Student Design Awards global bursary - RSA

Student Design Awards global bursary


The RSA Student Design Awards has launched a limited Global Student Bursary, which students can apply for until 21 February.

The RSA Student Design Awards is a global competition that challenges students to apply their skills and creativity to tackle today’s most pressing social and environmental issues. The competition has been running since 1924 but has evolved dramatically in that time. Last year we publicly shared our commitment to reimagining it yet again, with the aim of redesigning our criteria and judging process to create a more equitable process for applicants who want to participate in the world's longest-running student design competition.

We later reflected on this work with a virtual ‘fireside chat’ between Nat Ortiz, Senior Designer at the RSA, and George Aye, FRSA of Greater Good Studios, on their experience working together and how they hope to make open innovation more inclusive. In this conversation, we acknowledged that we are on the beginning of this journey and we are continuing to think about ways we can redistribute the power we hold and even the playing field. This global bursary is one way we hope to do just that.The RSA Student Design Awards is a global competition that asks students to take the skills and knowledge they have and apply them to a series of pressing social, environmental challenges.

We have had talented global applicants over the years from Turkey, Russia, Singapore, Costa Rica and more. Many go on to be commended or win such as Dominik Falconi, Denisse Rodriguez and Jose Ortiz, from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, with their project RISE (2017): an intelligent carpet for growing crops in refugee camps to boost resources and restart economic flow.

We are always impressed by the quality work we receive, but we are aware that it can be more difficult for students to not only find out about the competition when working in another country, but also more difficult to afford.

The cost of applying to the Student Design Awards is paid for in British pounds, which can be a high cost and a barrier to entry for students in other parts of the globe, due to the differences in the cost of living globally and the fluctuating exchange rates.

In an effort to make this process more equitable and open to students passionate about social impact in other countries, we have launched a limited Global Student Bursary in 2021. This bursary covers the cost of the applicant's submission fee to the 2021 Student Design Awards.

The bursary is available to candidates who reside internationally (outside of the United Kingdom) who have difficulty paying the entry fee but wish to participate. There are limited bursaries available and to be eligible for this bursary applicants must comply with the entry criteria:

  • You must be a student or recent graduate, having completed your most recent schooling no earlier than March 2020.
  • You must reside outside the United Kingdom
  • You are passionate about design for social change
  • You feel that the entry fee to the Student Design Awards would be difficult for you to cover for affordability, currency or exchange rate reason.

Applications can be submitted until 21 February 2021 at 11:59 pm GMT and we will inform all applicants by 24 February of the outcome of their application. If you receive the bursary, we will issue you with a unique voucher code to use when you submit your proposal online through our website.

The final deadline to enter the RSA Student Design Awards is 10 March 2021, 4pm GMT.

RSA Student Design Awards

Our competition for emerging designers who want to make a difference.