trophy/banner) for display at their sponsored educational facility;
  • Team photo;
  • Complimentary registration for up to three (3) team members for the 2024 New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Conference; and
  • Abstract and presentation publication perpetually on the NJEPA website.

Note: All presentations will be virtually published but one presentation will receive special recognition and will be maintained in perpetuity.



  • Registration will open on Jan 1, 2023. You can register by completing the steps below.
  • Registration for the challenge will close on Feb 24, 2023.  
  • Notification of NJEPA acceptance of proposal will occur no later than March 3, 2023.
  • Deadline for the submission of Final Papers: March 27, 2023.
  • Presentations will take place on April 18, 2023 (8am-12pm).
  • Winner recognized at the conference awards reception April 18, 2023 (5:30pm-8:30pm).

All individuals taking part in the challenge must be registered and have submitted final presentations by March 27, 2023 to be eligible to participate. Any questions regarding the challenge can be submitted to HigherED@njepa.org.

It is time to step out of what we know and find new ways forward for the future. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Creating a Profile: You will need to do this to view the full Challenge details; if you decide to move forward, this is where you will submit your proposal and final paper as well. This is not a committment to submit a proposal.

Click on the "Log In" tab at the top left of this page.  Click on "new user" to create your profile, you only have to do this once. Once you have created your profile, you can log in directly using your profile.