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CGI U Application Checklist

Step 1: Identify the type of CGI U application to submit.

Students interested in attending CGI U can apply as either an individual or a group.

Individual: A student may apply to attend CGI U as an individual. This student makes a Commitment to Action that he or she will carry out individually, or applies to attend CGI U as the sole representative of a larger organization.

Group: Up to three students may apply to attend CGI U as a group. These students collaborate on a Commitment to Action and apply to attend the meeting together to represent their project or initiative. The group must appoint a group leader to fill out the first part of the CGI U application (which includes the Commitment to Action), and the additional group members will receive emails from CGI U with instructions on how to complete their portions of the application. It is the responsibility of the group leader to ensure that all group members complete their portions of the application.

In order to apply to attend the CGI U meeting, each student must develop and submit a Commitment to Action. There are three criteria for Commitments to Action:

New: Each commitment must be a new initiative, or an expansion of an existing effort that focuses on a different geographic area, works with new partners, or shifts in focus or scope.

Specific: Each commitment must address a specific challenge with a defined course of action, a defined beneficiary group, and detailed objectives.

Measurable: Each commitment should achieve measurable results that can be reported back to CGI U.

Step 2: Prepare your Commitment to Action.

To be considered for admission, all applicants are required to make a Commitment to Action. A Commitment to Action is a new, specific, and measurable initiative that addresses a pressing challenge in one of CGI U's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, or Public Health.

As part of the application, students are asked to provide a detailed plan that outlines the scope of the commitment and how it will be implemented. We strongly encourage you to utilize the application preview to draft your commitment offline before you applyand keep a record of it in case you experience any technical difficulties when applying online. An application preview link will be made available when the CGI U 2020 application launches.

Brainstorm different ideas for action: Some of the most effective and sustainable commitments start small. What are you passionate about? Would your commitment be an individual or group effort? How could your university get involved? Review our commitments map if you need help getting started.

Ask "why": Understand the root cause of the problem or challenge you are hoping to address. Ask yourself why something is the way that it is. Each time you come up with an answer, break it down further and ask yourself why the new answer exists.

Evaluate your toolbox: Consider developing an innovative approach to a challenge you are already working to address, or using the skills, knowledge, and networks you already possess to alleviate a problem or issue in your community.

Consider measurement: How will you gauge the success of your commitment? Flesh out the metrics you will use to measure your impact and devise a method for measuring your progress. Make sure your evaluation plan is detailed and realistic. Review the monitoring and evaluation guide for more information.

Get feedback: Once you've come up with an informal plan of action, start soliciting feedback from classmates, professors, and your target beneficiaries. Do they think your timeframe and action plan are realistic? Would they be willing to join or support you? How could your plan be improved? Attaining honest and meaningful feedback from the start is crucial to long-term success, and it is a great way to find allies early in the process.

To get started, we suggest that you:

Step 3: Fill out and submit the online application.

Here are some hints for completing your application:

  • In your brief autobiography, include any relevant campus or leadership activities and organizational affiliations. Make sure you include any compelling information about your personal story, and note any experience you have that directly relates to your commitment.

  • When selecting your focus area, consider the problem or issue your commitment seeks to address. Many commitments fit into several of CGI U's five focus areas (Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health), and many applicants have a background or interest in a focus area different from that of their commitments. While you may be studying education, or there may be an educational component to your commitment, the core aim may be to address a challenge in a different focus area.

  • Think carefully about your primary and secondary keywords. CGI U will use these keywords to help you network with students working in similar areas, and to assign you a mentor to guide you as you implement your commitment. Learn more about CGI U's commitment keywords before you apply.

  • Be specific about the geographic region where your commitment will take place. When implementing a new project or initiative, students are often most successful when they work in a community or region where they have a pre-existing relationship or partner.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us at [email protected].

STEP 4: tell your friends

Post a note to Facebook and Twitter, or email your friends and family telling them that you have just applied to CGI U. This not only helps us to share this opportunity with other students, but also gives you a reason to tell others about your Commitment to Action.