Frequently Asked Questions


When should I apply by?

The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 21, 2024, 10pm GMT.

We'll review your application and conduct interviews on a rolling basis. The earlier you apply, the more time you’ll have for the later stages of the application, and the earlier you can be selected as a Fellow.

Who is eligible for the Fellowship?

Applicants are eligible if they, at the start of the program (February 19):

  • Are teenagers, aged 14-20
  • Haven't started university
  • Are located anywhere in the world

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?

We accept fellows from all over the world. You are eligible to apply regardless of your location.

Do I need to have an idea before I apply?

No, you don't need to already have an idea for an impactful project.

We aren't looking to hear the ideas you've already had in our application. We're looking for your potential to.

As a result, our program is designed to help you come up with ideas, as well as implement them.

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.

What is the application like?

You can preview the written application questions.

It should take you 40-50 minutes to submit your application:

  • Stage 1: Email address (~0 minutes)
  • Stage 2: Written application (20-30 minutes)
  • Stage 3: Puzzle quiz (20 minutes)

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis – the sooner you apply, the sooner you hear back. Select applicants will be invited to schedule a 15-minute interview at a time of their choosing.


When will I know if I was accepted?

You’ll receive a decision on your application no later than February 16th.

However, we're reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so if you’re accepted to the next stage, you will hear from us sooner.

Will there be more cohorts in the future?

Yes! As long as you’re eligible, we hope you re-apply for future cohorts.

Please subscribe to the newsletter to get updates on new fellowship cohorts, resources for starting an impactful project, and opportunities to get involved in the Non-Trivial network.

Can you give me feedback on my application?

Unfortunately not. We received thousands of applications and won't be able to provide individualised feedback.

In general, we look for the dedication and ability to positively change the world. The best way to demonstrate that is to start making a change! So regardless of whether you'd like to re-apply, getting started solving the world's most pressing problems is a good start!

Can I appeal the decision?

Unfortunately the decisions we've made so far are final. However, we hope you apply again in the future.


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

Can I do a group project?

Absolutely! Many of our previous winners completed their project in a group (and many on their own).

As part of the program, we have sessions designed to help you find someone to work with who shares your interests.

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 8-week part-time program. The next cohort begins on Monday, October 30, 2023. You'll work on your project and present it at Demo Day on Friday, December 22, 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 occur in your timezone. When you're accepted, you will indicate your availability and we'll do our best to match you up with a group that is available at the same time and who shares your interest.

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.

However, you can complete this at any time, and on your own schedule.

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.

What language is the fellowship in?

The fellowship will be entirely in English. You don't need to be a native-English speaker; however, it is important you be able to converse with other fellows and instructors in English.

How many people will be accepted?

At least 20 fellows. However we are currently fundraising to be able to accept approximately 100. We may decide to accept more or fewer applicants 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 is the $30,000 in funding?

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 $15,000 grant award.
  • Second place, which will be awarded twice, will receive a $5,000 grant award.
  • Third place, which will be awarded 5 times, will receive a $1,000 grant award.

See our Prize Terms & Conditions


Are you hiring?

Not for our upcoming 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 (

Don't Wait to
Change the World

Apply by January 21st to join a world-class cohort.

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$500 scholarship
zero fees
Ages 14-20, worldwide
Feb 19-Apr 12, 2024
$30,000 in Funding
View Program