Apply to be a TED Fellow

Every year the TED Fellows program selects a new group of extraordinary, multidisciplinary individuals by open application. We look for innovators on the rise in their respective fields who are doing bold, original work.

Application cycle dates

The application cycle for TED2020 is now closed. We only accept applications for the TED Fellowship between the opening and closing dates of the application cycle.

TED2021 application cycle
The application cycle for TED2021 will open in Summer 2020.

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The application process

We welcome anyone over the age of 18 to apply by open application each summer. We choose 20 Fellows to attend each TED Conference.

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 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. 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 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.