The Geneva Challenge 2018: International Contest for Graduate Students (Win CHF 25,000 in Prizes)

The Geneva Challenge 2018: International Contest for Graduate Students (Win CHF 25,000 in Prizes)

Deadline: April 16, 2018

The 2018 edition of the Geneva Challenge is a project funded by Swiss Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and is supported by Kofi Annan, the high-patron of the contest. The Geneva Challenge aims to encourage interdisciplinary problem solving analysis among master students on advancing human development within the scope of a relevant topic.

Climate change is undisputedly one of the greatest challenges of our time and has become a critical concern for both developing and developed countries. As the key to this issue is an interdisciplinary solution, crossing traditional boundaries between academic disciplines, they are inviting graduate students from all academic programmes to provide helpful strategic recommendations.

Teams of 3-5 master students must submit an 8,000 word proposal which:

  • identify a challenge stemming from climate change;
  • construct an interdisciplinary analysis on how it affects different aspects of development in a specific (but transposable) context;
  • contributions must be both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to an important relevant social political or economic problem stemming from The Challenges of Climate Change.
  • propose innovation at the policy, practice, process or technology levels turning the challenge into development opportunity.


The Geneva Challenge 2018 will distribute 25’000 CHF in monetary prizes. The winning project is awarded CHF 10,000; the two teams in second place will receive CHF 5,000 and the two teams in third place, CHF 2,500.

Five finalist teams, one team per continent, will be invited (traveling and accommodation expenses covered) to an oral presentation in Geneva, where they will defend their ideas and answer questions from the jury and from the public. The finalists will also be present at an awards ceremony where the results of the contest will be announced preceded by a high-level key-note speech on the challenges of climate change.

Networking and publication opportunities are also envisioned as part of the prize package.

This year, five prizes will be distributed; one in each of the following categories (based on the UN Statistics list):

  • Universities located in Africa
  • Universities located in Asia
  • Universities located in Europe
  • Universities located in North America and Oceania
  • Universities located in South America


  • Participants of the ADG contest 2018 must be enrolled as graduate students at the time of their registration for the contest.
  • They consider “graduate students” to be anyone enrolled in a post bachelor level university programme with a maximum duration of 2 (two) years, or anyone who can prove to be studying towards acquiring a masters level degree.
  • Applicants can come from any country in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America.


  • Registration for teams ends: 16th April 2018 before midnight – Central Europe Time (CET)
  • The registration deadline is simply the date by which you need to fill in the application form, and send them your proof of enrolment that confirms your status as master students.
  • The documents (enrolment certificates or student cards) should contain your name, graduate programme and a recent issuance date.
  • You then have 4 months to prepare your proposals.
  • Submission due by 20th August 2018 before midnight – Central Europe Time (CET)

For more information, visit The Geneva Challenge.