CHARM-EU Capstone Sustainability Challenge

Period: 04-09-2023 - 02-02-2024CHARM-EU

Let talented Master students help you to identify, investigate and address complex sustainability challenges.

Submission deadline: 24-03-2023
CHARM-EU Capstone Sustainability Challenge
CHARM-EU Capstone Sustainability Challenge
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The Capstone is the final phase of the CHARM-EU Master's programme Global Challenges for Sustainability. From September 2023 until February 2024, student teams collaborate with external stakeholders to identify, analyse and address complex sustainability challenges. In doing so, they will develop proposals for solutions to these challenges. The Capstone can generate knowledge, fresh insights and other useful outputs. These can include scientific analyses; business models; policy briefs or recommendations; communication materials; or software, tools or prototypes. More information about the Capstone can be found here. For information about the previous edition of the Capstone and the challenges conducted by the students and stakeholders, see here.

CHARM-EU is a European University Alliance that has developed the first ever European joint degree Master's programme that is currently run by 5 universities: the University of Barcelona, Utrecht University, Trinity College Dublin, University of Montpellier and Eötvos Loránd University Budapest. During the Capstone, student teams will be spread across the 5 universities and supervised by academics from one of these universities.

✅ Key features of the challenge

  • Students per team: ca. 5 students
  • Programme: CHARM-EU Master programme Global Challenges for Sustainability
  • Level: Master
  • Deliverables: Individual and team-based analyses and a final Capstone report with a proposed solution
  • Stakeholder time investment: Ca. 15 hrs in total: meetings with student team at least once a month & feedback on deliverables and presentations
  • Free of charge

📑 Capstone Challenges

Capstone challenges focus on important societal (rather than organisational) issues related to sustainability. Challenges need to meet criteria related to interdisciplinarity, feasibility (incl. in terms of ethical procedures), scope, inclusivity and societal relevance. Most challenges focus on one or more of the countries where the 5 universities are based (Spain, The Netherlands, France, Ireland or Hungary), but can also be global in nature and/or focus on other EU or non-EU countries. Further information about the criteria for selecting challenges can be found here

🏢 Benefits & requirement for participating external stakeholders

These are some of the ways in which you can benefit from being involved in the Capstone:

  • Identify ways to address sustainability challenges together with students and academics.
  • Receive useful outputs in the form of a final Capstone product, e.g. reports, policy briefs, infographics, business models, prototypes, etc. The Capstone product will be co-defined by extra-academic actors, students and academic supervisors. Please note, however, that students are in the lead of their own analyses and products.
  • Test or use certain technologies, software, tools, methods or equipment.
  • Build competences, knowledge and skills, e.g. through mixed classrooms and workshops whereby students and professionals learn together.
  • Network with other extra-academic actors, academics and students, and establish long-term collaborations with CHARM-EU and its eight partners.
  • Recruit CHARM-EU students for internships/traineeships and jobs and/or help to develop knowledge and skills among (potential) future employees.
  • Academics can also propose challenges, for example by linking challenges to their own research projects and thereby advance their own transdisciplinary research

External stakeholders can become engaged in the Capstone if they:

  • Are active in addressing sustainability challenges that relate to (some of) the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  
  • Value trans- and interdisciplinary approaches and inclusiveness
  • Are willing to invest (some) time and effort in the Capstone. The main client who submits a challenge is expected to at least meet student teams once a month and provide feedback on the proposal, the Capstone report and the students’ presentation thereof.  
  • The main client will sign an agreement or letter of intent to express commitment, availability and openness to sharing the final Capstone product in an online repository.   

💰 Costs

Free of charge.

📨 How to apply

You can submit the challenge directly through this website. Please provide a title of your challenge, a brief description of your challenge (max. 300 words), and  information about and/or weblinks to your organisation. In the description of your challenge, please touch on: inter-/transdisciplinarity of the challenge, how your organisation is dealing with the challenge, language requirements for the student team (if any), and the university you wish to align your challenge with (this is usually within the same country you are in). Feel free to include any weblinks with further information about your challenge.

Please note that the possibility to work on your submitted challenge will depend on students' interests, availability of academic supervisors, and division of student teams across the 5 CHARM-EU partner universities. Hence, submitting a challenge does not guarantee the ability to execute it. 

🗓 Planning

  • March 24: Deadline for submitting your challenge
  • March 31 (or sooner): Receiving message whether your challenge is eligible
  • April 21 (or sooner): Students rank the challenges
  • May 12 (or sooner): Matches are communicated
  • May 22 or 23: Kick-off meeting with your team (hybrid)
  • September 4: Start Capstone

Questions? Want to discuss your challenge before submitting one? Please feel free to reach out to Dr. Marjanneke Vijge, coordinator of the Capstone:

Submit Challenge

Submitting a challenge is easy. Provide a short title, some context and company details. We will review your challenge and if needed contact you to discuss.

CHARM-EU Capstone Sustainability Challenge

04-09-2023 - 02-02-2024
Submit before 24-03-2023

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