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UCD Advantage Challenge

UCD Advantage SDG Challenge, 2019-20

Applications are now closed.

In partnership with UCD Green Campus, Healthy UCD, UCDVO and UCD Innovation Academy UCD Careers Network held the first ever UCD Advantage SDG Challenge. We challenged students to find creative solutions to issues facing the UCD community and then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

UCD Advantage SDG Award Challenge 2

Full Gallery of Photos 

There was €700 worth of prizes to be won, with a €100 One4All voucher for each member of the winning team. Participation in the Challenge could be included as an activity in the UCD Advantage Award application.

Each of the issues were linked to a UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). 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. Groundbreaking 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. 

We asked and students answered, and with their amazing contributions and ideas we had our first ever UCD Advantage SDG Award Challenge!


1st Place: Six Thing Hats

2nd Place: Clink

Joint 3rd Place: UCDVH SustainabiliTEAM and Predictably Irrational

How do I take part?

This is a team-based challenge, with a maximum of 4 members in each team. All members must be registered UCD students. To participate, all you need to do is:

  1.  Register 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 for   application is Friday 7th February.
  2.  Select the ONE challenge 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 most.
  3.  Develop your proposed solution to the challenge and prepare the 5 minute pitch that your team will present on Thursday 27th February (5-8pm).


To help you develop your idea and prepare your pitch we are running two workshops:

Workshop 1

E2.16 Sci East: Wednesday 12th Feb, 5-7pm - Workshop 1: "Developing & Refining your Solution"

Workshop 2

H1.49 Sci Hub: Tues 18th Feb, 5-7pm - Workshop 2: "Pitching with Impact"

The Crean and Shackleton Lounge is next door to the Welcome Centre in the O'Brien.

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 etc.
  • 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 is the competition criteria?

Teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges on Thursday 27th February from 5pm. Each team will have a maximum 5 minutes to pitch their solution to their chosen challenge. You use any medium you like to make your pitch, it doesn’t have to be Powerpoint!

Pitches will be judged on the following criteria;


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

Does your solution showcase 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 will your idea stand the test of time and grow 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 UCD Green Campus

Green Campus focus on SDG 12; ‘Responsible Consumption & Production’ - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Challenge Question: How would you ensure the UCD community recycle correctly & prevent waste contamination?

Incorrect segregation of items in recycling, composting and general waste bins results in much lower levels of recycling and composting. Increasing levels of mixed material products, confusing labelling, instructions and signage on products currently on the market as well as restrictions of what can be recycled in Ireland can make communicating and educating people on how to dispose of their waste very challenging. As UCD works to increase recycling and composting rates on campus, communicating to the community on how to segregate waste correctly is a significant challenge.

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


Green Campus_logo
Challenge 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

Challenge Question: How would you encourage healthy eating at UCD?

A healthy, well-balanced diet plays a vital role in our lives. Eating healthy can be difficult as it is often seen as expensive, time consuming and not easily accessible. Furthermore a lack of knowledge and understanding of healthy food can often lead people to make uneducated decisions regarding their food choices. 

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

 Healthy UCD
Challenge 3: Presented by UCDVO

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


SDG 10 


Challenge Question: How can UCDVO harness the benefits of technology to provide the UCD community with opportunities to engage in international volunteering and development education activities?

UCD Volunteers Overseas (UCDVO) is a registered charity based in UCD that collaborates with local communities and NGOs on small-scale development projects in response to local needs. Projects are typically focused around health, education and community development, and are currently located in India, Tanzania and Uganda.

UCDVO runs a year-long international volunteering and development education programme for UCD students, staff and alumni. The aim of development education is to deepen understanding and encourage people towards taking action for a more just and equal world (Irish Aid). It has a crucial role in the success all of the SDGs, through raising awareness, facilitating participation and supporting engagement with the Goals (Irish Development Education Association).

UCDVO is constantly looking for ways to improve its inclusivity and sustainability. Increasingly, technology presents an opportunity to reduce barriers to volunteer participation – whether related to the fundraising/financial commitment, or inability to travel due to other obligations, ill-health or disability. In addition to expanding the recruitment of volunteers, technology also provides an impetus for returned volunteers to stay involved in an accessible and flexible way, thus promoting continuous engagement.

As an international volunteering body, UCDVO also faces the challenge of reducing its carbon footprint. While air travel accounts for less than 5% of the total human impact on climate change, it often represents a huge proportion of an individual’s personal emissions. Many climate activists argue that the decision not to fly might be the most significant reduction in emissions we can make as individuals. As one of the most polluting activities people regularly engage in, Irish charities must consider the environmental impact of international volunteering.

For these reasons, UCDVO is looking to explore the potential integration of online learning & collaboration, as well as other opportunities technology may offer in terms of volunteer inclusivity and environmental sustainability.

For more information on UCDVO, visit their website: http://www.ucdvo.org/

UCD VO_logo

Applications are now closed!


Terms & Conditions

Competition Terms & Conditions

  • Open only to registered UCD students.
  • Teams can present on one challenge only.
  • Teams must comprise a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 people.
  • Individuals can apply with the possibility of being placed in a group, however this is not guaranteed based on application numbers
  • Applicants must register online via application form before deadline of Fri 7 Feb
  • Applicants must be available to present the evening of Thur 27 Feb. All team members must be in attendance although all team members are not required to present
  • Teams representation at both workshops is mandatory.
  • Presentations should be no longer than 5 minutes. 
  • Depending on application numbers, UCD Careers Network reserves the right to shortlist in advance teams who will present on the evening of Feb 27th. We aim to see all teams, however this will depend on application numbers
  • Only one One4All Voucher will be given per person
  • Although teams 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