Baker Innovation Grant Supports Big, Bold Ideas
Seeks students to create solutions to security-related problems

August 29, 2016 - The McCourt School of Public Policy’s Baker Center for Leadership & Governance today launched the Baker Innovation Grant (BIG). 

In keeping with the Baker Center’s mission to cultivate the next generation of leaders, five students from the McCourt School will be selected as Baker Innovators and will be granted $20,000 in seed capital to support innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. The Baker Innovation Grant is the one of the largest student grant programs at the McCourt School.

“The Baker Innovation Grant will provide McCourt students with an invaluable opportunity to put their classroom learning to work in the field, forging fixes to our many policy challenges,” said Edward Montgomery, dean of the McCourt School. “We are thrilled the Baker Center is investing in the gifted minds at the McCourt School.”

Challenge and Cultivate

The BIG challenges students to think creatively and create the roadmap for their proposed solution.

With support from mentors along the way, Baker Innovators will spend a year incubating a solution to a problem. The Innovators will have the opportunity to tackle the challenge in whatever way is appropriate for their unique approach to the solution - research and fieldwork, conducting site visits and attending conferences, for example.

Baker Innovators will also attend monthly “deep dive” discussion to learn more about the Center’s theme for the year, and participate in individualized leadership training.

Their work will culminate in a presentation of their solution at the annual Baker Forum.

Confidence in the Future

Applications for BIG grants must align with the 2017 theme of the Baker Center: Restoring a Sense of Security.

Many people have lost the sense of security that they once felt in their daily lives. In 2017, the Baker Center for Leadership & Governance will tackle the theme of "Restoring a Sense of Security." Through our programming, the Baker Center will explore various aspects of security and insecurity. How did we get here? What can be done? How do we instill the sense of security that has slowly, but clearly eroded? How can we, together, restore a sense of security — whether it be on a global, social, physical, technological, economic, or more fundamental scale — and in so doing restore trust in the institutions designed to protect us?

Learn more about the 2017 Baker Center theme.

Investing in Big, Bold Ideas

Baker Innovators, selected from the McCourt School, are expected to be innovative thinkers who want to embrace the spirit of reimagination and bring a fresh perspective to moving the needle on the most pressing issues of the day.

McCourt students interested in applying for the BIG can visit

Applications for the BIG are due on October, 31, 2016. Potential applicants should review the application, more information on the Baker Center’s 2017 theme, and our frequently asked questions.