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 TEDGlobal 2017 Fellowship application is closed. Deadline: November 13, 2016 at 11:59pm UTC.

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 TED2017 application cycle are as follows:

TED2017 application cycle
Opening date: June 13, 2016
Closing date: July 30, 2016
The application cycle is now closed for TED2017.

TEDGlobal 2017 application cycle
Opening date: October 4, 2016
Closing date: November 13, 2016
The application cycle is now closed for TED Global 2017.

Please note that we are currently reviewing applications for TED2017 and will announce the final decision at the end of November. Final decisions for the TEDGlobal 2017 fellowship class will be made by the beginning of March 2017. Unfortunately, our application cycles overlap this year, and if you applied to be a TED2017 Fellow, you will not hear back about the decision until after the TEDGlobal 2017 application cycle closes. While you are welcome to apply for both the TED2017 and TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows class, we generally encourage applicants to wait at least one year to re-apply, so that you can reflect one year of significant progress in your application.

To be added to the email reminder list for the next application cycle, please enter your email address below:

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. To be reminded when TED Fellowship applications open, please sign up for updates.

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