Frequently Asked Questions
When should I apply by?

Applications have closed. The deadline to apply was Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, midnight GMT.

We'll review your application and conduct interviews between Monday, Feb. 6 and Thursday, Feb. 16.

Apply now
Who is eligible for the Fellowship?

Applicants are eligible if they:

  • Are aged 14-20
  • Haven’t started university
  • Are predominantly based in the European Union or United Kingdom during the Fellowship
  • Obtain parent or legal guardian permission when they apply if they’re under 18.
Do I have to pay to apply?

No, it costs you nothing to apply – it's 100% free. And our program is 100% free.

Our donors support the fellowship because they expect us to improve the world by helping you solve the world’s most pressing problems.

What countries do you accept applications from?

You are only eligible to apply if you'll spend most of the period of the Fellowship based in the EU or UK. While we're disappointed to not be able to accept applications from more countries, having all Fellows in a similar timezone makes scheduling events much easier.

What do you look for?

We empower some of this generation’s sharpest thinkers to use their talents to address vexing social challenges.

We look for applicants who demonstrate:

  • World-changing ambitions: Producing a meaningful improvement in humanity’s plight is not trivial – it will likely take decades of hard work. We look for those with the resolve to make a difference over the long term.
  • Critical-thinking: We look for applicants who are able to think deeply and analytically about complex problems. You can demonstrate this with the quiz and critical thinking tasks in our application.
  • Curiosity: How could you do the most good? The answer to this question is non-obvious and constantly changing. We look for the drive to determine how the world works, and what you can do to change it.
Do I need my parent’s or guardian’s permission?

Yes, for applicants under 18 years of age, you need permission from your legal guardian to apply. If you’re over 18 when you apply, it’s not necessary.

Why work on my own project?
  1. Have an impact on the world. You might already be capable of actually contributing something important to a pressing problem. Self-evidently, this is good.
  2. Demonstrate what you’re capable of. Young people are among the most undervalued talent in the world. One reason for this is that employers and funders tend to be risk averse, and pick applicants with track records. Successfully starting a project proves you can do it, and strengthens your negotiating position in the future.
  3. Leverage your success. Use your project to set yourself up for your next step, whether that’s an internship, a college application, a full-time job, or fundraising to take your project to the next level.
  4. Real-world learning. You retain more knowledge when you apply what you’re learning to what you’re working on.
What kinds of projects can I work on?

Your project should be designed to directly contribute to solving one of the world's most pressing problems, rather than some other goal (such as getting into university or learning about a new topic). However, we expect that working on an impactful project to frequently contribute to other secondary goals.

It’s up to you to come up with an impactful project that you’re excited about. But our program can help you come up with ideas and shape them into their most impactful form.

Whatever the category, if your project could have a big positive impact on the world, we’re excited to support it. For example, we're excited to support impactful projects that involve:

  • Research
  • Policy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Communications
  • Engineering
What if I’ve already got a high-impact project?

What project you work on is your decision. However, we hope you'll to make a good faith effort to explore the highest impact projects for you.

Our program is designed to help you work out what you could do to have the biggest impact on the world. If you already know exactly what that is, the program won't be as valuable.

We expect many prize-winners to work on completely different problems and/or with different approaches than what they initially have in mind. This is because changing projects can demonstrate progress towards having more impact, or can help your project show more promise.

We reserve the right to not support any project we think would have a negative impact on the world.

When is the Fellowship?

The Fellowship is a 7-week part-time program. The first cohort begins on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023. You'll work on your project and present it at Demo Day on Friday, Apr. 14, 2023.

What happens each week?

The Fellowship is a combination of online lessons, calls with your project group (groups of 3-5 students who discuss their projects), and 1:1 calls.

You can complete the independent learning, and 1:1 calls with other fellows at your own pace.

Weekly calls with your project group will mostly occur in weekday evenings after 5pm CET, though the exact times will be determined in the future.

How many hours a week is the program?

We expect you to dedicate at least 6 hours a week to learning how you can have a large positive impact on the world.

Who is funding the Fellowship?

We’re grateful for all the support we receive to enable Non-trivial to fulfill our mission of helping you help the world. Since our founding in 2022, we’ve received over $1 million in donations.

The largest funder of our current work is Open Philanthropy, a major US-based foundation. They support our work because they expect us to improve the world by helping you solve the world’s most pressing problems. Open Philanthropy’s main funders are Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook and Asana.

2022 Future Fund Grant
In early 2022, Non-trivial received a $1 million grant from the Future Fund, which was primarily supported by FTX employees. In November 2022, FTX filed for bankruptcy. In light of this situation, Non-trivial ceased spending any Future Fund money until further notice.
What can I spend the €‎500 scholarship on?

Award winners will receive their scholarship funds at the end of successfully completing the fellowship. The scholarship is not contingent on attending university.

Recipients must use the scholarship for the purposes of educational and personal development. This means, for example, purchasing textbooks, courses, technology, tuition, tutoring, or supplementing unpaid internships.

How many people will be accepted?

Approximately 40 for our inaugural cohort. We may decide to accept more or less depending on the applications we receive.

What will I learn?

It’s up to you! 

We have a weekly curriculum of videos and reading, interactive group activities, and advisors available.

But it’s up to you to figure out what you need to learn to plan your impactful project and to increase your impact on the world.

What are the €‎‎5,000 in prizes?

Prizes are awarded based on which projects have made the most progress, show the most promise for impact, and were best presented in their Demo Day presentations.

There are three prizes on offer:
- First place will receive a €2,000 grant award.
- Second place, which will be awarded twice, will receive a €500 grant award.
- Third place, which will be awarded eight times, will receive a €250 grant award.

See our Prize Terms & Conditions

Are you hiring?

Not for our inaugural cohort, but you can let us know you might be interested in the future.

Email our founder Peter ( with your CV/LinkedIn and why you might be interested.

How do I give feedback?

Feedback is crucial to helping us improve – especially critical feedback.

To give us feedback, you can:

How do I ask a question not already covered?

Email our founder Peter (

Ready to start changing the world?