Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award

The Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) program was launched by Dow in 2009 to promote forward thinking in social and environmental responsibility.

The program acknowledges the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the students and their university professors, sponsors and facilitators who support their sustainability innovations.

SISCA now engages students from 18 universities around the world. The spirit and power of global collaboration has sparked the development of long-lasting and impactful solutions. 


Participating Universities
  • California Institute of Technology (U.S.)
  • Fudan University (China)
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Saudi Arabia)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (U.S.)
  • Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Mexico)
  • Northwestern University (U.S.)
  • Peking University (China)
  • Penn State (U.S.)
  • Shanghai Jiaotong (China)
  • Technische Universiteit Delft (The Netherlands)
  • Tsinghua University (China)
  • Tufts University (U.S.)
  • University of California, Berkeley (U.S.)
  • University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • University of Michigan (U.S.)
  • University of Minnesota (U.S.)
  • University of São Paulo (Brazil)
  • University of Queensland (Australia)


Eligibility & Rules Eligibility – Students from participating universities must meet the following requirements:
  • Individual students or student teams are eligible
  • Students are enrolled at a participating university as a graduate student (i.e. Masters or Doctoral)
  • Former SISCA winners are not eligible
  • Award Criteria – Each university has its own peer-review selection process.
Winners are selected based on high-level criteria established by Dow, including:
  • Potential for solving world challenges in alignment with the spirit of Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals;
  • Interdisciplinary nature of work, for example, applied sciences, engineering, economics, public policy, social studies, business, etc.
  • Innovative thinking and excellence in research.
Project Evaluation – In addition to the high-level program award criteria, each participating university shall establish criteria upon which student research projects will be evaluated and shape its own peer-review selection process.

Submission Guidelines - Each participating university will communicate to its student body the guidelines and deadlines for project submissions.

Prizes – Prizes awarded at the university level:
  • Grand Prize – $10,000.00 USD
  • Runner Up – $2,500.00 USD