• thriveopportunitie

TED Fellows Program 2020

Apply now through August 24, 2020, at 11:59 pm UTC.

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.

They 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.


  • 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.

  • Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to a thriving and connected global community.

  • Fellows will get a possible invitation to attend the special TEDMonterey conference in Monterey, California.


  • 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.

Application tips

Before filling out your TED Fellowship application, please review these tips. They're designed to help you submit your best application possible.

Apply early.

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.

Be concise.

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.

Link wisely.

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.



TED Fellows FAQ

" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al