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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

Northcentral University

Northcentral University was founded with the goal of providing accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. NCU currently serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degrees in the Schools of Business..

Online

Norwich University

At Norwich, you’ll develop traits common among leaders in every profession—discipline, integrity, confidence, loyalty and honor—through a wide range of opportunities that will empower you in ways you never imagined. At the core is a rigorous academic...

Online

Ohio Christian University

Ohio Christian University is committed to offering a complete education that develops students intellectually, professionally, and spiritually. OCU offers degree programs for residential undergraduate students, graduate students, and adult and online...

Online

Pacific Oaks College

Pacific Oaks College is a not-for-profit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor's-completion, master's, and certificate programs in human development, counseling, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialin

California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Online, Oregon, Texas, Washington

Post University

At Post University, we believe you shouldn’t have to put your life on hold to further your education. That’s why we offer a wide range of quality Certificate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in a highly interactive online format that emphasizes...

Online

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