The Awards were set up to identify and celebrate Ireland’s best undergraduates in specific areas, such as future careers (CFO, Management etc) and other categories (Black Heritage, LGBT+ etc). Being the best means having a combination of academic excellence, the ability to pass a series of difficult online assessments, good written communication and, finally, the interpersonal skills necessary to compete with other students in assessment centres run by the partnering organisations. The final shortlist of ten students for each award are invited to the awards ceremony in April, where the winners are announced.
Each award is hosted in partnership with organisations that recruit graduates. Along with helping to identify the winners of the category the partners will provide a fantastic prize for the winner, and other exclusive opportunities.
Each award has clearly stated entry criteria, such as year of study and a minimum educational requirement. Students who don't meet the entry criteria will not be considered.
Undergraduates from all third level Irish universities, institutions and colleges are eligible – providing you also meet the entry criteria.
You may well be eligible to enter more than one award but the rules of the competition mean that you can only enter for ONE award , so choose wisely. Read each entry page carefully to see which award you're best suited for before you start the application process. .
The 2023 Awards' categories
- The Difference Maker Undergraduate of the Year Award
- The Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award
- The Female Undergraduate of the Year Award
- The Future Business Leader of the Year Award
- The Future CTO of the year
- The Undergraduate of the Year for Opportunity Through Adversity
- The Undergraduate of the Year Award for Innovation
The entry process
The process starts online with the collection of basic personal information, up to four tests devised by SHL Talent Measurement ™, and up to four questions posed by the award partner (specific details can be found under the heading ‘How do I win?’ for each award). This phase can take around two hours but you don't need to complete everything in one visit; you can save and come back at any time before the closing date in February.
The students who perform best in the tests and who best match the requirements of the partner are selected for the second stage, which often involves meeting other finalists at a partner-led assessment centre, as well as undergoing an interview. From there, the best ten students are then invited to the Awards Ceremony in April, where the winner is announced.
The gradireland Undergraduate of the Year Awards are the only undergraduate awards in Ireland and are widely recognised by graduate recruiters. Those shortlisted have a recognised accolade to add to their CV and benefit from a networking day with top graduate employers.