PwC Innovation Challenge

logoUniversitas 21 (U21) and PwC, two globally-focused organisations, are working together to create mutually beneficial links between U21’s global student groups and PwC’s top clients across its international network of companies.

The PwC Innovation Challenge asks postgraduate students (coursework and research) to prepare a three-minute video response to a challenge posed by international consulting firm PwC on a topic faced by the international workforce for the chance to win a tailored employability experience and trip to Dubai. The challenge (set by PwC) offers students the opportunity to apply their knowledge to ‘real-world’ situations and reflect on their own experiences. 

UQ’s top-ranked videos will receive assistance from the Student Employability Centre to refine their video response and reshoot their video with professional quality. The final video will be submitted to Universitas 21 (U21) for judging.

Please submit your video to UQ Global Engagement before Friday 29 November 2019. 

Challenge question

How can universities help individuals gain a broader perspective on the long-term impact and consequences of their day-to-day actions on people, society and the environment? What types of jobs will an environmentally-sensitive economy need, and what is the best way to prepare students for them?  

Program details

Students can submit their response to the challenge in any video format, such as a mobile phone recording.

Only one slide can be used during the presentation. Presentations are to be spoken word only, and no additional electronic media (e.g. sound or video files) are permitted.

Three entrants from UQ will be chosen to compete against the other universities in our group. These selected students will work with the Student Employability Centre to refine and reshoot their video.

Students at U21 member universities will compete in three groups and one winner will be chosen in each one of the three groups.

Confidentiality and intellectual property

By submitting their proposals in video format, students are acknowledging that their ideas/research will be made publicly accessible and shared with industry professionals. Videos will be uploaded to Vimeo and disseminated through the U21 website, and PwC’s media channels. Judges, reviewers, staff and the audience will not be asked to sign non-disclosure statements. If the student’s presentation draws on work/research that is being/has been conducted under contract with an outside sponsor, they are advised to discuss the related contractual terms of confidentiality and intellectual property with their supervisor(s) before participating in this competition. U21 and PwC may take photographs, videotapes and/or audiotapes of the presentations or copy material prepared for use in the presentation, for promotional purposes  

Judging criteria

The videos are judged by PwC and their clients, who are leaders in graduate career development.

Winning candidates will be selected on:

Comprehension and content

  • Did the candidate have a logical approach to answering the question? - i.e. familiarity with the background material, a set of key considerations.
  • Did the candidate clearly explain their point of view?
  • Did the candidate articulate the conclusions and recommendations clearly?
  • Did the candidate provide adequate background information to illustrate points?
  • Did the candidate spend adequate time on each element of their presentation – or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?

Engagement and communication

  • Did the presentation make you want to know more from this candidate and potentially employ them?
  • Did the candidate convey enthusiasm for the challenge and genuine interest in the problem?
  • Did the candidate capture and maintain your attention? (sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, confident stance)


The overall winner in each group will be awarded a tailored employability experience sponsored by PwC. As the competition is open to students in any discipline, the experience will be tailored to the student’s individual career development needs. 

The main prize will be a week-long trip to Dubai where they will get the chance to explore the city and also see some of the innovative projects taking place there.  The visit is expected to take place preferably in early April 2020.

Runner-up prizes will include career development coaching with the PwC Academy. Everyone entered into the U21 competition will receive access to online training via the PwC Academy; the assessment and certificate fees will be covered by PwC.

Eligibility criteria

All enrolled postgraduate students (postgraduate coursework or higher degree research) are eligible to submit an entry for the competition.

Students from any discipline, school, faculty and institute at UQ are eligible to compete. Students on joint PhDs between two U21 members are also eligible. 

There is no restriction on age or citizenship status, so all postgraduate students at UQ are encouraged to submit an entry. 

How to apply

Submit a simple 3-minute video in English by Friday 29 November 2019. Please email prior to the deadline to arrange how to submit your video.

The Student Employability Centre will assist selected students to refine and reshoot their video. 

Winners will be announced on 9 March 2020. 

Need more information

Please contact Heidi Benjaminson on 3346 9924 or email