The Grand Challenges Scholar Program recognizes graduating seniors who have engaged in educational and co-curricular activities surrounding these grand challenge topics. Students receive transcript designation as a Grand Challenges Scholar upon graduation.
The five curricular components of the Grand Challenges Scholar Program (GCSP) are as follows:
- Class project or independent student research.
Each GCSP student must participate in a substantial team or independent project relating to an identified Grand Challenge. Examples: senior theses, on-site internships, and cap stone projects.
- Interdisciplinary curriculum.
Participation in an “engineering – plus” curriculum that prepares engineering students to work at the overlap between engineering and non-engineering disciplines, such as public policy, business, law, ethics, sociology, medicine and the natural sciences. This must be more than simply double-majoring or minoring. Specifically, the curriculum must have a formal mechanism that draws together the two components, such as with a senior theses, research topic or cap stone design project.
Students must be exposed to the process of translating invention to innovation; to develop market ventures that scale to global solutions in the public interest. Examples: completing classes in marketing, intellectual property, participating in start-up competitions, performing in a related industrial internship.
- Global dimension.
Student must participate in a curricular component that develops a perspective necessary to understand challenges that are inherently global in nature or lead to innovations in a global economy. Examples: conducting research related to global health issues, non-profit marketing, or low-cost manufacturing.
- Service learning.
Students must participate in a component that deepens their social awareness and heightens their motivation to bring their technical expertise to bear on societal problems. Example: participating in activities or conducting research in an area with a clear component of improving the human condition. A well-designed and well-documented volunteer activity could satisfy this component, such as participating in projects with Engineers without Borders or Engineering World Health.