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The challenge invited graduate students from across the nation to submit innovative ideas to prepare them for tomorrow's opportunities and challenges. Entrants were encouraged to submit ideas with the potential to improve graduate education and professional development. Ideas could be oriented to students, faculty, departments, institutions, professional societies, and/or federal agencies. Participation in the challenge was limited to currently-enrolled STEM graduate students. They were invited to submit by April 15, 2013, a 1,000- to 1,500-word response to this challenge.

The challenge was launched at a time when graduate education in STEM could be considered to be at a crossroads. Several reports have recently raised concerns about graduate education in STEM and the need to better prepare students for a range of career options in an increasingly global and competitive world. The challenge specifically asked for students to voice their ideas in the broader discussion of graduate education.

The challenge, developed and administered by NSF's Division of Graduate Education, offered cash prizes to first-, second- and third-place winners, selected by a panel of judges of current and recent STEM graduate students as well as experts in higher education in two rounds of judging. In addition, the public at large was invited to vote for their favorite submission from among 53 finalists to select the Community Choice winner, who also won a cash prize.

More than 500 teams submitted entries to the challenge, representing more than 700 STEM graduate students, 155 universities/institutions and 47 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

graduate school

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

Texas

American Intercontinental University

American Intercontinental University (AIU) was founded in Europe in 1970 on the premise that universities should transcend the bounds of the traditional, theory-based approach to education by providing students with a curriculum that can help prepare...

Online

Argosy University

Built on a diverse and rich academic foundation, Argosy University was formed in 2001 with the merging of three separate academic institutions—the American Schools of Professional Psychology, the University of Sarasota, and the Medical Institute of Min...

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Online, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Ashland University

Ashland University values the individual student and offers an education that combines challenging academic programs with a faculty and staff who care about building nurturing relationships with their students. This approach to educating the whole...

Online

Baker College

Since 1911, Baker College has been preparing people for successful careers. Today, we are the largest, independent, not-for-profit college in the State of Michigan—and one of the ten largest private colleges in the United States. Yet, each Baker...

Online

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