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Announcing the CNS Think Big Competition‏

Announcing the CNS Think Big Competition‏

Do you have what it takes? 

Dear Students,

The college is pleased to announced this year's "Think Big" competition. As a young science entrepreneur, what innovative ideas do you have that could make the world a better place to live? You can put your best idea or innovation forward and compete for up to $10,000. This is a student-only competition designed to allow you to propose unique ideas around making the world a better place using science. The goal of this competition is to showcase and support the growing innovation network in the College of Natural Sciences and is designed to inspire students to “Think Big,” outside the scope of their normal curricula, experiences and boundaries.

Please see the program description below. Additional information will be posted on the College of Natural Sciences Think Big Competition website after Monday, Feb. 10. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, we hope the information below will get your creative ideas to start flowing and you or a team will consider submitting an idea for this very sizable award.

In other news, check out the weekly news items about events, study abroad, and scholarship opportunities, summer internships, and more. Please also remember to attend the CTBAC focus group conversations following last week's Town Hall on the freshman and transfer experience. The college will be working on new plans for how to support and welcome new students, and we want your help. Next focus group is February 12 at 5pm in SAC 1.118. If possible, please let CTBAC President Juan Herrejon at juan.herrejon@utexas.edu if you can make it.

Best wishes for the coming week
-- Dr. Kopp

2014 Think Big Competition
Deadline: March 9, 2014

Eligibility Guidelines
-All currently enrolled students in a degree-seeking program, at any level of study in any department within the College of Natural Sciences, are eligible to apply. 
-All applicants must be enrolled in 12 or more hours and regularly attending classes at the time of application and through the spring semester 2014. 
-Teams of up to 4 students may submit proposals, but at least one team member must be a current CNS student, and all team members must be currently enrolled UT Austin students.
-Teams or team members may reapply to the Think Big Competition each year, but repeat applicants MAY NOT submit the same idea proposal.

Award Information
-The author(s) of the winning proposal will be awarded a $10,000 award. If a team wins, the award will be split evenly among members. The winner(s) will be announced March 14th and the winner(s) must be present to accept the award at a brief ceremony Tuesday, March 25th.

Proposal Guidelines
-Proposals must be student-generated and innovative and aim to alleviate a problem(s) of global scale.
-Ideas and innovations must be the original idea of the applicant(s), and must be new, student-generated projects that demonstrate innovative thinking or approaches in any area of the science, technology, mathematics, or social sciences.
-The same proposal MAY NOT be resubmitted in future Think Big Competitions.

Application Instructions and Guidelines
-Submit the following items to Lynda Gonzales, lyndag@austin.utexas.edu, ATTN: Think Big Proposals, College of Natural Sciences.
-Proposals due no later than 11:59 pm March 9, 2014.

Proposal Format
-The completed Think Big Proposal Form
-A Proposal, not to exceed 3 pages, that includes:
       -Identification and description of the global problem that your idea or innovation addresses
       -A detailed explanation of your idea or innovation
       -A discussion of the intended impact of your idea or innovation
       -Identification of potential technical or scientific challenges and ethical, legal, and cultural considerations

Required Proposal Attachments
-A brief Letter from a faculty mentor supporting the proposal.
-Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae or Resume.

-Request for Proposals Released — February 9, 2014
-Proposals due — March 9, 2014 (11:59pm)
-Award Notification — March 14, 2014
-Award Ceremony — March 25, 2014 (5:00 PM)

Application Review Process and Evaluation Criteria
Think Big Proposals will be reviewed by a committee consisting of faculty in the College of Natural Sciences as well as members of the Austin business community. The award will be announced in March and funds released in April 2014. Evaluation criteria include:
   -Identification of an area of need of a global scale that has the potential to alleviate poverty, improve health, increase education, or make the world a better place.
   -Innovation and creativity of idea (the extent to which your idea is a novel, innovative, or creative solution to the proposed problem).
   -Level and/or scale of potential impact of the proposed idea.
   -Overall quality of the proposal (the extent to which the proposal is professional, well-written, and well organized, and responds to the guidelines)

What’s Required of Me After I Receive the Award?
-In addition to attending the March 25th, 2014 Awards Ceremony, the winning team or individual must submit to Lynda Gonzales a thank you letter/ Acknowledgement of donor funding.

Contact Information
Lynda Gonzales
ATTN: Think Big Competition
College of Natural Sciences
120 Inner Campus Dr. G2550
PAI 3.04

Background on Award
Notable philanthropist and businessman, John Paul DeJoria, donated funds to launch the first annual Think Big Award in the College of Natural Sciences. Mr. DeJoria is a humanitarian who believes that “each of us has a responsibility every day to make the world a better place in which to live” and that "success unshared is failure." Mr. DeJoria joined the UT Austin College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council in 2012 and is proud of his affiliation with the program at UT that is working to make a difference in the world through science. He is the co-founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products and The Patron Spirits Company and his great fortune has given him the opportunity to share his rewards while continuing to challenge and inspire those around him.

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