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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

Purdue University

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults.

Online

Regent University

With associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees available worldwide, we offer affordable, high-quality degree programs. But what sets Regent apart is our mission to prepare men and women to excel both in mind and spirit. Our students, faculty...

Online

Saint Leo University

Our determination to make higher education more accessible to all has made Saint Leo a world leader in redefining the 21st century university. Saint Leo now serves nearly 16,000 students from all 50 states and 61 countries—ranking us among the five...

Online

South University.

Our goal is simple: to provide educational opportunity for those who have decided to grow. Students who bring determination to us are met with the comprehensive education that will prepare them for professional and personal success, including degree...

Online

Stevens Henager College

Stevens-Henager College was founded in Ogden-West Haven, Utah, in September 1891 by Professor J.A. Smith as the Intermountain Business College. The College’s purpose was to teach commercial subjects and place graduates in business positions.

Utah

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