Global Challenges Award

 


Applications are now closed

Pilot Project

About the Global Challenges Award

The Global Challenges Award falls under The Faculty of Engineering’s Empower initiative. It will allow undergraduate students to participate in experiential learning opportunities that offer immeasurable experience in teamwork, leadership, and communication within the greater community, further complementing the education they receive. Through this initiative, students will apply their engineering related problem-solving skills in non-conventional settings far beyond the university. By creating the conditions to spark innovative solutions for societal change whether close to McGill or abroad, students will acquire the necessary skills to become tomorrow’s globally minded leaders equipped to solve problems that matter.

The Faculty of Engineering is striving to expand opportunities for undergraduates to participate in Global Challenges and is determined that such opportunities to be accessible to all undergraduates regardless of their financial capacity. Through this pilot project and generous donor support, the McGill Engineering Student Centre (MESC) is providing special funding to offer up to 3 awards of up to $10,000 each. The Faculty recognizes that financial barriers often discourage students from participating in service learning, humanitarian learning, and other types of activities that help create a better world that do not come with a paid wage. This award is intended to help undergraduate students defray the associated costs of participating in an unpaid opportunity where they can put their engineering skills to work while serving the community and promoting societal change.


Why should you apply?

We want you to think big, be bold, take a project to the next level or try something new. Engineering is about solving problems, communicating solutions and working with people. Thanks to generous donors the Faculty can support you financially to work on a project that would otherwise be out of reach to you because it is not funded. Now is your chance. Scroll down for the application form.

Where do these opportunities exist?

Are you currently involved in an engineering related unpaid extra-curricular activity that benefits the greater community? Would a stipend over the summer allow you to further a particular project?

Is there an NGO or community organization (local, remote, abroad) that has a summer project that could use an engineering students’ knowledge and expertise?

As this award is in its first year, the Faculty is open to exploring opportunities with you. We cannot link you to an organization or current project such as traditional awards would. We encourage you to explore different ways that your technical skills can benefit the community. If you are unsure whether or not your opportunity or idea falls within the eligibility criteria defined below, we suggest meeting with the lorraine.donald [at] mcgill.ca (Skills Development Advisor) to discuss it.

When to apply?

For the Summer 2020 Award, applications are now open and close March 12th 2020. All applications will be reviewed after the closing date by a committee of Faculty of Engineering members.

What are the next steps?

Ensure to read through the guidelines which include details about eligible opportunities, the application timeline and application requirements. Incomplete applications will not be accepted, please gather all required documents before applying.

Eligible Opportunities

The Faculty will determine which opportunities shall be eligible and will provide you with a supporting document (such as a transcript entry on your co-curricular record) to prove recognition. Eligible opportunities generally involve a vetting/selection process, are mentored, and have clear plans, learning outcomes and deliverables.

If you are unsure whether or not your opportunity falls within the eligibility criteria defined below, we suggest meeting with the lorraine.donald [at] mcgill.ca (Skills Development Advisor) to discuss it.

 

The opportunity must:

  • Be between 12 to 16 weeks in length during the Summer 2020 term
  • Be clear in its description of duties, responsibilities and deliverables required of the student
  • Demonstrate opportunity for personal, professional and/or leadership development
  • Demonstrate that the student will be using their engineering knowledge
  • Be supervised by a professional and include at minimum a final evaluation of the student

 

Types of opportunities include:

  • New projects related to engineering in a community organization or NGO
  • Ongoing projects related to engineering in a community organization or NGO
  • Unpaid service learning opportunities here or abroad that require an engineering student

 

Non-Eligible Opportunities:

  • Exchange semesters abroad
  • Study away semester
  • Internship or Co-op work-term in a private-for-profit company
  • Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering at McGill University – SURE program
  • University affiliated Research Abroad – SURE International
  • Opportunities that allow for university credit upon completion
  • For credit field studies

 

Student Eligibility:

To be considered for the Global Challenges Award, you must meet all of the following:

  1. Be enrolled in an Undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University
  2. Return for at least 1 term of studies before completing your degree
  3. Be in satisfactory academic standing
  4. Have completed at least 2 full-time academic terms

Limited to 1 application per academic year/term

What does the funding include?

Funding amounts will be based on several factors. Financial support from other sources or awards is not a prerequisite for the Global Challenges Award but will be taken into account in the final amount disbursed. A detailed budget will be required to assess the final value of the award. Items in budget may include travel, accommodation, and one-time relocation expenses (for opportunities outside the Montreal area), specialized equipment (steel toed boots, building material, tools, specialty equipment rentals …), costs related to insurance and visas/entry fees. The Award will not subsidize the purchase of certain materials including but not limited to a computer, camera, etc.

Example 1: You have an unpaid opportunity in the Montreal area that meets the eligibility criteria and you have no other sources of funding. Based on your budget you would receive the minimum stipend (amount TBD) plus living expenses and specialized equipment purchases.

Example 2: You have an unpaid opportunity abroad that meets the eligibility criteria below and you have no other sources of funding. Based on your budget you may receive the minimum stipend (amount TBD) plus travel and living expenses.

Example 3: You have an unpaid opportunity in the Montreal area that meets the eligibility criteria below and you have $1500 in other funding. Based on your budget you may receive the minimum stipend minus the other funding, plus living expenses and specialized equipment purchases.

Example 4: You have an unpaid opportunity abroad area that meets the eligibility criteria below and you have $2000 in other funding. Based on your budget you may receive the minimum stipend minus the $2000 from other funding, plus travel and living expenses and specialized equipment purchases.

How to apply & Application requirements

The application process is entirely online, please see the Application Form tab on the left-hand side.

Applications are now open and close March 12th 2020. All applications will be reviewed after the closing date by a committee of Faculty of Engineering members.

To help with your planning, you may apply for the Global Challenges Award without having official confirmation from your partner organization. Final disbursement of the award will only take place once your opportunity is secured and you can provide supporting documentation.

Please note that only online submissions will be considered and hard-copy applications will not be accepted. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

 

Required information and documents include:

  • Online application form with details pertaining to:
    1. Applicants’ personal information
    2. Description of host organization
    3. Name, contact information and title of supervisor/team lead
    4. Description of position and duties/responsibilities
    5. Description of how your engineering degree relates to the opportunity
  • Required documents to attach to online application form:
    1. Letter of Interest (maximum 500 words)
    2. Updated CV
    3. Copy of unofficial transcript
    4. Proof of Participation (i.e., email from host organization, contract) *Note that if proof of participation is pending at the time of application, you can still apply for the award. The award will only be granted once proof of participation is received.
    5. Detailed budget including overview of funding received from other sources (e.g., department, faculty, external) *Note that other external funding is not required to be eligible for a Global Challenges Award.

 

Additional Details & Decision times

  1. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of Faculty of Engineering members.
  2. Only online submissions will be considered. Hard-copy applications will not be accepted or reviewed.
  3. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
  4. The Faculty of Engineering will email successful applicants with next steps the week of March 30th, 2020.
  5. Awardees will be required to submit their banking information on Minerva for payment.
  6. Awardees will be required to write a letter of thanks to the donors upon completion of their Global Challenge.

Other Considerations

Health and Safety:

The Faculty cannot guarantee the safety of any student during the length of their project whether it be local or abroad. It is up to the student to fully assess and prepare for any health or security risks that may be involved in pursuing the opportunity. Applicants are encouraged to discuss potential risks with their family prior to applying.

Applicants must ensure that they are physically and mentally capable of successfully completing an internship in the internship host country/location. The Faculty may request a doctor’s attestation that an applicant is sufficiently healthy to complete an internship.

Traveling:

Traveling, living and working abroad can involve certain risks to your health and safety that differ from your home country. These may include: crime, political/social instability, tropical diseases/infections, extreme weather conditions, poor infrastructure, etc. All applicants should consult the Global Affairs Government of Canada Travel Advice and Advisories for the internship host country prior to applying to an opportunity abroad. http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Travel arrangements:

Preparing travel arrangements to and from the host community is the responsibility of the student.

Accommodations:

Finding suitable lodging during the project is the responsibility of the student.

Entry requirements:

Students are responsible for informing themselves of what entry requirements are required to visit and work as an intern in the host country. These may include a visa, work permit, passport valid for at least 6 months after entry, and proof of certain vaccinations. The student is responsible for acquiring all necessary documents in time for the beginning of their project. Non-USA citizens completing an internship (paid or unpaid) in the USA require a J-1 visa. Students should apply for a J-1 through Cultural Vistas or the SWAP Summer USA Program (Canadians only). Students should be prepared to pay $1,300 - $2,500 for a J-1, and should allow a six-week delay for processing. Neither the Faculty nor the host organizations are responsible for helping the student procure the visa, or speed up the processing.

Application Form

Please apply by clicking here.

If you are unsure whether or not your opportunity falls within the eligibility criteria defined below, we suggest meeting with the lorraine.donald [at] mcgill.ca (Skills Development Advisor) to discuss it.

 

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