Competitions and awards are a fantastic way to show employers just what you can do.

Whether it's a chance to get an innovative business idea off the ground, study abroad or secure funding for the internship of a lifetime, it's a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Below you will find a selection of various challenges and awards. If you wish to search for further awards or scholarships, please log into JobsLive, click on 'Find a vacancy' and filter the Vacancy type by 'Studentships, scholarships & awards'. 

Competitions, Surveys and Awards

Imperial Award

Want to earn an official extra from Imperial on your graduation transcript? Do you want recognition for your employer-friendly attributes? Then the Imperial Award is for you.

Open to all current students (and designed with input from the Careers Service), Imperial Award gives you a completely private online portfolio to use as a diary or journal. The interactive journal lets you identify your best evidence to enhance your CV and, if you wish, to back up your claim to the assessors (one page of writing). The assessors give written, individual feedback. Multiple assessment periods are offered.

Why? College wants you to develop and rehearse the reflective self-awareness that employers seek from graduates and College is willing to recognise it, formally.

Simply register by logging in with your College username and password, click on ‘guidance’ to watch the promo video and read the Student Guidance pack [pdf], which contains all the information you need to start working towards the Imperial Award. Once you've registered, you’ll hear from the Award team about upcoming workshops and further guidance to support your progress. 

It is free, has immediate benefits, runs all year and could enhance your official transcript.

Find out more here: Imperial Award

14th China-UK Entrepreneurship Competition

First launched in 2006, the competition was one of the “Prime Minister’s Initiative” projects in the UK, aiming to encourage new business ventures between China and the UK and is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms.

This year, the competition is organised by the University of Surrey, co-organised by the University of Suffolk, UK International Innovation Centre (UKIIC Accelerator), China Innovation and Development Association (CIDA) UK, and supported by more than ten organizations across China and the UK, including Huawei Student Developer Program (HSD). It focuses on five areas of technological innovation: smart city and smart manufacturing, APP development, medicare, materials and hardcore technology, AI and Blockchain, and sustainable development solutions.

This is an excellent opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and business creativity to a real-world situation on an international stage. Besides cash prizes, winners will get more, including but not limited to incubator investment, HSD support, investment service, and entrepreneurship training.

Applications are now open and close on 30 January 2022. Visit the CIDAUK website for more information and details on how to apply. 

51st St. Gallen Symposium

The St. Gallen Symposium is the world’s leading initiative for cross-generational debates on economic, political, and social developments – completely organised by students. In a time where innovative ideas are needed the most, our Global Essay Competition provides graduate and post-graduate students with an opportunity to share and sharpen their points of view. Selected participants, will be invited to an all expenses covered trip to Switzerland, the top three entrants from the essay competition have the unique opportunity of presenting their ideas in front of a world-renowned audience and to share the grand prize of CHF 20'000.

The 51st St. Gallen Symposium will be held under the topic “Collaborative Advantage” from 5–6 May 2022. Visit the 51st St. Gallen Symposium website for further details and details on how to apply.

Accuracy Business Cup 2022

Accuracy Business Cup (ABC) is a global competition that provides an opportunity to gain exposure to an international finance and strategy project. Students who take part will have the opportunity to work on real-life business cases involving a major listed company. During the competition, they will work under the supervision of Accuracy consultants and the best teams will present their recommendations to senior employees of the subject company.

For further details and to register for your place visit the Accuracy website. Registration is now open and closes on 28 February 2022.

Bright SCIdea Challenge 2022

The Bright SCIdea Challenge is an annual entrepreneurial competition which allows STEM university students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) the opportunity to develop and showcase their business skills. Students are asked to develop a plausible scientific concept that could be commercialised for the benefit of society and compete for a £5,000 prize.

The deadline for team registration is 1 December 2021. To find out more and to apply visit the Bright SCIdea Challenge website.

Deutsche Bank Big Breakthroughs

Deutsche Bank's three virtual escape rooms are home to a diversity of puzzles – from the cryptic and analytical to the 3D and interactive. Each one will take you on a global tour of their technology centres and innovation labs, revealing the ground-breaking technologies they are developing to revolutionise banking. 

You must solve the puzzles locking each room in order to progress onto the next. And remember: make a note of a code once you have found it, in case you want to take a break and come back to finish later. If you complete the challenge of all three escape rooms, you will then enter your details for a chance to win a MacBook Pro.

Go to the competition website to complete the challenge. The competition will close on 30 November 2021.

GSA's SPARK 2021 coding challenge

SPARK is back to challenge first year students from STEM disciplines. Compete with other students in a race to shut SPARK down before it finds a way to dominate every electronic trading market in the world! Put your maths, coding and raw ability to the test with 21 days of exciting challenges and be in with the chance of winning one of the daily prizes plus there is a grand prize of £1,000!

The competition runs from 26 November 2021 until 16 December 2021. For more information and to register visit the GSA SPARK website. 

Hilti IT Competition 2022

Hilti IT Competition (ITC) is an annual IT competition to encourage students of all disciplines around the world to come up with innovative IT solutions to overcome challenges faced by the construction industry.

Students will be given the chance to showcase their talents while being exposed to international professionals where they will benefit from vast experience sharing and learn that even the most traditional industries can be reshaped. Students will receive real feedback and opportunities to build new skills throughout the competition.

To compete, students will have to solve one of the real-life business challenges in the area of Gamify Cybersecurity Awareness in the Construction Industry.

For more information visit the competition website. Registration closes on 30 November 2021.

Innovation Challenge for Entrepreneurship 2022 (ICE-22)

ICE-22 is a free, virtual competition about innovation and entrepreneurship. It is open to all university students and recent graduates from the Europe and the UK – no matter what subject you study or how tech-savvy you are.

You can form a team with your friends or join an existing team to develop your ideas, learn new skills, forge new connections, win prizes and have lots of fun!

The Hackathon is free to enter and takes place between 24 February and 18 March). For more information and to join visit the ProjectSet website.


Run by Agorize, Studyka is the leading open innovation challenge platform that brings together students, startups, and developers.  Take part in the best student challenges! Mix your skills, win prizes, and be noticed by companies. 

See all the current challenges.

TCS CodeVita

TCS CodeVita, the largest global computer programming competition, is a 24-hour online programming contest where a participant can log in from anywhere, any time. Coding enthusiasts can sharpen their programming skills through a series of intriguing real-life challenges across a stretch of three rounds and an opportunity to win the coveted "World's Best Coder" title along with prize money of $10,000.

For more information and to register for your place visit the CodeVita website. 

The Adobe Digital Edge Awards

Industry leading tech company, Adobe, have launched a dedicated award for all UK university students to celebrate the incredible work students produce as part of their courses. They are inviting you to enter work where you have used digital skills and Adobe apps to improve your coursework, and are offering over £24,000 in student prizes – with a top award of £9,250 in cash!

As the workplace becomes increasingly competitive, it is crucial for you to set yourself apart and develop skills that will take you further. This opportunity to take part in the Adobe Digital Edge Awards will develop your critical thinking, problem solving, collaborative and creative skills - ensuring that you communicate with impact both at university and in the workplace.

The awards are open to students from all courses, and work will be judged against those with similar academic and creative backgrounds. To find out your brief, go to the Digital Edge Awards page and select your subject from the drop-down. You will either be asked to upload existing coursework you have already created this academic year, or to reimagine a piece of work with Adobe apps for your chance at winning the prize money and the prestigious award.

Entries are open now and close on 31 May 2022. If you want to know more about the award, visit the Adobe website.

The Discovery Fund

The Discovery Fund (formerly the Pioneer Fund) is a grant programme providing up to £500 for students and recent alumni who want to explore an early stage idea.

We’ve developed the Discovery Fund, which runs from December to March, to help you get out of the building, find customers, design business experiments and discover if an idea is worth pursuing.

It’s not just about the money. We also help you develop the practical entrepreneurial skills you need to make the most of your grant. You’ll have access to our dedicated online learning module “Testing Business Ideas” and receive expert coaching and facilitated peer-to-peer mentoring by Dr Harveen Chugh, Senior Teaching Fellow at Imperial College Business School.

We’ve got 20 awards of £500 available and we’re prioritising applications from people/teams that have never engaged with the Enterprise Lab before, so if this is your first time with the Lab this could be the perfect opportunity.

Find out more and apply via the Imperial Enterise Lab website.

The HarperCollins Author Academy spring term 2022

The HarperCollins Author Academy trains and supports writers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds to help them become commercially successful in the publishing environment. The six-week online programme, in which they equip enrolled students with the tools to succeed in the publishing industry, is free to attend. Their aim is to help motivated and dedicated writers become authors who can participate in and navigate the publishing industry, plus get their voices heard.

Applications for the third intake are now open for the Spring 2022 term; (running for six weeks, online from 24 January 2022). The closing date for applications is Tuesday 30 November 2021 at 23.59. 

For more information and details on how to apply visit the HarperCollins Academy website. 

The Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition 2022

The Mayor's Entrepreneur competition is looking for student business ideas to help deliver good growth for our city – growth that makes London cleaner, greener and ready for the future. There will be four different categories/awards: environment, tech, creative industries and health.

There is one £20,000 prize available for the winner of each award and each idea can only be entered into one award.

For further information and to register your interest visit the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition webpage. 

The Royal Academy of Engineering's Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP) 2021/22

The Windsor Fellowship is excited to be in partnership with The Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2021/22 Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP). This is the seventh year of this award-winning programme aimed at addressing inequality in Engineering by increasing the transition of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into engineering employment.

The GEEP for 2021/22 will have a range of exciting new offerings for graduates. These will include:

  • Insight sessions
  • Skills and competency workshops
  • Mentoring for students
  • Mock assessments and development
  • Work placements
  • On-line resources
  • Information, advice and guidance

The recruitment process is now live. Visit the The Royal Academy of Engineering website for further information and details on how to apply. 

The Start-up Series

The Start-up Series is a monthly seed funding competition. Every month, one start-up is awarded up to £150,000 of equity funding along with support from an experienced director and media coverage across Start-ups must have been trading for less than 21 months and be UK-based.

 Application deadline: 14th of every month

To find out more information visis The Start-up Series website.

Udacity Technology Scholarship Program

Bertelsmann is now inviting interested parties to apply for its “Udacity Technology Scholarship Program,” in which the company will fund 15,000 three-month Udacity online courses in the fields of Cloud, Data or AI skills. The top 1,600 graduates will earn one of three full Nanodegree programs offered by the digital learning platform Udacity. 

Applications will be open from 5 October, 2021 and will close on 30 November, 2021. Scholarship recipients will be selected in December 2021.

To find out more information and to apply visit the Udacity website. 

Women + Data Hackathon 2021

The tech industry, although a fast growing and adaptive field, lags behind when it comes to the diversity of its workforce. To address this, we are running a Women + Data Hackathon from 11 November to 2 December to give women an opportunity to gain valuable experience working with data.

The task is to analyse a global data set on the topic of sustainability, focusing analysis on questions such as ‘Why are some countries making more progress towards decarbonisation than others?’ Each participant is expected to work as part of a global team, each of which will be supported by a data professional who will mentor and facilitate the process. During the event, participants can expect events involving introductory talks from women of all backgrounds who are currently working in the field of data and sustainability including a Careers Q&A session, as well as information sessions on analysis, visualisation and presentation skills. It will be a great opportunity not just to get some hands-on experience, but also to network with like-minded women from all around the world and hear from successful women in data with varying backgrounds.

To find out more and to register as a participant or facilitator visit the Women + Data Hackathon 2021 website.