Grand Challenges Progress Workflow
Grand Challenges 2019 video
Exeter Award

Grand Challenges Week counts towards the Exeter Award.

Grand Challenges Week 2019


There are five Challenges taking place on our Streatham Campus in 2019.

Climate Change - Challenge information and projects from 2018 - View projects from 2017

Food for Thought - Challenge information and projects from 2018 - View projects from 2017

Global Security - Challenge information and projects from 2018 - View projects from 2017

Mental Health - Challenge information and projects from 2018 - View projects from 2017

Gender Inequality - Challenge information and projects from 2018


For any queries prior to Grand Challenges Week, please email

For any queries during Grand Challenges week, visit the Grand Challenges information point in the centre of the Forum Street, or contact us at or 01392 725957.

Completing your Challenge

Everyone who completes Grand Challenges will receive a digital certificate and have participation recorded on their HEAR, which records details of all your non course-related engagement during your time at University. To have your participation in Grand Challenges recognised, you need to complete the following:

You can submit your work and monitor your progress on your MyCareerZone workflow.

Other Information


Grand Challenges will run from 9am-5pm each day. 

Each Challenge has its own timetable of events, which will be a mixture of external speakers and having time to work on your projects in your groups. Your personalised timetable for the week will be on iExeter prior to Grand Challenges Week.

You will be assigned to a group when you arrive on Monday morning, and the aim of the week is to create a project that aims to a make a difference in the area of your Challenge topic. You will receive structured support throughout the week from facilitators and students who have done Grand Challenges in a previous year.


09:00-10:45 – Presentations in your Challenge groups – session 1

10:45-11:00 – Break

11:00-12:30 – Presentations in your Challenge groups – session 2

12:30-13:30 – Lunch break, and a couple of students from each group go to the Forum to set up for the showcase

13:30-16:00 - Grand Finale

13:30-14:30 -  Presentations with all Challenges in the Forum Alumni Auditorium

14:30-16:00 – Showcase of projects in the Forum Street with drinks reception

This is a chance to showcase what you’ve done to other students, staff, members of the public and special guests, and to see what students on other Challenges have produced.

There will also be speeches from University VIPs, drinks, nibbles and a live music performance from Semi-Toned.

There are a series of open sessions running throughout the week that are designed to support you with the creation of your output. These sessions are optional – you can decide if you think any of these sessions will be useful for you and your group.

Grand Challenges Skills training sessions

There are some Grand Challenges Skills training sessions running as face to face sessions during Grand Challenges Week, and some that you can access online at any time. These sessions are all optional and you should only attend if you think that any of them will be helpful in the creation of the group output(s) that you are making during the week.

Group Training sessions

Name of session Tuesday 11th June 08:30-10:30 Tuesday 11th June 10:30-12:30
Business pitching sign up here  
Online survey skills sign up here sign up here

How to launch a digital marketing campaign 

sign up here sign up here
Conceptualising a mobile web app sign up here

sign up here

Creating videos sign up here

sign up here

Introduction to social entrepreneurship   sign up here

Online sessions

How to design an effective research poster:

How to conduct interviews:

Problem based learning:

Sustainability skills: 

Introduction to commercial awareness: 

Fab Lab

Fab Lab is a community resource in Exeter Central library which has equipment that can allow you to make a more creative output during Grand Challenges Week.

Fab Lab Introduction - Tuesday 11th June - 11:00-12:00 - sign up here. You may decide to send one or two people in your group to this session. 

Fab Lab workshops will then take place in Exeter Central Library on Wednesday 12th June and Thursday 13th June:

Name of session Description of what can be done Session times
Laser cutting and vinyl cutting

2D designs to be sent to the laser cutter to cut/engrave cardboard, plywood and acrylic. This could be used for signs, key rings, puzzles, cards, badges, slot together models.

2D designs to be sent to the vinyl cutter to cut 1 colour logos, text and designs to heat press onto t-shirts (students need to provide their own t-shirts) 

Wednesday 12th June 10:00-12:00

Thursday 13th June 13:00-16:00

3D printing 3D designs to be sent to the 3D printers to print small prototypes and 3D models.

Wednesday 12th June 13:00-16:00

Thursday 13th June 09:00-12:00

Vinyl cutting and collection of 3D prints

2D designs to be sent to the vinyl cutter to cut 1 colour logos, text and designs to heat press onto t-shirts (students need to provide their own t-shirts) 

Collecting any leftover work

Thursday 13th June 17:00-19:00

Presentation Surgery

On Thursday afternoon between 14:00-16:00, students will have the opportunity to receive support from their presentation from Rob Hayes, a presentation coach. Students should go to the Grand Challenges information desk in the Forum in order to book.


Rob has successfully coached TED speakers, CEO’s and pitch teams and he is regarded as one of the UK's premier presentation coaches.

Surgery description

Groups will have 20 minutes to get suggestions from Rob on how to add impact and clarity to their presentations. Tips are likely to include;

  • Starting and ending presentations with impact
  • Conveying confidence with verbal and non verbal behaviour
  • Answering the three key questions
  • Using metaphors and stories 
  • Visual design and usage
  • Handling questions assertively

It will be fast paced, dynamic, fun and full of practical ideas to make your pitch even better. 


Printing for the week is paid for by Grand Challenges. When using printers across campus, you will not be charged during the week.

Professional Printing at Print Services

This can be used for large format printing (anything over A3) and printing on non-paper. Print Services have produced a guidance document for printing posters.

Submit your request via the Print Services online portal.

24 hours’ notice is required for all requests so:

  • If you need something printing for the Friday morning presentations, this needs to be sent to Print Services by the end of Wednesday
  • If you need something printing for the Friday afternoon showcase, this needs to be sent to Print Services by 12:30 on Thursday.

When submitting your requests, please ensure that you do the following:

  • Make sure that ‘Grand Challenges’ is included in the job title and the name of your Challenge is included in the title of the document.
  • For large format posters, click the pre-paid option called "students' project pre paid - only use if lecturer or society are paying."
  • Select ‘gloss’ as the type of paper, unless you have a specific reason for wanting to print on something different.
  • For printing anything that is not a large format poster, you will be presented with a payment screen before submitting. Select ‘pay at store’ and in the ‘special instructions’ box, write the name of your challenge. The printing will then be paid for by Grand Challenges.
  • In the ‘special instructions’ box, put when you need the printing to be completed by (remembering that it needs to be at least 24 hours’ notice).

If you are unable to give 24 hours’ notice, please call Print Services to see if they can accommodate your request.

PLEASE NOTE: We have prepaid arrangements with Print Services for the week, and this is not the same as the Student Guild Print Room. Print Services is round the back of the University reception - it is not the place that is upstairs in the Forum.

If you are planning to carry out a piece of research, interview or survey people, you need to do the following:

  1. Make sure that your research proposal is within the ethical parameters set out for Grand Challenges, and that your facilitator or academic approves your idea before you carry it out
  2. Complete the box on the template consent form by adding in details of your specific activity/survey, referring to the following guidance notes.
  3. You must ensure that everyone who takes part in the research signs a consent form. Give all signed copies of the forms to the student reps on your Challenge, and give a copy of the form to each participant for reference. 

We have a series of cameras, tripods and Dictaphones that are available to loan out throughout the week. You can loan these out from the Grand Challenges information desk in the centre of the Forum Street. We only have a limited number of each of these, and so you will only be able to borrow for a limited time, and may need to book in advance to ensure they are available. Book and collect equipment from the Grand Challenges information desk in the Forum. 

Final Cut X and Logic Pro X software are available in a multimedia room on campus. Please contact the Grand Challenges Team if you wish to use this room. We need advance notice if you wish to use this room, so please let us know early in the week if you think you will.

There are small funds available for students on each Challenge to purchase items for their outputs during the week. If you wish to purchase something, you need to:

  • Speak to your academic/facilitator who will need to authorise the purchase
  • Speak to the Grand Challenges team at the information point in the Forum Street. The purchase will either be made online or students will be given cash.
  • If it is decided that the item needs to be purchased by cash, you will need to provide a receipt to the Grand Challenges Central Team in the Forum. Cash will be given in exchange for the receipt.

There is support and funding available for you to continue working on your projects after Grand Challenges Week. The details of various initiatives at the University that can provide this support are below. Representatives from all of these initiatives will have a stand at the showcase event in Streatham on the Friday, so you can discuss your projects with them. 

Support after Grand Challenges

Students as Change Agents/Partners

If the project is focused around change at the University or at the Guild, you can register it as a Students as Change Agents or Partners project. ‘Change Agents’ is for those taking a leading role in running the project, or ‘Partners’ is for those who are working with staff to deliver the project.

Students as Change Agents provides you with training and support, a framework for continuing your project, and their project will be recorded on your degree transcript.

For more information contact

Student Start-Ups

If you are looking to develop a product or start your own business, you can get support from the Student Start Ups team. This support comes in the form of interactive workshops and events, 1-2-1 advising and opportunities for networking and collaboration.

For further information contact


If your project is more socially focused, you could get the idea registered as one of Enactus’s official projects, and they can provide support and guidance to take it forward.

Enactus Exeter is part of a network of student societies in universities all over the world. Each university’s Enactus team runs projects aimed at tackling the world’s biggest issues in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable way. More information about Enactus is attached.

For further information contact

Grand Challenges & the Undergraduate Research Showcase

If you are making a research poster during Grand Challenges, then it could be eligible to enter into the Undergraduate Research Showcase, an annual competition that gives you the opportunity to win funded places to present your work at the Houses of Parliament, or at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research.

If you are considering entering your poster in this competition in the next academic year, that take a look at the guidance and training and criteria for entry  If you have any questions, please contact:

Funding after Grand Challenges

Annual Fund

You can apply for funding for your project from the University’s Annual Fund. In your application, you would need to demonstrate how your project will impact on the student experience (which can include the personal development of themselves and their team).


You can use the University’s crowdfunding platform to raise funds for your project. Crowdfunding projects raise lots of small amounts of money from a large number of people. For help and support designing your page and promoting your project, you can contact

During Grand Challenges Week, please spread the word about the exciting things that you are getting up to, by posting photos, videos and updates on social media using the hashtag #GCExeter.

Grand Challenges Twitter page

Grand Challenges Facebook page