UMD: A Globally Connected University

Apply to Represent UMD in the U21 RISE Showcase and Awards!

Apply to Represent UMD in the U21 RISE Showcase and Awards!

Applications for U21 RISE 21-22 are now open!

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


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. UMD is one of 27 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 $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 are hosting this preliminary, campus-wide contest. All UMD nominees will receive Do Good and Office of International Affairs funding for their projects, as detailed below. 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 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 2019 or later) are eligible to apply. See the U21 RISE guidelines to review what types and stages of projects qualify, judging criteria for both UMD and U21 consideration, and more information on what is required of nominees to create a video pitch for the U21 stage of the competition.


Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.

(Future deadlines: UMD will select its U21 RISE nominees by February 23, and nominees' U21 RISE pitches, including a video that's been vetted by UMD, are due March 16.)



Each nominee will:

  • Serve as a UMD nominee in the international U21 RISE Showcase and Awards, becoming eligible for additional U21 prizes
  • Win a $500 Do Good Institute Mini-Grant
  • Win $500 in Office of International Affairs project funding


For questions on U21 and RISE, please contact Raluca Nahorniac at For questions on the Do Good Institute, please contact Cali Moore at

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