About the Dopper Changemaker Challenge

What’s in a name, right? The Changemaker Challenge is organised by Dopper Foundation. Which is legal slang for Dopper. Which is a reusable water bottle company on a mission. For this competition, we teamed up with Impact Hub in the Netherlands, Berlin and London. In Kathmandu we work together with the Himalayan Climate Initiative.

Crystal-clear water, in every ocean, from every tap. That’s Dopper’s goal. Pretty ambitious, but we’re not in this alone. We believe science and education are essential and that every generation is part of the solution. With the Dopper Changemaker Challenge we want to accelerate the development of solutions that have a big impact on the plastic and water issues.

Dopper is looking for changemakers: graduate students (Bachelor and Master from Universities & HBO) who are focusing their graduation project or thesis on clean water and/or plastic waste. Students can send in their graduation subject to compete. Dopper is helping the winners make their graduation project ground-breaking by awarding a research grant (up to €5.000,-), PR support, network introductions and a chance to take the stage. For the roadmap and schedule, click here.

About participating in the Dopper Changemaker Challenge?

  • Superhero ambitions.
    Our world’s water sources need help. And your graduation project can actually have an impact on the issues we are facing.
  • Money.
    If you could use the grant to boost your research, signing up for the Dopper Changemaker Challenge is a good starting point.
  • Time on stage.
    If you could use a stage or network introduction to boost your research or career, winning this challenge should do the trick.
  • The right connections.
    At the Dopper Changemaker Challenge you can build a network of experts and fellow students who share your goal.
  • Attention.
    This challenge can get your graduation topic A LOT more attention, which will add to the impact you can potentially make with it.

To ensure that you at least stand a chance, we have made you a list of requirements:

  • Your project is about clean water and/ or plastic waste. You can find some examples here.
  • You are or were registered at a university or HBO (Netherlands & Belgium) in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Nepal or the United Kingdom as a Bachelor or Master student;
  • You are still working on your graduation project or thesis, or finished it after 1 September 2018;
  • You determine(d) the subject of your project or thesis yourself;
  • You are available on 29 May 2019, and you can be personally present on 15 and 16 June 2019;

Just read the article about thesis embargos here.

Amsterdam (for Dutch and Belgian students), Berlin, London and Kathmandu.

Yes you can! You will compete in the Dutch edition of the Dopper Changemaker Challenge.

Unfortunately not, but please contact us: maybe next year we will visit your country as well!

Do you live in the Netherlands, the UK, Germany or Nepal, but not in Amsterdam, London, Berlin or Kathmandu? No worries, you can join as well, but you do have to travel to the capital city for participation.


The most important dates are: 12 April: deadline for submitting your research or project 15 & 16 June: The finals! This weekend is a must to join. It’s not a problem if you can’t join the kick-off event (14 March) or the Pitch training (29 May).

Do you live in the Netherlands, the UK, Germany or Nepal, but not in Amsterdam, London, Berlin or Kathmandu? No worries, you can join as well, but you do have to travel to the capital city for participation.

We are more than happy to help. You can find our contact details on the contact page.

No, you do not have to adjust your regular schedule to participate in the Changemaker Challenge and will not cause any study delay. The Challenge is not a program in addition to your research, it merely makes a monetary amount available for your research. Therefore, you will not be delayed as a result of your participation in the CMC.

Dopper – or one of the affiliated parties – will never share your information with third parties without requesting your explicit permission to do so. The subjects submitted will be communicated in consultation, and the same applies for interim updates (e.g. in the form of an interview). The end results will be used for communication purposes of Dopper, because we consider the sharing of knowledge to be an important resource in the battle against plastic waste and for clean drinking water. And… Of course we are very proud of the winners and believe that they deserve attention!

Are you doing your research project at a company? You can still participate in the Changemaker Challenge. As long as the topic of your research has to do with water or plastic waste, and it supports the mission of Dopper, you can make the difference! Is there a thesis embargo from the company? No worries mate. We understand that companies are protecting this type of material. As long as you can present your results of your research in headlines, we are happy!

About the prizes

First place:

  • €5,000

Second and third place:

  • €2,500

Fourth to tenth place:

  • €500

You yourself determine how you will use the budget, as long as it makes your research ground-breaking and you spend it before January 1, 2020. Read ‘What to do with five grand?’ for inspiration.

First place:

  • €5,000 research fund
  • We will find you a stage to speak at, relevant to your field
  • We will connect you to a valuable partner (organization or otherwise)
  • Your solution will be actively pushed to international press

Second and third place:

  • €2,500
  • We will connect you to a valuable partner (organization or otherwise)
  • Your solution will be actively pushed to international press

Fourth to tenth place:

  • €500
  • We will connect you to a valuable partner (organization or otherwise)

The payment of a grant/prize money for a scientific/artistic achievement/research is subject to income tax. The prize money must be declared as taxable income from other activities (resultaat uit overige werkzaamheden, RUOW) on the income tax return. Note: The costs incurred can be deducted from the income. The difference between income and expenses is the taxable income from other activities.

It is completely up to you how to spend the research budget. As long as it will boost your research. The money is not meant for anything other than your graduation project (like those amazingly expensive boots you have been craving for).

About the topic

The research budget of the Changemaker Challenge is intended to give an extra boost to your own project/thesis! Still no idea what your topic should be about? Click here to view the inspiration page.

No, all Bachelor and Master students. We think it is particularly interesting to read different perspectives on clean water and waste solutions and we look forward to reading your input!

You can be either in the starting phase or in the research phase of your thesis. Or maybe you have not started at all! The research budget is intended to boost your research, so you cannot register if your research is already completed before the finals.

To participate in the Changemaker Challenge, the topic of your research has to be related to the topics clean water and / or plastic waste. These themes offer a broad variety of topics, so be creative! Surprise us! Could you use inspiration? Read the article Inspiration for your thesis topic.

About graduating at Dopper

No, the CMC is not a degree program at Dopper. The budget that we make available with this Challenge is intended to boost your research project/thesis.