About The Student Ideas Competition


This challenge invites ideas for using technology that could improve the student experience in further or higher education and skills. The ideas should seek to improve research, learning or student life and have the potential for wide use across higher and further education.

Examples of video pitches from previous competitions can be found at http://elevator.jisc.ac.uk/sosi14/ideas and project winners at http://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/summer-of-student-innovation.


This challenge is open to individuals or teams who are registered on any course(s) at a university, college or learning provider in the UK.

The Process:

To submit an idea see How to create an idea

Once an idea has been submitted to the site, people will be able to vote if they like the idea. People can only vote once per idea, but they can vote for as many separate ideas as they like. This crowd sourcing mechanism will allow us to fund ideas that are likely to offer benefits to students and to universities and colleges. Once the voting period closes, Jisc and partners will evaluate every idea that reaches the voting threshold and select those that will receive funding.

To be successful you don’t need to be a programmer or designer as Jisc will help you to design and develop your idea.

Stage 1: Selected projects teams will be invited to attend a four day residential planning course (see dates and venues below). Each team will receive £2000 to cover time, equipment and travel. Accommodation and meals will be covered.

Stage 2: The best ideas from the two events (five ideas out of 15-20 teams) will receive additional funding of £3000 per team to collaborate with Jisc over the summer to explore and develop the idea and make it a reality. Each team will work first with Jisc to create a specification, and then a developer in the autumn, to transform your idea into a product that will then be made available to universities and colleges.

Competitions dates:

  • Competition Opens for submissions and voting: 27 March 2015
  • Submissions close : Monday 18 May at 23:30
  • Voting closes: Monday 25 May at 09:00
  • Successful project teams notified: by the 1 June 2015

How many votes do I need?

Ideas that reach a minimum of 250 votes will qualify to be considered for stage 1 funding. Jisc may consider projects below the voting threshold where an insufficient number of ideas achieve 250 votes.

How many ideas will be supported?

It is anticipated that a maximum of ten ideas will be supported from this competition. Jisc may decide to support more or less ideas depending on suitability.

Meeting dates and venues:

Stage 1: Each successful team will be required to attend one of two four-day intensive planning course. The dates and venues of these will be confirmed soon.

  • 3-6 August, Monday to Thursday, Aston Conference Centre, Birmingham

  • 10-13 August, Monday to Thursday, Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester

All project teams will be invited to pitch their idea in London at Jisc offices on Wednesday 26 August. Teams will not need to attend the whole day but will be invited to attend part of the day to deliver their pitch. Projects will be notified if they have been selected to go forward to stage 2 by Monday 14 September.

Stage 2: This stage will involve a series of short design sprints from August-September to create a functional specification of your idea so that a team of developers can produce your idea as a product.

Who owns my intellectual property?

The intellectual property (IP) for the original idea remains with you. If you are selected to stage 2 Jisc will offer to develop the product. You would have no obligation to work further with Jisc at this stage if you don’t like the offer.

Projects that do progress to stage 2 will agree to Jisc producing a product. You will still own the IP for the idea, however IP for any code and product developed by Jisc would rest with Jisc and you grant Jisc a licence to use the idea so we can deliver the product.

All other project teams will be free to exploit the IP of their idea through other opportunities.