What is Grand Challenges?
Student views of Grand Challenges
Challenge Topics

The Challenges for 2018 are:

Climate Change
Food for Thought
Global Security
Mental Health

What is Grand Challenges?

Grand Challenges 2018 will run 4th-8th June 2018

Grand Challenges is a project week, in which you will work in interdisciplinary groups with other like-minded students to design innovative solutions to real world challenges. Top academics and invited speakers will share their views and help you apply your skills and knowledge to a real-life problem. You will further develop your transferable skills including team work, presentation skills and project planning.

The Challenges will be taking place in Exeter, but students based in Penryn are able to come up to Exeter to take part, with their transport and accomodation paid for. 

What do I get?

An innovative University led introduction to a topic outside of your degree

Grand Challenges provides you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in something completely different and broadens your knowledge of a topic you would like to learn more about. It stretches your imagination without any potential for negative consequences.

The opportunity to develop a wide range of transferable skills

Grand Challenges gives you a platform to develop a wide range of transferable skills, which will increase your confidence and enhance your employability prospects.  You will have the opportunity to develop skills in many areas including teamwork, communication, public speaking, interdisciplinary working and time management.

The potential to make a real world impact

Grand Challenges allows you to work with other students who are passionate about the same issues to try to make a difference. You have the freedom to carry out a project at a level where you are able to make a real world impact. The University encourages this by supporting you to continue your projects following Grand Challenges Week.  

The opportunity to make new friends

Grand Challenges is a great way to meet new like-minded people.

Recognition of your achievements

On completion of Grand Challenges, you will receive a certificate, and your participation in the programme will be recorded on your degree transcript. 

What will I do?

Carry out a group project

The main purpose of the week is to carry out a student-led group project which addresses an aspect of your Challenge. In your interdisciplinary group, you’ll define a problem that you’d like to address and come up with an idea for tackling the problem. Due to the flexibility of the programme, you can choose to focus on the issues and questions that you are most passionate about. You’ll be supported in this process by postgraduate facilitators.

As part of your project, you will produce one or more outputs to display your work. Examples of previous outputs are a poster, a video, a campaign, a website, a blog, a report, a ministerial submission, the prototype or design for an app, a game, an educational programme, and a proposal document. Each of the Challenge pages show examples of what students produced in 2017.

Hear from inspirational experts

There will be a series of timetabled lectures for each Challenge, led by academics and external experts at the forefront of their field. These are designed to educate and inspire the project you’re carrying out during the week. Visit the partnerships page for a list of individuals and organisations who have previously been involved with Grand Challenges. You may also have the opportunity to take part in interactive workshops or events which will further enrich your experience.

Present your work

On Friday morning, you will deliver a presentation to academic experts and other students on your Challenge. On Friday afternoon, you will exhibit your work at a showcase in the Forum, attended by all Grand Challenges students, University staff and members of the public.