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U21 RISE Showcase and Awards

Do you have an active project that's focused on creating global impact? Are you looking for additional support and resources to grow your reach? Apply now to be considered as a University of Maryland nominee for the international Universitas21 (U21) RISE Showcase and Awards!

A group of four students talking in a classroom with an orange overlay and the text "RISE"

Nominees for the 2024 U21 RISE Showcase and Award have been selected. Read about the student projects chosen to represent UMD on the global stage.

Program Details

RISE (Real Impact on Society and Environment) is U21’s international showcase of student achievement in sustainability and social innovation designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry. RISE welcomes current projects that focus on global challenges - such as affordable and clean energy, gender equality, quality education, or clean water and sanitation - as outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Maryland is one of 29 members of the U21 network, which brings together research-intensive universities from six continents to exchange knowledge and perspectives.

Each U21 member institution is invited to nominate student-led projects based on an aspect of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Alongside gaining access to a global network of supporters, nominated teams will have the chance of winning one of four prizes from U21 valued at over $2,000 each.

To select UMD nominees for the official, international RISE Showcase and Awards, the Do Good Institute and the Office of International Affairs' Global Learning Initiatives are hosting this preliminary, campus-wide contest. As detailed below, all Maryland nominees will receive Do Good and Office of International Affairs funding for their projects. UMD will select up to two projects as RISE nominees; two additional nominees may be selected if the nominated projects have been created in collaboration with another U21 partner institution. All nominees will be required to submit a video pitch about their project for the U21 Showcase, with feedback from the Do Good Institute and the Office of International Affairs.


Current students and recent graduates (December 2021 or later) are eligible to apply. See the U21 RISE Handbook to review what types and stages of projects qualify, the judging criteria for both Maryland and U21 consideration, and more information on what is required of nominees to create a video pitch for the U21 stage of the competition.


Each nominee will:

  • Win $1,000 in project funding, jointly offered by the Do Good Institute and the Office of International Affairs, Global Learning Initiatives
  • Serve as a UMD nominee in the international U21 RISE Showcase and Awards, becoming eligible for additional U21 prizes

Questions & Contact Information

For general questions, please contact the Global Learning Initiatives team at

Below: U21 Infographic - How far advanced should projects be?

Infographic: How far advanced should projects be? Projects at an early stage will not be eligible (for example, projects in the phase of formulation: "Wouldn't it be good if this existed?" "Governments/society/individuals should do this."). Projects that are just starting (have pitched the idea to the university and have permission from the university to deliver the project and are implementing it), projects that are being implemented (prototype or pilot), and projects that are well established are eligible

Learn More About U21 at Maryland

Universitas21 Network

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