About TED Fellows Program
The TED Fellows Program convenes young world-changers, academics and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage in their respective disciplines, selected through an intensive application, interview and research process. The program provides transformational support to a global network of 490+ visionaries – scientists, academic researchers, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, doctors, journalists and inventors – who collaborate and share new ideas and research across disciplines to create positive change around the world.
How it works
Every year, through a rigorous open application process, TED selects a group of rising stars to participate in one of the most competitive and highly selective fellowship programs in the world. When reviewing applicants and nominees, TED deploys a dedicated staff of onsite researchers and analysts as well as a team of external fact-checkers, thought leaders and experts to collectively determine each submission’s level of innovation, expertise and potential for impact. We choose Fellows based on their remarkable achievements, their strength of character and their innovative approach to studying and solving the world’s tough problems. Fellows are invited to attend a TED conference, where they meet, exchange ideas and connect with the larger TED community. They also give their own TED Talk – an unprecedented opportunity to disseminate their unique ideas and innovative research outcomes to the world. Every talk by a Fellow goes through the same rigorous coaching, fact-checking and vetting process as a mainstage TED talk.
Once selected, Fellows receive transformational support. Fellows participate in professional coaching and mentoring and work with a public relations expert dedicated to sharing their latest projects with the world. TED Fellows participate in an active online network and attend regional meet-ups and retreats for an explosion of conversation and ideas. All TED Fellows also have the opportunity to apply for a Senior Fellowship and grow their leadership in the Fellows community. The TED Fellows program has been designed specifically to help participants advance their research – and to help them connect with and educate the world at large.
After joining the network, TED Fellows report increased clarity of mission, improved self-confidence and increased recognition of their ideas and research. Access to the TED community enables Fellows to connect with global leaders who become business partners, collaborators, funders and mentors. With the program’s support, TED Fellows have received millions of dollars in funding for their research, been awarded prestigious prizes and grants, started speaking professionally and been published widely. TED Fellows join the vibrant Fellows community, sparking cross-disciplinary collaborations and ventures. Most significantly, the program has helped the Fellows to expand and intensify the impact of their remarkable ideas and research projects, often preserving some of the most important ecological places on the planet and enhancing living conditions for people around the world.
We are currently accepting applications for our next class of TED Fellows. Apply now through August 24, 2020 at 11:59pm UTC.
Before applying, we invite you to read important updates about the Fellowship program, find answers to some frequently asked questions and meet all the TED Fellows to learn more about the breadth of this global community.
Note: The deadline is in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Be sure to convert this deadline to your local time.
The application process
We read every application, and therefore the review process takes time. You can expect to hear back from us within 8 months after the application closes. All applicants are notified whether or not they have been selected to join the TED Fellows program.
Who should apply
We look for different applicants than many other leadership-oriented programs. Instead of business people, policy wonks and government officials, the TED Fellows program focuses on doers, makers, inventors, advocates, filmmakers and photographers, musicians and artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, NGO heads, and human rights activists.
In addition to impressive accomplishment, fine character and a good heart are also important traits we look for in TED Fellows. More than anything, this focus on character has defined the success of the TED Fellows program.
The selection process
TED Fellows are selected by the program staff, with extensive reference checking and consultation with experts across all fields.
There is no algorithm for how we select our TED Fellows. We select Fellows based on their accomplishments in their respective fields, the potential impact of their work and also their character. The ideal applicant is multidisciplinary and collaborative in their pursuits and is at a moment in their career to maximize the support of the TED community.
Before filling out your TED Fellowship application, please review these tips. They're designed to help you submit your best application possible.
Applications are open for a month, but please don't wait until the last day to submit. The deadline is at 11:59pm UTC on the day applications are due. We cannot accept late applications.
Quality over quantity. We're looking for as much information about you as possible, but we intentionally give you limited space. This is because we want you to zero in on what makes your work and background truly remarkable. Please use clear, concise language and be specific in describing your work and achievements. Also be mindful of our character limits, which include spaces.
Non-traditional educations are welcome.
The TED Fellows program is not an academic fellowship. Your class rank and GPA hold little weight. We want to see you in your many dimensions -- what you've achieved, what you're currently working on and what you want to build in the future. A formal or traditional education is not necessary if you have done something remarkable.
Tell us what makes you exceptional.
We’re choosing from a very talented pool of applicants, so we encourage you to clearly articulate your achievements. Share all of your most impressive projects -- from new inventions and innovations to groundbreaking research or advancements in human rights. If you are working as part of a group, it is important that you delineate your specific contributions to the larger project.
Links to your website, portfolio or best press help us get to know you better. Even consider creating a website or updating an existing one with your most high-impact projects so that we can get a full understanding of your work. Please make sure your links are all active.
Save an offline copy.
There is no way to save an in-progress application, so we recommend you compose your answers offline. We cannot be responsible for text that gets lost in the application process.
Read More About this Program Here https://www.ted.com/participate/ted-fellows-program