A young refugee from Darfur in the Kounoungo camp in eastern Chad.

Enter the Untold Global Health Stories of 2018 Contest By November 10

This contest is now closed, and the winners have been announced here. Keep an eye out for our announcement for next year's contest, and get your ideas ready!

If you know of an important global health story that’s been overlooked by the media and deserves special notice, we want to hear from you.

NPR’s "Goats and Soda" blog, which covers global health and development, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) and Global Health NOW from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are pleased to announce the 2018 Untold Stories of Global Health Contest. The contest is designed to give a platform to important but underreported global health stories. 

CUGH, NPR’s Goats and Soda Blog, and GHN share the goal of raising awareness about underreported health issues around the world. We invite you to nominate an issue you feel deserves urgent attention, whether you’ve worked on it firsthand or come across it in your travels. The best nominations for the Untold Stories focus on a specific issue in a specific location (i.e., not global chronic disease) and should include available data and evidence, as well as contact information—like konzo, one of the top 2 winning stories from last year.

Send us your ideas, and if we choose your issue, we’ll help you expand the audience for your issue. Entrants can submit a nomination here, with a short (150-word) statement describing the story and why it deserves more coverage and support.


  • Submissions Open – September 19, 2017
  • Nominations Deadline - November 10, 2017
  • Judging Complete - November 30, 2017
  • Winner Notified - December 15, 2017 (on or about)

The contest will be jointly judged by NPR’s Goats and Soda blog, CUGH and GHN, based on the entries’ newsworthiness, creativity and feasibility for coverage. 

NPR and GHN will each select one winning story to cover; the winning stories will appear in both NPR and GHN. All winning entries will be shared on CUGH's website and bulletin.

NPR and GHN will consider and share the runners up entries as sources for possible stories for coverage. GHN will cover at least one runner-up idea as a story or series of stories in GHN.

The winner will be announced publicly in March 2018 at the CUGH conference in New York, NY (March 15-18, 2018).

  • Runners-up will have short summaries included on the GHN website.
  • The winner (maximum of 1 nominee per entry) will receive free registration for the CUGH conference.

The winner of the 2017 Untold Global Health Stories Contest, chosen by Global Health NOW of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, NPR's Goats and Soda blog, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health was unintentional burns in Nepal, submitted by Emaline Laney, and deafness in developing countries, proposed by Christi Batamula and by Matthew Yau. (Read more about the winning entries here).

In 2016, the grand prize winner was infection-related cancers in the developing world, nominated by Susan Keown, a science writer from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, to be covered by NPR's Goats and Soda blog. A first-prize winner, to be covered by Global Health NOW, was chosen as well: the paralytic disease konzo, submitted by Desiré Tshala-Katumbay, of Oregon Health & Science University, who has worked extensively in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). You can read more about last year's winners on Global Health NOW's website. GHN sent writer Amy Maxmen to DRC to cover the story, resulting in the special series Bitter Harvest: Cassava and Konzo, the Crippling Disease.

In 2015, the grand prize untold story was the chronic inflammatory disease mycetoma. Amy Maxmen went to Sudan to cover the story for GHN, leading to
a 3-part series titled The Most Neglected Disease, published in December 2015.

About NPR’s Goats and Soda Blog: NPR launched Goats and Soda in 2014 to cover thought-provoking and underreported stories related to health. As NPR's global health and development blog, Goats and Soda tells stories of life in our changing world, focusing on low- and middle-income countries.

About CUGH:
Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) builds interdisciplinary collaborations and facilitates the sharing of knowledge to address global health challenges. It assists members in sharing their expertise across education, research, and service. It is dedicated to creating equity and reducing health disparities everywhere. CUGH promotes mutually beneficial, long-term partnerships between universities in resource-rich and resource-poor countries, developing human capital and strengthening institutions' capabilities to address these challenges. It is committed to translating knowledge into action. 

About Global Health NOW: 
Global Health NOW from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is a free news service designed to inform the global health agenda, delivering the day’s most interesting and essential news every weekday. We aggregate and summarize the latest global health news, and publish original news stories and commentaries with leading global health experts. Subscribe to Global Health NOW for free.

Contest rules are posted here


Join the thousands of subscribers who rely on Global Health NOW summaries and exclusive articles for the latest public health news. Sign up for our free weekday enewsletter, and please share the link with friends and colleagues: 

Image at top

A young refugee from Darfur in the Kounoungo camp in eastern Chad. Image by © 2004 David Snyder, Courtesy of Photoshare