Big Ideas@Berkeley is an annual innovation contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of UC undergraduate and graduate students who have “big ideas.” Since its founding, UC Berkeley’s annual Big Ideas prize contest has inspired innovative and high-impact student projects aimed at solving the world’s most pressing problems. By seeking out novel proposals and then supporting efforts to help them succeed, Big Ideas has supported contest winners in making an impact all over the world.
How Big Ideas Works
The Big Ideas contest is split into two rounds: a pre-proposal round in the fall and a full proposal round in the spring.
Round 1: Pre-proposal
Eligible students are invited to submit a five-page pre-proposal by Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5PM (PST) via the bigideas.berkeley.edu website. Judges will select 3 to 6 teams in each category to continue on to the full proposal round of the contest in the spring. All pre-proposal teams will receive detailed feedback from the judges, regardless of whether or not they are selected as finalists. Pre-proposal entrants will be notified the first week of December 2012 if they have been selected as a finalist.
Round 2: Full Proposal
Finalist teams will have the opportunity to develop and refine their pre-proposals into ten-page “full proposals” due on March 12, 2013. In this full proposal, finalists will expand on the ideas presented in their pre-proposals, edit their proposals based on judges’ feedback, and refine their project ideas through collaboration with a Big Ideas mentor (a Bay Area industry professional matched to the finalist team based on the mentor’s content knowledge and areas of strength). From the finalist pool, judges will select between two and five award winners in each category.