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Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP)


The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges are inspired by 14 broad problems facing society in sustainability, health, security, and knowledge. Solutions to these problems will require interdisciplinary teams and years of sustained effort.


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Hajim School Grand Challenges Scholars design a personalized program that explores a selected Grand Challenge through five program areas:

  • Hands-on project or research activity
  • Interdisciplinary experience or curriculum that complements engineering fundamentals with courses in other fields, preparing students to work at the overlap with public policy, business, law, ethics, human behavior, and the arts
  • Entrepreneurial or innovation experience that prepares students to translate invention to innovation, or to develop market ventures that scale to global solutions in the public interest
  • Global dimension that develops students’ global perspective necessary to address challenges that are inherently global, as well as to lead innovation in a global economy
  • Service learning opportunity to develop and deepen students’ social consciousness that their motivation to bring their technical expertise to bear on societal problems through mentored, experiential learning with real clients.

Scholars also receive formal designation as an NAE Grand Challenges Scholar at graduation.

More information:

For more information, contact the Hajim School GCSP director, Emma Derisi, at or (585) 275-2354.

See how students have successfully become Grand Challenges Scholars. Click on the link below, then scroll to Student Spotlights.

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

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