How to Apply


We are currently accepting applications for our second cohort of Grand Challenges Scholars!

Regular deadline: April 3, 2024 

Rolling admissions: up to the start of the Fall 2024 semester.

You may submit your application at any time, and can expect a response within 2-4 weeks. Official invitations to the program will be sent out beginning mid-April 2024.

Submit your application

Interested in joining the program?

    • Review the About page and explore the Grand Challenges. Select one that connects with your interests, or consider designing your own!
    • Set up an appointment with the GCSP program director (Angela Kita, to discuss your ideas, the application process and to get support. (optional, but strongly encouraged!)
    • Complete our online application, which will ask you to submit an unofficial transcript, provide information about yourself, and explain your motivation and interest in the Grand challenges.


Apply now!

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be in good academic standing (i.e. not academic probation) and making progress towards your degree
  • First year (freshmen) students are highly encouraged to apply. 
  • Minimum of 4 semesters remaining.
  • A clear interest in the program, as demonstrated in your application responses.

Grand Challenge Scholars - Program Details

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Program timeline

GCSP scholars are encouraged to choose a pathway that best aligns with their curricular and career goals. We do not require a specific sequence for completing the program. Instead, we’ll work with you as you chart out your grand challenge journey. Here’s a general summary of the types of activities you’ll complete:

Year 1 (freshman)

Year 2 & 3 (sophomore/junior)

    • Participate in GCSP community events
    • Complete coursework and co-curricular activities in line with your Grand Challenge
    • Build your GCSP portfolio, reflecting on your experiences and goals
    • Meet with the program director in the fall and spring to chat about your progress and explore opportunities 
    • Identify a faculty mentor

Year 4 (senior)

    • Continue working towards any remaining competency requirements and confirm successful completion 
    • Consolidate your portfolio into a final summative product that articulates your experience as a Grand Challenge Scholar
    • Meet with the program director for portfolio feedback and support 
    • Present your work at a College of Engineering or UW-Madison event
    • Celebrate your accomplishments at our yearly spring event

Staying connected with the program

We’re here to help you explore and design your path towards completing your Grand Challenge program. To remain in good standing with the program, we ask that you stay connected.

    • Meet with your GCSP mentor or the program director at least once per semester
    • Update your portfolio by completing a progress report (once per semester) that summarizes your accomplishments, identifies challenges, and outlining your plan for the upcoming semester
    • Attend GCSP workshops and events
    • Present your project at a GCSP event during your senior year

Contact us

For more information, please contact the program director by email (Angela Kita, or schedule an appointment through Starfish.