Who can apply to be a Grand Challenges Scholar?

The GCSP application process this year will be open to first- and second-year students and to third-year students who have completed or arranged to complete a satisfactory research project somewhat related to a Grand Challenge. All majors are welcome to apply, not just engineering majors. There is no longer a minimum GPA requirement, but students who have a record of academic misconduct or who are on GPA or credit warning are not eligible to apply.

What is the process for applying to be a Grand Challenges Scholar?

Complete the application form. You will need to upload your academic progress report (APR) to complete the form.

The application deadline is typically early March.

Why is there an application process?

GC Scholars receive special educational opportunities, special course and career advice from GCSP Steering Committee members, and may receive special funding, so it is important for the program's sustainability that all GC Scholars are likely to complete their GCSP requirements. Although the GCSP requirements are not expected to make it more difficult to complete all degree requirements and GCSP requirements within the normal four year window (five years for dual degree students), the GCSP requirements do require GC Scholars to demonstrate thoughtful initiative and persistence. The application process allows the GCSP Steering Committee to identify applicants who are not sufficiently motivated or have other circumstances that may prevent them from completing their GCSP requirements.

If I am not accepted, can I apply again?

Yes, you may apply one more time during a subsequent semester. It is recommended that you first consult with the GCSP Director before applying a second time.

Who will make the decision regarding my application?

GC Scholars will be selected by the GCSP Steering Committee.


Will I receive help to ensure I complete the five GCSP requirements?

Although GC Scholars are expected to take initiative and demonstrate the ability to work independently, program participants will receive support in identifying opportunities and choosing the most appropriate means for completing their GCSP requirements. The GCSP website identifies engineering and non-engineering courses most relevant to each Grand Challenge. Each GC Scholar will be assigned an advisory committee of 2-3 faculty/staff members to oversee the student's progress and provide advice on which opportunities would make the most sense given the student's interests, academic background, etc. This committee will complement, not replace, the guidance received from each student's academic adviser.

Can activities I completed before I was accepted into the GCSP count towards my requirements?

Yes, all relevant activities experienced after you arrived at Bucknell will count towards your GCSP requirements. For example, if you participated in ENGR 290, participated in an approved service learning trip, did relevant summer research, or took relevant courses before you were accepted, these activities will count.

What if I don't complete all of the GCSP requirements before I graduate?

The National Academy will not recognize partial completion of GCSP requirements. Therefore, students who do not complete all of the requirements will not receive a framed certificate or the letter from the NAE.

What special costs are associated with being a Grand Challenges Scholar?

The GCSP Steering Committee is committed to allowing all GC Scholars to complete their GCSP requirements within the normal four-year graduation window and without incurring additional costs. However, some of the options for completing GCSP requirements may involve additional expenses. Study abroad and three-week summer courses always involves travel expenses and often a program fee. Some service-learning experiences (such as the Bucknell Brigade) may have travel costs. GC Scholars will be required to pay for these expenses, however, we are working to solicit donations and line up internal funds to substantially reduce the costs for students who are on financial aid.

What if I am accepted then decide I no longer want to be a Grand Challenges Scholar?

You simply need to meet with the GCSP Director to let him/her know that you are no longer interested in being in the program.