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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

Autocar’s Drivers of Change competition

After a hugely successful launch last year, the Drivers of Change competition returns, with three categories of Technology, Digital and Retail. Applicants will need to think up a new and exciting idea for the benefit of automotive within their chosen category and submit 500 words and a 30 second video on their proposal.

The initiative is aimed at encouraging fresh new talent to the automotive industry, with a prize of £5,000 in each category and an invitation to the 2021 Society for Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) Dinner. Finalists will gain networking opportunities to advance their career prospects, with further opportunity for mentoring from our prestigious sponsor organisations (Advanced Propulsion Centre UK, CitNOW, Cox Automotive, JATO Dynamics, Jardine Motors Group, IMS Tech, Marshall Motor Holdings, McLaren Automotive, Polestar, Pivotal vehicle subscription by Jaguar and Land Rover, Sytner Group, Toyota GB, Volvo Car UK, and Volkswagen Group UK).

Entries close 24 September 2021. For further details and enter visit the Autocar website.

Better Working World Data Challenge

Are you a student who wants to harness data and tech to make a difference? Put your tech skills to the test on some of the world’s toughest problems and make a tangible impact. The 2021 Better Working World Data Challenge tasks students with developing an automated fire-edge detection and forecasting model using airborne and satellite imagery from NASA, to help tackle the global threat of bushfires.

Learn from industry experts, collaborate with students around the world and be in the running for up to $10,000 in cash prizes. Learn more and register at ey.com/datasciencechallenge.

The challenge is open from 24 March - 15 June 2021 and you can join at any time. 

Imperial Enterprise Lab’s Summer Accelerator

Got a new business idea that needs a development boost over the summer? Join the Enterprise Lab’s Summer Accelerator programme, where you will get to fast-track the commercial development of your idea and be in with a chance to win £5,000!

You are looking at 12 weeks of 1-1 sessions with a mentor, business coaching, peer-to-peer support and Experts-in-residence. All with a £500 grant PLUS a possible extra £1,000 in monthly grants for each team.

Find out more and apply on the Imperial Enterprise Lab website. Applications are now open and will close on Sunday 13 June at 11.59pm. 

Studyka

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.

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 Fishbowl Challenge

The Fishbowl Challenge is a six-month intensive venture-building program for young college entrepreneurs. Participants work in international teams with students across the globe to build tech-based social ventures that combat issues in these five critical areas: Agriculture, Economic Empowerment, Education Technology, Healthcare, and Renewable Energy & Sustainability.

Teams will receive the direct support and mentorship of world-class senior-level industry leaders all through the program. Up to $50,000 in seed funding will be allocated across the winning ventures to work on their ideas.

Applications are open and close on 1 July, 2021. More details can be found on the Fishbowl Challenge website.

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 Startups.co.uk. 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.