GRADUATE STUDENTS: Win $10,000 for YOUR sustainability idea!
The Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) recognizes and rewards Students and Universities for their innovation and research of sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.
Penn State has joined an international field of universities taking part in this program. The interdisciplinary collaboration and focus on sustainability this program supports are of particular interest, and are aligned with important skills sets we need to be cultivating among our graduates.
As part of the SISCA program, winning students have the opportunity to network with global sustainability thought leaders and peers, receive monetary prizes (Grand Prize is $10,000 and a runner-up is awarded $2,500), join a network of SISCA alumni, and showcase their work with various external sustainability media.
Any currently enrolled Pennsylvania State University graduate student (i.e., Masters or Doctoral) is eligible to apply, with the exception of Dow Award winners from previous years, who are not eligible to apply. Only interdisciplinary student teams may submit an application. Students may only be affiliated with one application. In the event that an individual is involved with more than one application (individually or as part of a team), all applications involving this individual will be disqualified from consideration.
Academic or non-academic work can be the basis of the application. However, the work must be currently underway or have been completed during the applicant's tenure at Penn State. The winners are selected based on high-level criteria including:
- Potential for solving world challenges in alignment with the spirit of Dow's 2015 Sustainability Goals
- Innovative and holistic thinking and excellence in research
- Prominently feature interdisciplinary work and considerations beyond the student's primary discipline, for example, blending applied science, engineering, art, economics, and communications, etc.
- Demonstrate balance of social, environmental, and economic success criteria
- Clearly articulate a new and innovative concept, for example, process, service, policy, technology, product, etc.
- Have the potential for significant societal benefits and sustainability impact
- Demonstrate a well-crafted premise with convincing data and/or analysis, have scalable attributes, and a strong chance for resilient success
- Demonstrate meaningful progress toward the identified goal and a firm commitment to carry the effort forward
- DEADLINE EXTENDED!
September 30, 2013 – Proposal submission deadline
Submissions will be accepted online. Click here to submit your entry!
- October 1-7, 2013 – Judging
Online evaluations completed by faculty and industry jury including members of the Sustainability Institute's Advisory Board.
- October 8, 2013 – Five finalist teams announced online
Each finalist will receive a $1,000 stipend towards the development of a final entry. Funding can be used to cover printing of posters, professional development, wages, etc.
- * October 18, 2013 – Workshop on interdisciplinary research/team building
Date and location TBA.
- * November 22, 2013 – Finalist team presentations and final judging
The five finalist teams will present their final projects to a panel of judges and an invited audience. Date and location TBA.
- * December 6, 2013 – Awards presentation
Date and location TBA.
*All finalist teams must attend.
Past Award Winners
SISCA has recognized winning concepts such as a water wheel allowing easier and faster transportation of potable water in underdeveloped nations, a solar power backup system for urban areas of Pakistan to alleviate interrupted power service, and a catchment-scale hydrological model to predict patterns of precipitation, glacier melt, and water routing. For more award winning projects, please visit the Dow website.
Please visit the Dow website to view a list of participating schools.