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UCD Advantage Challenge

The UCD Careers Network is delighted to bring you the second UCD Advantage SDG Challenge Competition. In partnership with UCD Green Campus, Healthy UCD, UCD in the Community and the UCD Innovation Academy, we are challenging students to find creative solutions to issues facing the UCD community, and then pitch their ideas in a video

There are One4All vouchers for the winning videos in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Participation in the competition can be included as an activity in a UCD Advantage Award application.

Participants have three issues to choose from, each linked to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals represent an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Ground-breaking work led by UCD researchers and colleagues from academia, government, industry and the charitable sector is contributing to SDG targets in Ireland and further afield.

How do I take part?

Applicants can take part as individuals or in a team, with a maximum of 4 members. All participants must be registered UCD students. To participate, all you need to do is:

  1. Register your interest via the online application form below. Don’t worry if you have not yet identified your fellow team members. You can do that at a later stage. The deadline to register your interest is Friday, March 19th.
  2. Select the ONE issue that you would like to work on. There are 3 options to choose from – one from UCD Green Campus, one from Healthy UCD and one from UCD in the Community. Choose the one that interests you the most.
  3. Identify your proposed solution to the issue and submit a video pitch for it (5 minutes max). Videos must be submitted to rebecca.boyle@ucd.ie by midnight on Friday 9th April 2021.

To help you develop your idea and prepare your pitch we are running two workshops in conjunction with the UCD Innovation Academy:

Workshop 1

"Developing & Refining your Solution"

Workshop 2

"Pitching with Impact"

These workshops will be a great benefit to you when you are developing your ideas before submission of your video. They will also provide you with great transferable skills to use in your academic studies following the competition. Those who register their interest will receive links to attend these virtual sessions.

Why should I take part?

Why should I take part?

  • Win prizes! There are some great prizes - €100 One4All voucher for each member of the winning team, €50 One4All voucher for each member of the 2nd place team and €25 One4All voucher for each member of the 3rd place team.
  • It’s developmental! The UCD Advantage SDG Challenge is a great opportunity to develop some of the transferable skills that employers look for, including teamwork, communication, presentation skills, creativity, problem solving. Taking part in the competition exposes you to challenges that will require research and innovative thinking. Not to mention this can also be FUN!
  • Achieve the UCD Advantage Award! Participation in this competition can be used as one of your activities in your UCD Advantage Award application. Find out more here.
  • Make a difference! Participating allows you to make a contribution towards solving some of the challenges facing UCD and bring about positive change.
What are the competition criteria?
  • Videos can only be submitted by UCD Students, either individually or in a team.
  • Videos must be no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Any software can be used to create your video (e.g. Powtoon, TikTok, iMovie etc.) A PowerPoint presentation with voiceover is also acceptable. The more creative the better!
  • One A4 page can also be included alongside your video if you wish to include additional information/poster/flyer.
  • Videos must be created in line with Public Health guidelines relating to Covid-19.
  • Videos must be submitted by midnight on Friday 9 April 2021 to rebecca.boyle@ucd.ie.


Video pitches will be evaluated on the following criteria;


Is your solution innovative? i.e. new or new to UCD

Does your solution showcase your/your team’s research and knowledge?

Is your solution presented in creative and engaging manner?


Who does your solution impact and what is the scale and scope of that impact?

How does it make a positive impact?

How well does it address the issue selected?


How will your idea stand the test of time and remain sustainable as students and staff change at UCD?


Would your project be easily implementable? In terms of finance, physical space, people power, etc.

How would you engage people and get support for your proposed solution?

 The Challenges

Issue 1: Presented by UCD Green Campus

SDG 6; ‘Clean Water & Sanitation’

Sustainable Development Goal 6

How would you create a culture of water conservation among University staff and students? 

The year 2018 revealed the vulnerabilities of Irish society to drought across multiple sectors, particularly water supply, agriculture and ecology. COVID-19 has focused attention on the importance of water for public health, while the post lockdown re-opening of the economy is likely to increase water demand even further.

Traditionally, partly because of our climate, Ireland has not perhaps had the same challenges around water supply as many other countries have had. In Ireland, drinking water is available in our homes, offices and schools by simply turning on a tap. However, Irish water has reported that the increasing demand on our water supply is putting pressure on the source. 

For example, we consume over 234 million litres of drinking water on the Belfield Campus per year!  As a measure to reduce our water consumption, UCD Estate Services use a range of measures, including using untreated water to irrigate our sports pitches and plants, and to wash our windows.

Safe, clean, treated water is not in an unlimited supply and we all have to play a part in conserving it for essential use.

For more information on Green Campus, visit their website: https://ucdestates.ie/about/sustainability/green-campus/


UCD Green Campus Logo
Issue 2: Presented by Healthy UCD

Healthy UCD focus on UNSDG 3; ‘Good Health & Well-being’ - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.


Good Health & Well-Being

How would you encourage and facilitate students to protect and improve their

wellbeing during this period of remote learning with the aim of offsetting isolation and


Normally students engage in events provided by clubs and societies to help them to alleviate

stress, anxiety and the pressures of student life. These events, along with interactions in

lectures and on campus form an important part of student life but opportunities for such

interactions have been severely curtailed due to the current restrictions.

For more information on Healthy UCD, visit their website: https://www.ucd.ie/healthyucd/

 Healthy UCD
Issue 3: Presented by UCD in the Community

SDG 10; ‘Reduced Inequalities’ - Reduce inequality within and among countries.


SDG 10 


There are a number of barriers and obstacles to volunteering for many UCD students, how can UCD and volunteer involving organisations support these students to engage in volunteering?

Currently, there are lower levels of participation in volunteering among young people and more marginalised groups in society. Ireland's new National Volunteering Strategy 2021-2025 outlines that it is important that the "diversity in our communities and of people of different backgrounds and circumstances (is) reflected more proportionately within the volunteering community". Research on volunteering constantly indicates that inequalities of resources and power means that some people are more likely to be excluded from engaging in volunteering activities. These obstacles include additional caring or work responsibilities, disabilities, lack of access to transport, economic disadvantage, health and wellbeing issues, etc. Meaning that those who potentially have the most to gain from volunteering are the least likely to participate, which leads to further inequality.

For more information on UCD in the Community, visit their website: www.ucd.ie/ucdinthecommunity/

Application Link


Terms & Conditions

Competition Terms & Conditions

  • Open only to registered UCD students.
  • Students can present one challenge only.
  • People can submit as an individual or in a team (max 4 people in the team)
  • Applicants must register their interest online via the application form before the deadline of Friday 19th March
  • Video submissions should be no longer than 5 minutes. 
  • Video submissions must be sent to Rebecca.Boyle@ucd.ie by midnight on Friday 9th April.
  • Only one One4All Voucher will be given per person
  • Although students will not be required to develop their ideas into live projects following their presentation, ideas will be fed through to relevant stakeholders who may wish to use your solution
  • Please ensure all work related to your submission is created in line with public health guidelines.