The Undergraduate Awards Programme Celebrates Exceptional Students And Fosters A Sense Of Global Social Responsibility

Winners at The Undergraduate Global Summit 2017 in Dublin, Ireland.
Winners at The Undergraduate Global Summit 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. By The Undergraduate Awards Programme 2018

The Undergraduate Awards commenced in 2008 as a small not-for-profit company with a mission to recognise innovation and critical thinking within undergraduate coursework on the island of Ireland and has expanded into a global programme under the Patronage of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

'The Undergraduate Awards celebrates original, creative thinking among students, and the world's need for such critical capacity has never been greater' - Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

In 2017 students and graduates from 299 institutions and 47 countries submitted to the UA with a record number of 6,432 submissions.

Many Harvard students have won coveted awards from the programme in the past and any undergraduates who want to follow in their footsteps can submit work to any of the 25 categories before June 12th. The multitude of categories spans the sciences, humanities, creative arts and business disciplines.

The Undergraduate Global Summit 2018 is more than doubling in size this year from 150 to 350+ delegates, as it transitions from boutique event for top prize winners to conference style format for students and academics alike. The large-scale event will feature dynamic workshops, engaging discussions and presentations from top academics and leaders in the corporate world on topical issues that affect undergraduate students, as well as a gala dinner and a presentation ceremony in a soon to be announced venue in Dublin, Ireland. Past venues have included Dublin’s City Hall, built in 1769 and Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin’s oldest medieval cathedral and the seat of the Archbishop of Dublin.

It is important that these undergraduate students know their worth but also understand their responsibility to employ their talents in solving global problems. This ethos is at the core of the Undergraduate Global Summit as bright students from a broad range of disciplines and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to engage in a collective dialogue that addresses issues of global importance.

Due to the volume of submissions The Undergraduate Awards receives, the programme has over 350 reputable academic and industry leaders who make up the judging panels. The judges identify pioneering work which demonstrates independent opinions and judgements that could spark engaging conversations about how to deal with some of society’s most pressing problems and be used as touchstones for further research.

Last year’s winning paper in the Business category written by Robert Sarich of Australian National University, “Solving social problems with social marketing – Using a process-driven approach to develop a solution to Australia’s blood shortage," uses marketing strategies and tools to solve a national issue.

The winning submission in the Education category by the University of Manchester’s student Farhana Choudhury, “A discussion of literacy as a vehicle which enables women from urban Afghanistan and rural Nepal to overcome societal challenges and participate in society,” has clear international relevance and sparks a worthwhile discussion of social justice concerns.

"It is an immense achievement for undergraduate students to benchmark their work globally," says Dr. Brenda Cullen, Executive Director of The Undergraduate Awards. "To be recognised for their creativity and innovative approach within their discipline can only propel them to become global thinkers and potential change-makers. We are very appreciative of the support of the global academic community who work closely with The Undergraduate Awards to identify these impressive students."

Details of how to apply for The Undergraduate Awards Programme 2018 can be found at

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