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UCD Advantage Challenge

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

There are €700 worth of 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 challenges 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 25 Feb.
  2. Select the ONE challenge 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 UCDVO. 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 1 April 2022.

To help you develop your idea and prepare your pitch we are running a support workshop to help build skills and allow you to submit the best video possible;

Workshop: "Developing your Solution & How to Pitch It"

Time and Date To be confirmed. 

This 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.

Why should I take part?

Why should I take part?

  • Win prizes! There are some great prizes - €100 voucher for each member of the winning team, €50 for each member of the 2nd place team and €25 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, Short Movies 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 1 April 2022 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

Challenge 1: Presented by UCDVO

SDG4; ‘Quality Education’


Who volunteers? How can UCDVO extend the reach of it's volunteer programme across all genders[1] ?

With a high proportion of UCDVO’s Volunteer Programme participants coming from the female community in UCD, what accounts for the volunteer gap between the sexes? Please recommend how UCDVO can recruit and include more of the male community in UCD in our volunteer programme?

About UCDVO:

UCD Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO) is a registered charity founded in 2003 by the late Fr. Tony Coote. We are based within UCD Global and are governed by a Board of Trustees.

UCDVO’s Vision is for the UCD Community to have an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing humanity worldwide, and the determination and commitment to tackle issues underlying global poverty and inequality. UCDVO’s Mission is to provide the UCD Community with opportunities to engage in international volunteering and development education activities, which are designed in partnership with local communities and in line with international development frameworks.

UCDVO’s Volunteer Programme combines international volunteering (onsite and online) and global citizenship education (GCE) to encourage critical thinking and active citizenship. The programme places emphasis on developing participants’ interpersonal, intercultural, and life skills as well as increasing UCD’s global engagement.               

The programme is open to all members of the UCD community, (students, staff, faculty and alumni) and includes several GCE workshops, project planning days, leadership training, health and safety, as well as approximately four weeks volunteering (online) with one of our overseas partners in India, Tanzania or Uganda. Volunteers work in groups  with one of our overseas partners in India, Tanzania and Uganda in the area of health, education and livelihoods.

UCDVO is always looking to engage people from a broad range of backgrounds; and while our participants increasingly represent a rich mix of nationalities and age, gender representation is imbalanced with male participants significantly outnumbered by female participants. We are interested to know if gender is a key predictor of participation? How are gender needs of volunteers addressed by UCDVO in our volunteer programme? And what creative approaches can we implement to address this imbalance?

[1] Gender roles identified based on self-reporting by past programme participants. We use the term ‘female’ to denote a person who identifies as a woman; and ‘male’ to denote any person who identifies as a man. UCDVO respects and welcomes participants from the full spectrum of gender identities and gender expressions.





Challenge 2: Presented by UCD Green Campus

UCD Green Campus focus on UNSDG11 

How can active and sustainable commutes be encouraged among students who live 6km or less from Campus?

Keeping cars off the road reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution while reducing traffic and the need for expensive parking construction.
Around 85% of the UCD Student population commute through sustainable means, by walking, cycling, or taking public transport.

However, 25% of students who drive to campus live within 6km of Belfield (approximately 20-minute cycle, and with high public transport connectivity). 

Driving short distances to and from campus each day adds unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions to our atmosphere.

Check out UCD Green Campus website & social media for more information


Challenge 3: Presented by Healthy UCD

UNSDG3 Good Health and Wellbeing


How would you encourage and facilitate students and staff to enhance their wellbeing by using the outdoor campus environment in their daily routines with the aim of alleviating stress and anxiety?

The Belfield campus environment provides space for daily healthy activities which can be a benefit to the mental and physical wellbeing of every member of the college community. As students and staff continue to re-engage with campus life and post covid hybrid learning and work arrangements, how can they be helped and encouraged to use the outdoor campus landscape?

For more information on Healthy UCD, visit the website - www.ucd.ie/healthyucd - or follow us on Instagram or Twitter @healthyucd

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 25 Feb
  • Video submissions should be no longer than 5 minutes. 
  • Video submissions must be sent to Rebecca.Boyle@ucd.ie by midnight on Friday 1 April.
  • Only one 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.