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The PAVE Scholarship Program, now in its twelfth year, provides financial assistance to students in educational programs preparing them for careers in the retail environments industry, including but not limited to careers in retail design, visual merchandising, interior design, architecture, product design, UX design, graphic design, and industrial design. PAVE was developed to help ensure a future talent pool for the industry by eliminating barriers to studying in these fields. The funds assist students who are experiencing financial difficulties that may prevent them from continuing school. PAVE has awarded students over $233,000 in financial grants and scholarships in the past three years.

The VMSD Scholarship recognizes and supports leadership potential in Interior Design, Retail Design, Hospitality Design, Visual Merchandising, Architecture, UX Design, Engineering, Product Design, and similar programs. The recipient of this scholarship will have the opportunity to receive a $1,500 scholarship* or a $1,500 grant** to attend the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) in Columbus, Ohio, October 26-27, 2022 (includes registration to the conference valued at $1,200).

Presented annually by VMSD magazine, the International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) is a one-of-a-kind conference that delivers two full days of education and design dialogue centered on the newest best practices, emerging opportunities, and fresh strategies for engaging shoppers, maximizing resources, and rethinking the retail experience.

IRDC is recognized as the premier educational and networking event for the store design and visual merchandising communities.


  • Student must be a 3rd or 4th-year student or equivalent as of October 21, 2022.
  • Student must be enrolled in a program working toward a degree in Interior Design, Retail Design, Hospitality Design, Visual Merchandising, UX Design, Architecture, Engineering, Product Design, or similar programs.
  • Student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Student must be located and studying within the United States.


The following items must be included in your application for your request to be considered.​​

  • Letter of Consideration (Max 500 Words):
    What are at least two key areas that retailers need to rethink and focus their attention on within the next 3 years and why?
  • Project Folio (5 Pages Max)
    Highlights of your most recent work. Can be student or professional-based.
  • One Professional Reference
    We will need the phone number and an email address for your reference. Can be a professor, faculty member, or an employer (including internship supervisors). References CAN NOT be friends or family members.
  • Must include a complete copy of your current transcript (official or unofficial).
  • Applications and supporting documents must be submitted through Submittable.
  • All applications must be received by September 6, 2022, by 11:59 pm ET to be considered.

* Award sent directly to recipient's institution, to be applied directly towards tuition or other applicable costs of schooling.

** Grant to be used to cover costs of attending the IRDC Conference (hotel, airfare, and per diem).


Design a local iconic thematic display for select Frito-Lay products. Review the competition design brief for complete project details, requirements, and deliverables.



  • You must be currently enrolled in a 2 or 4-year program at a university, state/community college, or technical school pursuing a degree in retail design, interior design, architecture,  industrial design, product design, graphic design, visual merchandising, UX design, or similar areas of study.
  • You must be physically located in the continental United States.

If you are unsure if you are eligible to participate, please contact us at


  • Projects must be submitted in PDF format through Submittable by Friday, September 9, 2022, by 11:59 PM Eastern (New York)
  • Projects should be submitted as PDFs in 11x17 landscape format with a maximum of 7 single-sided pages.
  • PAVE utilizes a blind judging system, the student's name and/or school may not appear anywhere on the deliverables.


Selected designs will be chosen to be brought to life and displayed at POP Live in Chicago, Illinois, October 18-20, 2022.

Additionally, students may receive one of the following:

  • An invitation to attend POP Live in Chicago, IL.
  • Receive a cash prize.


This PAVE Student Design Challenge is a project that will bring together some of the best student design talent with manufacturers, retailers, and/or brands. The retailer/brand client presents real-life design problems to the students, who in turn must address these challenges. The best designs will be chosen and the sponsoring manufacturer(s) will work directly with the students in a mentoring role to translate their intentions into a prototype. These prototypes will be displayed in the PAVE booth at the POP Live show in Chicago, IL


Contact us at or check the FAQ.

This international competition is open exclusively to undergraduate and graduate-level college students involved in retail planning, interior design/architecture, visual merchandising, graphic design, industrial design, engineering, branding, UX/UI design, and similar programs. If you are unsure if your area of study qualifies, please reach out to PAVE at

Please complete and submit your registration for the 2022 Student Design Competition below. Once registered, please allow up to 1 business day to gain access to the "Project Submission Form". Students who register early will receive periodic emails with tips and reminders related to this design challenge.

Projects must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern (New York) on Sunday, October 30, 2022.

For complete competition details, including the design brief- please click here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to PAVE directly via email at or (954) 551-9144 (call or text).

Are you having trouble submitting your project? Watch this video!