Through new generous scholarship aid, the Conrad Foundation and Clarkson University have announced an expanded partnership to give high school students, with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, a one-of-a-kind gateway for their product ideas and solutions to drive future global sustainability.

Finalists from the Foundation’s Conrad Challenge will be offered a Conrad Challenge Scholarship at Clarkson University, valued at $60,000 over four years. Finalists who enroll and pursue their degrees at Clarkson will have special access to Clarkson’s university-wide innovation ecosystem, Clarkson Ignite.  

Conrad Challenge Scholarship recipients will be able to access Clarkson University’s award-winning network of resources for entrepreneurs and new ventures, as well as further leverage the Foundation’s support to advance the most promising projects presented by the Challenge finalists each year.

Clarkson will begin offering this scholarship beginning with the 2018-2019 Conrad Challenge to all finalist students.  All other participants in the Conrad Challenge can apply to Clarkson to receive a Spirit of Innovation Scholarship valued at $12,000 per year for four years.

Students can apply for both awards at the time of entry into the Conrad Challenge or by contacting Clarkson University Admissions at, or 315-268-6480.

Clarkson University Scholarship Opportunities
Clarkson President Tony Collins and Conrad Foundation Chairwoman Nancy Conrad, at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. (Photography by Abby Greenawalt)


Named to honor the legacy of the late U.S. Astronaut Pete Conrad, the Conrad Challenge is a global, virtual, team-based competition for students between the ages of 13-18 to innovate new products and services that address challenges in one of four categories:  Aerospace & Aviation; Cyber-Technology & Security; Energy & Environment; Health & Nutrition. In addition, the Challenge incorporates new categories each year in collaboration with sponsors.

As part of the Conrad Challenge competition, coaches and judges from the best in business, industry, research, and academia worldwide guide each teams’ innovative ideas. In February 2019, five teams in each challenge category will be chosen as finalists and travel to the annual Innovation Summit taking place April 23-27, 2019 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.

Clarkson is a nationally recognized leader in technological education and sustainable economic development through teaching, scholarship, research and innovation.  With a long list of national accolades for its STEM programs, Clarkson has also been named by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship as an institution with the model for excellence in entrepreneurship education. Clarkson prepares all students in its 95+ programs of study to ignite new ways of thinking and new ways of doing.

Conrad Challenge finalists who decide to enroll at Clarkson can receive specialized support to advance their projects through the Shipley Center for Innovation and be immersed in Clarkson Ignite, the University’s framework for accelerating innovation by developing the entrepreneurial mindset, knowledge and intellectual curiosity needed to innovate world-solutions.

Top-scoring Conrad Challenge teams, known as Pete Conrad Scholars, receive awards, independent product assessment studies, investment opportunities, patent support, and business services to support the growth of their concepts into businesses that can make a real difference. Clarkson will apply its network of subject matter experts, investors, and support systems to those students who enroll as Conrad Challenge Scholars.

“The Conrad Challenge invites teams of high school students to create commercially-viable products to address global and local challenges.  This competition experience becomes a master class to students in collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication,” said Nancy Conrad, founder, and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, producer of the competition. “With an innovation ecosystem that is unmatched in higher education, Clarkson is an institution where these students can continue to take their ideas to the next level and truly design their future as the next generation of leaders in technology and innovation. The combined experience with the Conrad Challenge puts students at the helm of changing the world.”

“Our expanding partnership with the Conrad Foundation and new scholarship aid for the finalists in the Conrad Challenge represents our deep connections with industries seeking more young talent with the entrepreneurial mindset and innovation skill sets, and our shared commitment to finding solutions for the world’s most pressing issues,” said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson.

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