Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Get ready to change the world. The Grand Challenges Scholars Program tackles the 14 "Grand Challenges" that engineers face as they work to create a more sustainable planet. From ensuring access to clean water to restoring urban infrastructure to preventing nuclear terror, these are big questions. But with an innovative mindset, you can make a difference.

The Grand Challenges Scholars Program is a special initiative of the National Academy of Engineering, the preeminent engineering organization in the world. The Grand Challenges Scholars Program at Bucknell seeks to educate students about the Grand Challenges, instill in them a passion for solving these and other important interdisciplinary problems, and equip them to pursue the Grand Challenges through their research and work.

Consider Joining the Grand Challenges Scholars if you:

  • Care deeply about the social implications of your work.
  • Want to play a vital role in improving conditions in your communities or on this Earth.
  • Are intellectually curious and committed to learning in a variety of contexts.

Program Requirements

The National Academy of Engineering requires all Grand Challenges Scholars to complete five sets of broadening and high-engagement activities relating to one or more Grand Challenges.

  • Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Scholars must complete a curriculum that prepares them to tackle one or more of the Grand Challenges.
  • Research or Major Project: Scholars must initiate, complete and make a presentation on a research project related to one or more Grand Challenges.
  • Service Learning: Scholars must complete an approved service learning experience that ideally will provide experiential learning and multicultural awareness. The Office of Civic Engagement can help scholars identify meaningful service learning opportunities.
  • Entrepreneurship Experience: Scholars must complete some form of entrepreneurial activity, whether related to a for-profit venture or a social entrepreneurship activity.
  • Global Perspective: Scholars must complete a global awareness activity (ideally study abroad) in order to understand the global aspects of the problem they are trying to solve and the contextual challenges to implementing solutions.

Grand Challenges Scholars Program Directors

Associate Professor Jessica Newlin

Associate Professor Amal Kabalan


I’m ready for the challenge