THE GENEVA CHALLENGE 2018: The Challenges of Climate Change

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THE GENEVA CHALLENGE 2018: The Challenges of Climate Change

The Geneva Challenge 2018
The Advancing Development Goals International Contest for Graduate Students
The Challenges of Climate Change

Beyond rigorous analysis of a relevant problem area, submissions should bring forward innovative proposals to affect change. We welcome contributions by groups of 3 to 5 master students involving at least two different disciplinary backgrounds or perspectives. 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.  Innovation can relate to practices, process or technology.

This year, we will distribute five prizes, one per continent. The five finalist teams will be invited to come to Geneva for their project showcases and the award ceremony in November 2018.

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

1. Eligibility:

1.1. Participants of the ADG contest 2018 must be enrolled as graduate students at the time of their registration for the contest.
1.1.1. We 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.
1.2. 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.
1.2.1 No participation on an individual basis will be admitted.
1.2.2 The participants can be enrolled in a 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.
1.2.3 The category in which the team will be placed for the contest will be based on the continent of the universities predominantly represented within the team.
1.2.3.1 In case, there is an equal representation of continents within the team, the team decides in which category they wish to compete.
1.3. All team members must provide a scanned copy of a document that serves as proof of enrolment as a graduate student before the registration of the team can be confirmed and validated.
1.3.1. Any official document issued by the academic institution the student is affiliated to is accepted as proof of enrolment as long as it contains:
a) The name of the student;
b) The program he/she is enrolled in;
c) An issuance date up to three months before the registration date or
d) Validity beyond the registration date.
1.4. Exceptionally, we might accept the registration of students who are transitioning into graduate studies, as long as they have already been accepted in a graduate student programme at the time of the registration.

2. Registration of teams

2.1. An online registration form will be made available from 8 th December 2017 at www.thegenevachallenge.org
2.2. Registration ends on 16th April 2018 before midnight – Central Europe Time (CET)
2.3. 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.
2.4. The registration form must be correctly filled in with the information required of all the participants.
2.5. Before the registration deadline, the proof of enrolment for all the team members must be sent online or to: geneva.challenge@graduateinstitute.ch

3. Submission requirements

3.1. Submissions must be sent by email to: geneva.challenge@graduateinstitute.ch before midnight 12 am, on 20 th August 2018 Central Europe Time (CET).
3.2. 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.
3.3. 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.
3.4. The submissions will combine theoretical analyses, creativity, critical thinking on technical assistance, capacity building and on the agency of development.
3.5. 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.

4. Evaluation procedures

4.1. The entries will be evaluated in three phases and by two distinct panels.
4.2. In the first phase, all the valid submissions will be evaluated by the Academic Steering Committee (ASC), an interdisciplinary committee of professors who will look into the compatibility of the submissions with the material criteria of the contest (see section 5).
4.2.1. Teams who do not provide proof of enrolment for all members and/or do not submit their entry before the deadline mentioned on 3.1 will be automatically disqualified and their entries will not be evaluated by the ASC.
4.3. In the second phase (semi finalist), 3 submissions per continent selected by the ASC as representing the best match with the contest’s design and criteria will be forwarded to an independent high level Jury Panel composed of policy makers and academics, young talents and experienced professionals, who will select the competition’s finalists.
4.4. In the third and last phase of evaluations, one finalist per continent will be invited to the Graduate Institute in Geneva to publicly present in front of the Jury Panel and answer questions about their entries. In this occasion, the Jury Panel will classify the five teams (in 1st , two 2 nd , two 3rd) and the prizes will be delivered in an awards ceremony preceded by a high level keynote speech.
4.5. Unfortunately, due to a high number of submissions and the multiple activities in which the evaluators of the ASC and the Jury Panel are engaged in, the ADG contest organisers cannot offer personalized feedback on the submissions.
4.6. The decisions of the ASC and of the Jury Panel are not subject to appeal.

5. Evaluation criteria

5.1. The ADG contest offers an opportunity for master students to use theoretical tools to frame a development issue and offer a creative, feasible and potentially efficient solution to address the identified vulnerability. Thus the ASC and the Jury Panel will be looking for the following characters in the proposals:
5.1.1. The relevance of the research question proposed by the team. It refers to submissions necessarily being able to identify a real world problem, not just an interesting research question, thus transposing the disconnect between academic and policy challenges.
5.1.2. The entry must display analytical rigour and academic competence in the choice of sources, the structure of the arguments and in the ability to discuss, question and build upon previous perspectives on the topic (critical approach);
5.1.3. Practicality of solutions and feasibility imbedded within the proposals. There should be development on why and how the idea presented is efficient to addressing the issue raised by the team;
5.1.4. All submissions must be original and especially developed for participation in the 2017 ADG contest. Originality here implies that significative sections of other works should not be reused in the submission to TGC. Entries that have already participated in other contests will not be accepted. However ideas may be transposed from a different context and adapted to the specific problem the students decide to focus on.
5.1.5. The outreach of the solution, that is, the amount of people that will directly or indirectly benefit from the project is not an evaluation criteria as long as the solution is potentially transposable (scalable) to similar situations.
5.1.6. Regarding the finalist presentations in Geneva, the Jury will be looking into interalia:
a) The clarity of the oral presentations;
b) The perspective of a practical linkage with the beneficiaries of the action proposed;
c) The quality of the response to questions from the Jury and from the public.
d) The oral presentation should ensure that the students do their work themselves but will not be crucial in defining ranking the finalists.
e) The finalists will not attend each other’s presentations, so as to allow similar questions to be asked to each team and to avoid questioning the decision on the final ranking.

6. Prizes

6.1. All shortlisted submissions selected by the ASC are published and promoted (if authorised by the teams) on the Geneva Challenge website, providing visibility to the teams and their work.
6.2. 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.
6.2.1. 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.
6.3. 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.
6.4. Travel expenses such as flights, visa requests and accommodation are covered by the organisation of the contest for this purpose.
6.5. The presentations and submissions of the finalists will be promoted for information in relevant publications and international organisation fora, creating professional networking opportunities.
6.6. 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.
6.7. 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.
6.8. 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

ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT 

Read also:  The Wellcome Trust International Master’s Fellowships
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