Geneva Challenge 2016 : The Advancing Development Goals International Contest for Graduate Students (Fully Funded to Geneva, Switzerland plus 17,500 CHF Prize)

Application Deadline: 31st July 2016 Central Europe Time (CET) , Midnight 12 am.

The Graduate Institute is delighted to launch the third edition of the Geneva Challenge – Advancing Development Goals Contest, under the patronage of Kofi Annan. The objective of the contest is to stimulate proactive interdisciplinary problem-solving analysis amongst master students around the world.

The 2016 edition’s topic will be The Challenges of Urbanisation. Managing urban growth has become one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. In the world today, what kind of urbanisation will nurture sustainable growth and development? As the key to this challenge is an interdisciplinary solution, crossing traditional boundaries between academic disciplines,  The Graduate Institute is inviting graduate students from all academic programmes to provide helpful strategic recommendations.

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 is launching the third edition of the Advancing Development Goals Contest, an international competition for graduate students.

The Challenge

In 2016, the contest is to discuss The Challenges of Urbanisation.

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.

The Geneva Challenge invite teams of students to:

  • identify a challenge stemming from urbanisation;
  • construct an interdisciplinary analysis on how it affects different aspects of development in a specific (but transposable) context;
  • propose innovation at the policy, practice, process or technology levels turning the challenge into development opportunity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Participants of the ADG Contest 2016 must be enrolled graduate students at the time of their registration for the contest.
  • Graduate Student to be anyone enrolled in a post bachelor level university program 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) 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


  • 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 3 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. 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 an awards ceremony where the results of the contest will be announced preceded by a high level keynote speech on The Challenges of Urbanization
  • Travel expenses such as flights, visa requests and accommodation are covered by the organization of the contest for this purpose.
  • The presentations and submissions of the finalists will be promoted for information in relevant publications and international organization for a, creating professional networking opportunities.
  •  The winning project will receive a cash prize of CHF 10,000 (ten thousand Swiss Francs or approx. US$11’000). The second place will receive CHF 5,000 CHF and the
    third, CHF 2,500 CHF


  • Submission requirements
  • Submissions must be sent by email to: [email protected] before midnight 12 am, on 31st July 2016 Central Europe Time (CET).
  • Entries will have a maximum length of 8000 (eight thousand) words including all notes 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 background check before being forwarded to the Jury members as semi finalists of the ADG contest 2016

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Geneva Challenge – Advancing Development Goals Contest, 


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