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

Athena Hack 2020

Athena is the largest woman/non-binary hackathon in the UK!  After the success of Athena 2019, ShowCode have partnered with Cisco and Imperial College London in order to Champion, Engage and Inspire Women in Tech.  Athena 20 is taking place at Imperial College London on the 18-19 April 2020, where competitors will be tasked with helping solve the Circular Economy.  Universities in the UK are encouraged to send an all-female/non-binary team of 5 student's (lecturers can join also) to attend Athena and compete.  All students who study or live 50 miles outside of London can claim a £50 contribution to travel and accommodation (£250 per team). All refreshments and food for the Hackathon participants will be provided.

For more information and to register, check out AthenaLDN website.

Autocar Drivers of Change Awards

Win a £5,000 prize and the opportunity to work in the automotive industry

Ever dreamed about a career in the automotive industry, working for an exciting brand like McLaren, Lotus, Bentley or Volvo?  Do you have the attributes to become a true innovator in one of three key areas of the automatic sector: technology, digital and retail?  Now you can fulfil your ambitions by entering a new, UK-wide competition, Drivers of Change, delivered by Autocar, executive search specialists Ennis & Co and a line-up of sponsors representing a who’s who of leading automotive brands.  The winners in each of the three categories will receive a £5,000 prize, a prestigious award and networking opportunities with leading industry figures that money can’t buy.

The competition is aimed at university students as well as talented individuals already working within or outside the automotive sector. Age or experience is irrelevant. Above all, entrants should be original thinkers with brilliant ideas to challenge the status quo.  For more details, including how to apply, visit Autocar website.  The closing date is 30 June 2020.

Fidelity International’s 2020 University Competition

The topic for this competition is Fintech for Good. Focusing closely on disruptive sustainability and linking finance with technology, we are asking students how they envisage the finance industry working for the betterment of society.

The competition will launch on the 30th September and culminate on the 10th of December with a Pitch Day at the Fidelity offices in London, where the top 5 teams will present to win the grand prize of £1,000 per team member. The competition website can be accessed here, which provides information on the competition structure, key dates and all the support we will give the finalists.

GSK 2020 Residential Chemistry Training Experience

This fully-funded, week-long training course is designed to give you practical experience of the work of a graduate chemist in the pharmaceutical industry.  Based in the GSK research laboratories we will provide you with personalised laboratory tuition together with coaching in interview technique, presentation skills and working in teams.  This programme, now in its seventeenth  year, will be held at the GSK Medicines Research Centre, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, on 13–18 September 2020.

The Residential Chemistry Training Experience is one approach that we use to encourage high calibre chemists from a variety of backgrounds to apply for positions in the pharmaceutical industry.  If you are an analytical, computational or synthetic chemistry undergraduate about to enter your final year of study and you would like to gain an insight into the pharmaceutical industry and be part of this interactive programme, please request an application form and return the completed application no later than 11 June 2020.

Mayor’s Entrepreneur Competition

Are you a student or recent graduate from a university in London?  Do you have a business idea that can make London a better place to live and work?  Good news!  The Mayor’s Entrepreneur has expanded once again, and we will now be offering four prizes of £20,000 each!  We are looking for smart business ideas to make London cleaner and greener focused on one of the four awards; Environment, Smart Cities, Creative Industries and Health.

Applications are open now, and deadline has been extended to is midnight on 17 May 2020The categories are Health, Environment, Smart Cities and Creative Industries. You can see the website here for more details.


Merck Research Challenges 2020

Merck is organizing a series of research competitions for technology pioneers in areas of high innovation. Winning these renowned Merck prizes shows the superiority of the winning team and also opens new avenues for partnering with Merck. Learn about more about the challenges in the following areas: compound synthesis, high-k dielectric materials, publication impact and laboratory connectivity.

For more information and registration, please visit the Merck Research Challenges website.  Registration deadline is 31 August 2020.

ONS Renaissance Prize

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Renaissance Prize challenges applicants to reflect on the improved measurement of the modern economy. The competition is open to undergraduate students within the ONS and in all UK universities.  The winning candidate will receive a prize of £500 and the opportunity to present their concept to our economic experts.  To enter, applicants will need to submit an essay of up to 2,500 words on the following:

Using your understanding of the UK economy, sustainable capitals (human, social, natural and financial), and government policy priorities, answer the following question: Is a UK Government commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals good for the economy and business in general?

Please email your essay to: and include a cover note with your name, university, faculty and contact details.  Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2020.



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 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

 Find out more on the Start-up Series website: Start-Up Series.

UniCode League 2020

The UniCode League is kicking off in October 2019, that pits 48 universities and thousands of students against each other across 3 leagues, with a last 16 knock-out tournament in the ultimate coding battle!

  • Make your profile - (Platform goes Live in October)
  • Join Your university League
  • Compete against your class mates
  • Represent your uni and battle against other universities to become the Unicode Champion.
Top UniCode Team receives £10,000 (£1,000 per player) and a 7 day trip to San Francisco.  Top UniCoder receives £5,000 and a 7 day trip to New York.  For more information and to sign up, click here