UK students – fancy a trip to Brazil?

Or a jolly to the German Grand Prix 2004?

If you're a UK university student and have a penchant for rum, football, samba and programming, although not necessarily in that order, then check out Microsoft's Imagine Cup.

The competition is "designed to show the ease and innovation of development of the Microsoft Developer Tools platform". It's open to any team of students who'd like to emulate the success of last year's team from Hull, who banked a handy $10,000 in the final in Barcelona.

The Imagine Cup is in three stages: an online challenge, a coding challenge for the top 150 from stage one, and finally a three-day "code-athon" for the 32 winners of stage two.

And this is the good bit. The overall winners will then be invited to compete for a cool $25,000 in the world show-down in Brazil. Time to dust off those maracas.

Alternatively, if you'd prefer a trip to Hockenheim to watch Michael Schumacher win the German Grand Prix, then that's the prize in the Sun/Siemens Java Masters 2004 compo, which kicks off on 1 December.

Entrants must create new functionalities for Siemens M55, MC60 and SX1 mobile phones using professional developer tools supplied by Sun and Siemens.

Simple as that. Time to proceed directly from Student Union bar to the nearest computer pausing only to stock up on coffee and Pot Noodles. Good luck. ®

Sponsored: Today’s most dangerous security threats