Apply to be a TED Fellow

Twice a year, the TED Fellows program opens applications to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers. Though we target innovators aged 21 to 40, we encourage anyone over 18 years old to apply.

How to apply

The TED2016 Fellowship application is now open! To apply, please fill out the online application form. In addition to basic details and contact information, you’ll need to answer essay questions and provide three references.

Apply now

Before beginning your application, please review our Application tips, our Program FAQ, and our Terms and conditions.

Applications close Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. UTC / 7:59 p.m. ET.

Application cycle dates

Each year we open two application cycles: one for TED and one for TEDGlobal. Each application cycle has an opening and closing date – you may only apply to be a Fellow between the opening and closing dates. We do not accept applications during the dates that fall outside of the application cycle window.

Dates for the TED2016 application cycle is as follows:

TED2016 application cycle
Opening date: August 11, 2015
Closing date: September 20, 2015

Who should apply

We look for different applicants than many other leadership-oriented programs. Instead of business people, professionals, 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 two very important traits we look for in a every potential TED Fellow. More than anything, this focus on character has defined the success of the TED Fellows program.

The application process

Candidates may apply to attend either TED or TEDGlobal. We welcome anyone over the age of 18 to apply. We choose 20 Fellows to attend each TED Conference. Email to be reminded when applications open and include your name, title, organization, email address and country.

The selection process

TED Fellows are selected by the program staff, with extensive reference checking and consultation with experts across all fields. Selections are made by the group as a whole, not by individuals.

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, most importantly, their character. The ideal applicant is multidisciplinary in their pursuits, and is at a moment in their career to maximize the support of the TED Community.

Learn more in our Program FAQ