China Bridge Challenge

The China Bridge Challenge case competition invites student teams to explore the intricate complexities encountered by the U.S. and China through a myriad of challenges, misunderstandings, and a rapidly deteriorating relationship, and find a way out through innovative collaborations. 

Over the past decade, tensions in the U.S.-China relationship have increased, growing more antagonistic in areas from education and research to human rights, geopolitical developments, and trade and tariffs. The road ahead has numerous obstacles and U.S.-China relations face new and difficult challenges every day. While the development of an equitable, peaceful, and sustainable U.S.-China relationship remains crucial, a solution cannot be reached without sufficient mutual understanding and multi-facet bilateral cooperation. Young leaders in both countries need to work together to tackle the challenges we face. 

Each student team will identify a common challenge that the U.S. and China face within this year's theme of "Strategies for an Evolving U.S.-China Relationship: Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change." 

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) is the partnering college for this year's China Bridge Challenge. A natural fit for this year's theme, CFANS students use science every day to create a world that will feed our growing population, sustain the natural resources upon which we depend, and find answers to the world’s grand challenges.

Teams will compete through a proposal and presentation, offering concrete plans for the next steps the U.S. and China can take to address the issue and find a solution that balances the interest and objectives of both China and the U.S.

Each team will include at least one CFANS student.

The winning team will receive $6,000, and the runner-up will receive $4,000. Please note: Students need to be enrolled in Spring 2024 to receive the prize money.

Apply by November 10

Sign up as a team  Sign up as an individual

If you don't have a team but are interested in participating, we will do our best to match you with a team.

Competition Timeline

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November 10, 2023: Application deadline

Teams will consist of 4–5 undergraduate students. At least one student (but not all students) on each team should be an international student from the Greater China area. One student on each team should be from the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Team leaders need to submit applications including all team members’ names, majors, and email addresses by November 10, 2023.

Teams should also provide a project idea at this point. This is not a final choice; teams may still choose a different topic before submitting their written proposal. Learn more about choosing a topic.

Each team will find and work with a faculty coach after confirmation of team participation. 

Students may also apply as individuals. The China Center will work to match students into teams.

November 15, 2023: Deadline to identify a coach

Each team must identify a coach by November 15, 2023. Coaches can be a faculty member or expert in relevant fields, who will provide feedback, direction, and support for the team as they prepare for the competition. Coaches will meet with their teams (virtually or face-to-face in a socially distant manner) 2-3 times over the course of the competition preparation period.

January 21, 2024: Deadline for written proposal

The first meeting with your designated faculty coach will take place soon after the formation of teams to help develop project ideas and establish communication protocols. By the deadline of January 21, 2024, each team will submit a written proposal of 1,000–1,500 words, identifying the project's scope, topic relevance, challenge and solution, feasibility (e.g., utilize resources available to the UMN community), and impact. Please supply a list of references from credible sources. You are encouraged to utilize design thinking and processes to address why and how the U.S. and China should partner to solve the identified challenge. 

See the proposal template.

January 31, 2024: Selection of finalists

Teams will be notified if they are selected as finalists by January 31, 2024. Selected teams will proceed to meet with their coach again to prepare for the final presentation.

February 16, 2024: Final presentation

Each team will present based on their proposed project and solutions for 20 minutes, followed by a 15-minute judge Q&A. Judges will be selected from faculty, staff, and area experts. They will review all team proposals and presentations, select the winning teams, and provide constructive feedback.

$6,000 will be awarded to the winning team, and $4,000 to the runner-up team. The proposals and presentations of the winning teams will be posted on the China Center's website.

See the judges' rubric.

2024 Challenge


Strategies for an Evolving U.S.-China Relationship: Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change


  • 1st place: $6,000
  • 2nd place: $4,000


College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Thank you to Ralph Beha for financially supporting the China Bridge Challenge.