Program Management & Roles

As the Big Ideas Contest has grown, both in terms of the number of applications received each year and in terms of the resources and supports offered to students, Big Ideas staff has also grown. During the 2012-13 Contest year, the staff roles included the following:

Program Director
(Staff Position — 75%):
The Big Ideas Program Director is responsible for developing, managing, and implementing all aspects of the Big Ideas@Berkeley program. This includes both short-term objectives and long-term planning. The primary responsibilities of the Program Director include development of new categories and sponsorships, recruiting efforts for mentors/judges, management of the online application and review process, awards management, and hiring.

Manager and Student Advisor
(Graduate Student — 30% Fall/Spring; 80% Summer):
The Manager and Student Advisor is a Graduate Student (GSR) position. In addition to assisting the Program Director with all aspects of the Big Ideas@Berkeley program, this position serves as the primary advisor to contestants and prospective applicants. This position is also responsible for leading workshops and trainings, as well as managing evaluation efforts (e.g., developing and implementing surveys, analyzing survey data to develop recommendations for program improvement).

Outreach Coordinator and Student Advisor
(Graduate Student — 30% Fall/Spring):
The Outreach Coordinator and Student Advisor is a Graduate Student (GSR) position. In addition to serving as an advisor to applicants and prospective applicants, this position assists with the outreach and recruitment for judges and mentors. Additionally, this role is responsible for providing continuing mentorship and support to past winners, monitoring the progress of funded projects, and providing connections and recommendations for scaling up Big Ideas projects.

Marketing/Branding Coordinator
(Undergraduate — 30% Fall/Spring; 80% Summer):
Using advanced graphic design skills, the Marketing and Branding Coordinator develops informational and promotional materials and ensures brand consistency across all Big Ideas publications. This role also identifies opportunities to market and promote the Big Ideas Contest across all disciplines and eligible campuses.

Advisory Committee
The advisory committee is a broad, multidisciplinary working group of key faculty and staff (six to eight individuals total). The advisory committee meets two to three times per year and offers insights and recommendations on how to improve the overall effectiveness of the Contest. It is designed to solicit advice and facilitate engagement of key departments and centers that can sponsor and help promote specific categories of the Big Ideas Contest.

Student Advisory Committee
The student advisory committee is a multidisciplinary panel of recent past winners of the Big Ideas Contest (eight to ten individuals total) who meet once per semester. The goal of the student advisory committee is to provide guidance and improve students’ experience throughout the Big Ideas Contest. This committee gives advice on the effectiveness of current student resources and recommendations for additional resources. The committee also focuses on ways to encourage additional student involvement by providing feedback on Big Ideas promotional materials and student outreach strategies.

Student Assistants
Big Ideas relies on the Blum Center’s team of work-study student assistants to support it with a variety of administrative and creative responsibilities, including clerical tasks, website and social media content management, and communications.


• The composition of the Big Ideas Staff and committees should reflect the goals of Big Ideas. The staff and committees should represent the diverse, multidisciplinary nature of the Big Ideas program with involvement of both graduate and undergraduate students. Ideally the skill-sets of the two graduate student advisors should be as complementary as possible (humanities student vs. STEM student, domestic vs. international experience, service/education-oriented approach vs. technical approach).

• When hiring, place an emphasis on recruiting students who have participated in other innovation/entrepreneurship programs or organizations. These students bring with them knowledge, connections, and commitment to interdisciplinary problem solving. These are especially important attributes for the student advising positions.


Graduate and Undergraduate Student Job Postings