Overview of the Competition

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Can you solve a global challenge?

The Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge is a unique opportunity to work on a topic that excites you whilst gaining invaluable experience and developing skills for your future career. The winning group also will have the opportunity to take their idea and make it a reality, with up to £10,000 available to fund the winning project. You can join the Challenge today by registering for the launch event on Wednesday 29 January.

Who is eligible?

The Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge is open to all undergraduate students from second year onwards and to postgraduate taught students. If you’re not sure whether you’ll be eligible, just ask.

What does the Vice-Chancellor's Challenge involve, and why should I take part?

If you join the Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge, you will:

  • Work in a team with students in other subject areas across the University to respond to one of six challenges under the theme of ‘Global Cities, Global Challenges.’ We’re looking for original thinking, underpinned by academic research, and your practical ideas and solutions.
  • Translate your idea into a compelling and engaging 4-minute video
  • Grow your skills under the guidance of academic mentors and business leaders, as you develop your solution and your case for up to £10k in funding
  • Challenge yourself by presenting and debating your proposals with the Vice-Chancellor and other senior University leaders
  • Develop unique employability skills, including access to exclusive workshops and training sessions on presentation skills, critical thinking and developing a business case
  • Develop media and film production skills with training from the University’s Creative Media team
  • Collect Personal Skills Award (PSA) points, and, if you reach the Final, have your achievement recognised on your academic transcript at the end of your degree
  • If you win, you’ll get the opportunity to submit a business case for a share of £10,000 to fund your project and make it a reality

To find out more, watch the Vice-Chancellor’s introduction to the 2020 competition or take a look at the videos produced by our previous finalists. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.

What are the main stages?

Launch event: Wednesday 29 January 2020, 1.00pm – 5.00pm, Room 108 University House

Bring your ideas, your energy, and your skills to the table at the launch of the Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge. Connect with students in other disciplines to form a team, engage in workshops with academic mentors and business leaders, and put your emerging concept to the test as a group in conversation with the Vice-Chancellor. Register now.

Incubator phase: February to March 2020

Your group will receive weekly support to develop the academic basis of your idea, your case for £10,000 for your project, and a video to present your idea to the Panel. Benefit from regular support from your academic mentor, exclusive training sessions from business leaders to develop your business case and presentation skills, and support from the University’s own film production team to create your video. A Panel chaired by the Vice-Chancellor will watch your video and choose the five best ideas to go through to the Final.

Final: Friday 27 March 2020, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

The finalists will present their videos and debate their proposals with the Vice-Chancellor and other senior University leaders. The Panel selects the winning group, who will receive 65 Personal Skills Award (PSA) points, an enhanced degree transcript and, most importantly, have the opportunity to access up to £10,000 to their proposal into practice.

What are the prizes?

The overall winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge will have the opportunity to submit a business case for a share of £10,000 to fund their project. Members of the winning group will also receive an enhanced transcript and Personal Skills Award (PSA) points.

However, the Challenge isn’t just about winning – regardless of where you get to in the competition, you will have a fun, challenging and rewarding experience, and develop important employable skills. Everyone who finishes the competition will receive an enhanced degree transcript, and all participants will be eligible for PSA points.

Media capture and use of personal data

Media capture

The University of Birmingham will capture media, including photographs and videos during the Vice-Chancellor’s Challenge events. Resulting photographs, recordings or videos may be stored and used by the University in publications, on the University websites, social media channels and other promotional materials without further notification (“University purposes”). This means the information may potentially be leaving the UK and available to others across the world.

If you do not wish to be photographed or recorded you should speak to the photographer or contact the organiser. You can also ask the University to stop using photos or videos that identify you. Our contact details are vcchallenge@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

More information on how the University uses your personal data and your rights is available at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/dataprotection.

How we use personal data

Details about your rights are set out on the website page Data Protection - How the University uses your data. This also explains how to ask any questions you may have about how your personal data is used.





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