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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Competitions and Awards

Taking part in competitions and awards provides students and graduates with the opportunity to develop skills, gain experience and knowledge, network with employers and sponsors and win prestigious prizes and accolades. Participation in such activities can support you to highlight your capabilities to prospective employers, and enable you to include relevant achievements on future applications to employment and work experience opportunities. High profile awards and initiatives often feature in national press and on social media channels and provide participants and winners with great publicity!

The theme of undergraduate and graduate competitions can vary greatly, but typically might include a skills, enterprise, employment or innovation focus. In some instances, the topic is related to current industry or sector issues and challenges. Other competitions may have a more academic focus. Some are regional or national, others are global! You may be required to submit a proposal, find a solution to a problem, work as part of a team or to develop an idea, product or campaign.

Competitions may take place on campus or could be hosted by an employer, as part of industry and university engagement activities. Others may be coordinated by the Careers & Enterprise Centre, such as:

Blueprint StartUp Challenge – A high profile, annual student enterprise competition, supported by Santander Universities.

Summer of Experience – An initiative designed to inspire students to do something meaningful and beneficial to their employability, with their summer vacation. Reflect on your summer activities, and tell your fellow students about it for the chance to win! This year, we know that circumstances are very different. If you have managed to do what you set out to do, then brilliant! If you have had to completely re-plan and adapt your summer plans, then we are keen to hear about this too.

Student Employee of the Year Award - the Durham competition leads into regional and national stages organised by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES). The awards aim to recognise and promote the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who combine part-time work with their study commitments. The Student Employer of the Year category offers the opportunity for excellent employers to gain recognition for their contribution.

Examples of major external undergraduate and graduate competitions and awards include:

Browse listings below to identify competitions of interest and search for other opportunities on company and sector websites and their associated social media pages.

Crossing the Tees Short Story Competition 2020

We're delighted to announce that this year's short story competition is now OPEN!
Budding authors and creative writers, share your stories with us to be in with a chance to appear in a published anthology and take home a cash prize!

Find out more at Crossing the Tees.

Closing date 31st October 2020.