Global Columbia Collaboratory

Global Columbia Collaboratory

Term: Academic Year, Spring, Summer, Fall

Reflect. Ideate. Collaborate. 

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Apply for the Global Columbia Collaboratory!

Taking part in the Global Columbia Collaboratory provides you with a forum for learning about global issues from international experts and peers around the world.

You, the student participant, will sharpen your cross-cultural and collaborative skills, enhance your global network and develop ideas or your professional portfolios.

During the Global Columbia Collaboratory you will focus on global challenges to be structured around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

To see the progress made by the Collaboratory student teams, please review the Student Project Website Gallery. For program announcements and activities, please follow UGE on Instagram at ​@ColumbiaUndergradGlobal.

If you have any questions, write to

Timeline and Expectations

Interest form due: Tuesday, September 21st

Programming for the Collaboratory will take place over the entire academic year. Below are general time periods of when certain programming occurs.

September - October & February - April:

  • Attend theme-based Global Seminars and Collaboratory Conversations with faculty, peers and experts from around the world, facilitated by the Columbia Global Centers and the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement

  • Reflect on the Global Seminars and Collaboratory Conversations in creative ways that highlight these themes in action in your community.

  • Work together in teams to explore how to take this learning into the world.

  • Connect with your pod to discuss questions and curiosities regarding the global themes. Also, consider shared interests as well as locate and share articles, videos, etc. about the global themes of the Collaboratory
  • Refine plans into concept notes toward a project for potential recognition and funding. (Optional)

November-December & April-May:

  • Funded groups will execute their project plans and present their work.


Now more than ever, in today’s globally connected world, you need to be empowered as a leader to deal with complexity, diversity and change to address global challenges.

The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) invites all undergraduates to engage with the broader Columbia global network through the Global Columbia Collaboratory.

In partnership with Columbia Global Centers and Columbia World Projects, the Global Columbia Collaboratory will help you learn more about global challenges, enhance your global competencies by connecting and cooperating across a global network, and empower you to make a difference in the world as a global citizen.

All current undergraduates are eligible to apply. As a participant, you will be invited to engage with fellow students and the broader Columbia network to:

  • Participate in regularly scheduled theme-based global seminars and conversations from faculty and experts drawn from Columbia’s global networks;

  • Exchange perspectives and engage together in reflection on the global challenges framed by the global seminars and conversations; and

  • Engage in collaboration and ideation on projects and ideas that impact today’s society. Approved projects will receive funding to turn plans into reality in order to make a difference in the world.


At the point of application and throughout the Global Columbia Collaboratory experience, you must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student (Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, School of General Studies or Barnard College) in good disciplinary standing.

For all non-Columbia students participating in a CU-led program, you must be currently enrolled in your home school in good disciplinary standing at the point of application as well as throughout the Global Columbia Collaboratory.

Program Benefits

The Global Columbia Collaboratory will provide you with opportunities to:

  • Develop a worldwide network of thinkers eager to engage with complex global challenges

  • Learn more about pressing topics of global importance

  • Connect with students worldwide and create reflections and collaborations

  • Engage in team-building and interdisciplinary collaboration

  • Explore and construct ways to make an impact, locally and globally

  • Strengthen global learning competencies: perspective taking, critical reflection, personal and social responsibility


Global Seminars

Global seminars are led by faculty and experts drawn from the extensive Columbia Global Center networks. These seminars are open to the public and bring in participants from all around the world. Please note the seminars are not-for-credit.


Taking part in the Global Columbia Collaboratory provides a space to share and engage with others. In our interconnected society, global challenges affect each of our lives in our communities in different ways. After each Global Seminar, you will be invited to answer questions about the seminar theme and what it means for the communities in which you live and take part.

You will have access to platforms to share reflections about the Sustainable Development Goals and their implications for your community. This can be a creative digital storytelling or another multimedia project; a literary, artistic, or performance-based contribution; or an analytical take on the theme. You will learn from others while contributing to the documentation of this critical moment in global history.

Collaboration and Ideation

All Global Columbia Collaboratory students will learn from the seminar and reflection experiences. After, you will also be given the opportunity to take your ideas out into the world.

After each Global Seminar and subsequent reflection period, you are invited to gather virtually in groups of two or more (ideally from different countries or regions) to propose a project that addresses global challenges or has a social impact. You will have access to a project management toolbox, as well as Human-Centered Design workshops and resources, to help develop a set of concept notes toward a proposal.

Group projects may take many different forms, be process or product-oriented, and must be able to be shared among the Collaboratory community and beyond. The Global Columbia Collaboratory Advisory Committee will approve projects to provide funding support to help bring the projects to fruition. Project criteria include innovation, relevance, feasibility, and impact. Groups will showcase the results of their projects within the Columbia community and beyond.

Past Cohorts & Content

See below for select global seminar recordings:

A few student teams elected to continue their experience by working together and building their reflections into projects. View them on the Global Columbia Collaboratory Gallery.

Fact Sheet

Academic Year, Spring, Summer, Fall

Dates & Deadlines

Academic Year
Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 1, 2021
We are open to accepting late interest forms. If a deadline has passed, but you are interested in joining the Collaboratory please email