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Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP)

Program Expectations

Students must choose one of the 14 NAE Grand Challenge problems to focus on for their participation in the Hajim School Grand Challenges Scholars Program. The Grand Challenge you select must be at the heart of how you complete each of the individual components of the GCSP.

For example, if you choose the Grand Challenge, “Advance Health Informatics,” your:

  • Research must be in an area related to health informatics
  • Interdisciplinary component must tie in to health informatics, such as looking at the social, political or ethical issues related to health informatics
  • Entrepreneurship/Business component could involve creating a prototype of a new database or technology that protects against danger of compromise of misuse of heath information
  • Global experience may relate directly to health informatics or inform you on the global context in which health informatics technologies will need to be developed
  • Service component also needs to tie into health informatics, perhaps by working with a community health organization to identify and analyze their data or technology needs

You can only use one activity per component. If an activity meets the goals of more than one component, then you'll need to choose which component that activity will fulfill. For example, if you participate in a project through the iZone, you can use this to fulfill either the entrepreneurship or service component but not both.

At the end of the experience, you will have a thorough understanding of the problem and insight into solutions for your selected Grand Challenge. Therefore, before graduation, you will need to compile a reflection on your participation in the Hajim School Grand Challenges Scholars Program that addresses how:

  • Your participation on the GCSP shaped your understanding of your selected Grand Challenge and the potential solutions
  • The GCSP experiences have shaped your education and career trajectories

This reflection piece, to be used as a model for other students when preparing their applications, can be in the form of a 10‑15 page written reflection, or as a poster presented at the College’s annual spring Undergraduate Research Exposition.

Students who successfully complete the GCSP will be recognized in the following ways:

  • Listed on the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) website
  • Interviewed for an article posted on the Hajim School’s GCSP's website
  • Mentioned in the Hajim Highlights Dean’s Memo that goes out to the entire Hajim School community, including students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends
  • Presented with a GCSP medal at the Senior Awards Ceremony during Graduation Week, which may be worn during commencement ceremonies

More information:

Learn more about the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program by visiting their official website.

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