Co-op Problem Award

Co-operative Education and the Problem Lab are pleased to offer students the opportunity to win a First Prize Tuition Scholarship of $1,500 or Second Prize Tuition Scholarship of $750, applicable to your next academic term.
The Co-op Problem Award is earned by providing the best analysis of an important problem relevant to a co-op employer or the employer’s industry.

The Award is provided by the Problem Lab, and the winners are determined by the Lab.

How to apply

Choose a problem to analyze that is of strategic or systemic importance to one of your co-op employers. It CANNOT be relevant to a single limited aspect of the employer’s operations. It need not be a problem assigned to you by your employer.

Having chosen an important problem affecting one of your co-op employers, you must demonstrate that you thoroughly understand the problem, including its scale, context, history and previously attempted solutions.

Your analysis need not, and should not, include any proposed solution. You are concentrating only on the problem itself.

Your analysis must include the following four sections, provided in the prescribed template. For your chosen problem, conduct the following analysis.

  1. Explain why the problem is strategically important to your employer or your employer’s industry
  2. Context of the Problem
    1. What are the causes and effects of the problem?
    2. What circumstances or conditions affect the problem?
  3. Research the history of the problem
    1. The history of the problem provides the insight necessary for an excellent solution.
      1. How long has the problem been recognized?
      2. Does the problem appear to be growing in importance?
      3. Has the scale of the problem changed?
      4. Have the causes or effects of the problem changed?
      5. Have the circumstances and conditions affecting the problem changed over time?
  4. ​​Failure Analysis
    1. What were previous attempts to solve the problem
    2. Why did they fail?
    3. Identifying an actionable mistake is essential since it tells you where to start your own research for a solution

For a detailed explanation of problem analysis, go to the Problem Lab website. Winners are chosen at the sole discretion of the Problem Lab, and the Problem Lab reserves the right to decline to award a prize if the submissions are inadequate.

Submission deadline for Winter 2021: Sunday, June 13, 2021

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