Skip to main content

Competition Process

Interested in volunteering with IDEAS? Click here to get to the volunteer application page.

Competition Process

Each year, we receive entries from 60-80 teams during one or more of the IDEAS Global Challenge initial entry rounds. Approximately 40 teams on average meet our eligibility requirements and are invited to enter the final round. Of these 40, usually 10 teams win 15-month IDEAS grants to pilot their projects.

  1. IDEATE: How do you want to innovate for social impact? Get your mind working and find partners at our Generator Dinners, (Sept 27, Feb 7), or other social impact networking opportunities on campus
  2. REGISTER: Register yourself and your team, and fill out your profile at
  3. PREPARE: Prepare a Scope Statement, think about who your community partner will be, research your problem. [If you need grants to improve your idea, by traveling to your community, or prototyping, apply for the opportunities provided by Sandbox, ProjectX, or Legatum Seed Grants!]
  4. APPLY: Submit your Scope Statement (on FluidReview) by at least one of the three deadlines
    1. October 25, 2018 by 6pm
    2. January 17, 2019 by 6pm
    3. February 28, 2019 by 6pm
  5. IMPROVE: After each entry round you’ll receive feedback from a team of reviewers. You’ll also pick a time to meet with IDEAS staff to discuss your ideas and the reviewer comments. Incorporate the feedback to improve your ideas. When possible, attend “Get Good Stuff Done” workshops:
  6. FINAL COMPETITION: If selected, your team will be invited to submit your Final Proposal to the judges by Tuesday, April 9, 2018. The IDEAS staff will notify you about your eligibility.
  7. PITCH: Pitch your idea to judges and the audience at the Innovation Showcase on Saturday, April 27. Here you’ll meet with the judges to give your pitch, answer questions, and display prototypes and posters. After the closed judging segment, your team will participate in the public showcase. We’ll wrap up the afternoon by announcing the teams that will receive our 15-month grants.
  8. REALIZE: If judges select your team to receive an implementation grant from IDEAS, congratulations! Prepare your work plan at the IDEAS Winners’ Retreat (May 10-11), and implement your idea over the 15-month grant (through August 2020).

Get started by setting up your team account on FluidReview. MIT student team leader must sign up with address: