Advancing Development Goals 

The 2014 Geneva International Contest for Graduate Students: Women empowerment

We are pleased to announce the launch of an international competition for graduate students. We owe both the initiative and the funding to Mr Jenö Staehelin, former Swiss Ambassador to the United Nations and a longtime friend of the Graduate Institute.


The 2014 topic

This first year’s topic is " Empowering Women for Development" with an emphasis on social, political and/or economic inclusion. According to the 2013 MDG Report , women access to education, healthcare financial security and decision-making power in the public and private spheres remains precarious, falling below target. Women empowerment, thus constitutes an essential dimension of any post-2015 agenda. 

Who we challenge

We welcome contributions by groups of 3 to 5 enrolled graduate students involving at least two different disciplinary backgrounds or perspectives. Your works should be sent by email from mid-November until before 30 April 2014.


Entries should be written in English and must be no longer than 8000 words including all notes and references. They should contain: a) the presentation of a problem to women empowerment; b) a rigorous analysis on how it affects women; c) an innovative contribution to promote women empowerment.


We are looking for contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant problem, proposing innovation with regard to policies, practice, process or technology.  Other important criteria include: originality, creativity and applicability.

Selection process

3 or 4 shortlisted teams will be invited (traveling and accommodation expenses covered) to an oral presentation in Geneva, where they will defend their proposals to an independent jury of experts. 


The winning project will recieve a cash prize of 10'000 CHF. The second prize will receive 5,000 CHF and the third, 2,500 CHF.