TED Fellows Program

TED Fellows Program

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Deadline 11:59 pm UTC 24 Aug 2020

The deadline is in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Be sure to convert this deadline to your local time.

From the organizer:

The TED Fellows Program recognizes people at work on world-changing ideas, offering them tools to amplify the power of their vision. Each year, we select a new group of Fellows from around the world, and from every discipline, and welcome them into this incredible international community. Throughout this application process, we seek remarkable thinkers and doers who have shown unusual accomplishment, exceptional courage, and the potential to create positive change in their respective fields – including technology, entertainment, design, science, film, art, music, entrepreneurship, the NGO community and beyond.

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.

What happens when you’re chosen as a TED Fellow?

– You become part of a diverse, collaborative and global community of more than 500 emerging and established experts
– You receive professional development through virtual workshops and webinars
– You gain valuable feedback from TED’s expert coaches on how to hone, express and communicate your work and your ideas
– You will give a TED Talk (virtual or at a live event, depending on the state of the global pandemic)
– You’ll receive career coaching and mentorship from our team of professional coaches
– You’ll get public relations guidance and media training
– You’ll participate in virtual programming for TED Fellows
– You will have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to a thriving and connected global community

A possible invitation to attend the special TEDMonterey conference in Monterey, California (Note: while we are currently planning on an in person conference in Monterey (May 29- June 4, 2021), given the global pandemic this conference may be cancelled and the TED Fellowship may become entirely virtual, depending on expert advice and local health safety protocols)

What are the requirements?

– An idea worth spreading!
– A completed online application consisting of general biographical information, short paragraphs on your work and three references. (It’s fun, and it’ll make you think…)
– You must be at least 18 years old to apply
– You must be fluent in English
– You must be excited to participate in a collaborative, interdisciplinary global community
– You must be available May 29 – June 4, 2021

How to apply

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.


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.

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.

Read more about the program here.


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