The Geneva Challenge 2018 is one if the best and fully funded competition funded by Swiss Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and is supported by Kofi Annan, the high-patron of the contest.
Eager to stimulate reflection and innovation on development from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives and with the generous support of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin, the Graduate Institute has launched in 2014 the Advancing Development Goals Contest, an international competition for graduate students.
The idea is to gather contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant international development problem stemming from an interdisciplinary collaboration between 3 to 5 enrolled master students from anywhere in the world.

Host Country:
  • Switzerland
Host Institute:
  • Graduate Institute Geneva
  • The Challenges of Climate Change
  • All shortlisted submissions selected by the ASC are published and promoted (if
    authorized by the teams) on the Geneva Challenge website, providing visibility to the
    teams and their work.

    •  All members of the 5 finalist teams will be invited to come to Geneva for an oral
      presentation where they will defend their proposals and answer questions from the Jury
      and from the public.
    • At least 2 members from each finalist team should confirm availability to come to
      Geneva for the oral presentation of their submission. If only one member is
      available or in case there is a lack of reaction to the invitation to come to Geneva
      after 7 days of the communication of the results will be considered as withdrawal
      from the competition.
  • The finalists will also be present at the awards ceremony where the results of the contest will be announced preceded by a high level keynote speech on The Challenges of Climate Change.
  • Travel expenses such as flights, visa requests and accommodation are covered by the organisation of the contest for this purpose.
  • The presentations and submissions of the finalists will be promoted for information in relevant publications and international organisation fora, creating professional networking opportunities.
  • The projects of the finalist teams will be showcased on the Youth Solutions platform of our partner, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth.
  • The winning project will receive a cash prize of CHF 10,000 (ten thousand Swiss Francs). The two teams in second place will receive CHF 5,000. The two teams in third place, CHF 2,500.
  • The Jury Panel can decide not to distribute one of the prizes if there is no project meeting the conditions or criteria listed under 5.
Eligibility Criteria:

The eligibility criteria of The Geneva Challenge 2018 is:

  • Participants of the contest 2018 must be enrolled as graduate students at the time of their registration for the contest;
  • “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;
  • Participants must gather in teams of 3 (three) to 5 (five) graduate students, who are able to contribute from at least 2 (two) different disciplinary perspectives to the submitted analysis;
  • The participants can be enrolled in the same graduate programme, collaborate with students from other programmes from the university they are enrolled in or coordinate with students from different universities and institutions worldwide.
How to Apply:

Registration of teams

  • An online registration form will be made available from 8th December 2017 at
  • Registration ends on 16th April 2018 before midnight – Central Europe Time (CET)
  • Each group must choose a team leader who will be the main (but note sole) focus point
    for communication with the organisation of the contest.
  • The registration form must be correctly filled in with the information required of all the
  • Before the registration deadline, the proof of enrolment for all the team members must
    be sent online or to:

Submission requirements

  • Submissions must be sent by email to: before
    midnight 12 am, on 20th August 2018 Central Europe Time (CET).
  • Entries must include an abstract and a project. The abstract should be one page long
    and should include short biographies of each team member, a brief description of the
    problem addressed by the project and the solution, specifying in which way the
    proposed solution will make a difference.
  • Projects will have a maximum length of 8000 (eight thousand) words excluding all
    notes, graphics and references and must be written in English or French.
  • The submissions will combine theoretical analyses, creativity, critical thinking on
    technical assistance, capacity building and on the agency of development.
  • Entries must be original. All long listed works will go through a check for plagiarism
    before being forwarded to the Jury members as semi finalists of the 2018 Geneva
    Challenge 2018.
Application Deadline:

The deadline for Geneva Challenge 2018 is:

  • Registration for teams ends: 16th April 2018
  • Submissions are due by: 20th August 2018


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