Official Rules


  • The Great Blue Challenge is open to legal residents of the Group of Seven or G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States
  • Entry is limited to the following:
    • Graduate students pursuing their PhD at an internationally recognized university;
    • Individuals who have obtained a PhD degree within the last 5 years and are affiliated with a non-profit, higher education, or charitable organization — the primary purpose of which is the pursuit of educational or charitable purposes.
    • Researchers, educators, program officers affiliated with a non-profit, higher education, or charitable organization the primary purpose of which is the pursuit of educational or charitable purposes.
  • All participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Entries may be submitted individually or as part of a team. All team members must be identified in the online application. All participants are subject to such due diligence procedures as Eastman Foundation deems appropriate and may be required to provide additional information to be eligible for the Challenge.
  • By entering the Great Blue Challenge, all participants acknowledge and agree:
    • That they are bound by the Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor and the Judges;
    • To abide by Eastman Foundation’s Third Party Code of Conduct;
    • That their submission is original in concept, does not defame or invade the privacy of any person, or infringe anyone’s personal or property rights, and that no third party has received any fees or other compensation in connection with the submission;
    • That the disbursement of any funds awarded through the Great Blue Challenge will be subject to a written agreement between the participant and Eastman Foundation and will not be used for personal expenses, scholarships, tuition, training courses, travel to conferences, study abroad programs, school living expenses, journal publication fees, or internships.

Important Dates

Applications will be accepted beginning at 12:00 a.m. on June 8, 2019 and ending at 5:00 p.m. on July 31, 2019, Eastern Daylight time, United States. Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, November 1, 2019.


Entries will be screened to verify that they meet the Official Rules and the Great Blue Challenge selection criteria. Qualifying entries will be evaluated on the following characteristics:

  • Uniqueness and originality
  • Risks
  • Limitations
  • Applications
  • Scalability
  • Societal impact

Grant Funding

Funding from the Eastman Foundation will vary based on the needs of the selected projects. The total amount distributed will not exceed $25,000 USD.

Rights and Release

Entrants with projects selected for funding agree to submit a case study and photography follow-up to their project by June 7, 2020. The Great Blue Challenge has permission to use the case study and follow-up in website and media materials to publicize the initiative.


Participants agree to our privacy policy and understand that information submitted for the Great Blue Challenge will be handled as described in these Official Rules and Privacy Policy. If there are any conflicts between the Official Rules and the Privacy Policy, the terms and conditions of the Official Rules prevail.