2019: The Challenges of Global Health

The 2019 Advancing Development Goals International Contest for Graduate Students aims to present innovative and pragmatic solutions to address the challenges of health.

Many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different, persistent and emerging health issues.
Jenö Staehelin

The Challenge


Eager to stimulate reflection and innovation on development from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives and with the generous support of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin, the Graduate Institute has launched in 2014 the Advancing Development Goals Contest, an international competition for graduate students.

The idea is to gather contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant international development problem stemming from an interdisciplinary collaboration between three to five enrolled master students from anywhere in the world.

Five prizes will be distributed; one in each of the following categories (based on the UN Statistics list):

  • Universities located in Africa
  • Universities located in Asia
  • Universities located in Europe
  • Universities located in North America and Oceania
  • Universities located in South America
Announcement of the 2019 Geneva Challenge Winners

Selection Process


Submissions are evaluated by an interdisciplinary academic steering committee that will select three submissions per category to be published on the competition's website and then reviewed by an independent jury of experts with academic, governmental and private sector backgrounds.

Five finalist teams, one team per continent, will be invited (traveling and accommodation expenses covered) to an oral presentation in Geneva, where they will defend their ideas and answer questions from the jury and the public. The finalists will also be invited to an awards ceremony where the contest results will be announced, preceded by a high-level keynote speech on the challenges of climate change.



The ADG contest distributes 25,000 CHF in monetary prizes. The winning project will be awarded CHF 10,000; the two teams in second place will receive CHF 5,000 each and the two teams in third place, CHF 2,500 each.



Launch of the 2019 Geneva Challenge : 18.12.2018

Registration of teams opens : 18.12.2018 

Announcement of the Jury Panel and the Keynote Speaker : February 2019

Registration deadline : 15.04.2019

Submission deadline : 15.07.2019

Semi-finalists announced : Beginning of August 2019

Jury Evaluation meeting : Mid-August 2019

Finalists announced : Mid-August 2019

Presentations of the Finalists and Award Ceremony : 01.10.2019