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Rise is a program that finds promising young people and provides opportunity for life as they work to serve others.

The program starts at ages 15-17 and encourages a lifetime of service and learning by providing support that includes need-based scholarships, mentorship, networking, access to career development opportunities, and the potential for additional funding as Rise Global Winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems.

An initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, Rise is the anchor program of a $1 billion commitment from Eric and Wendy Schmidt to find and support global talent.

We are currently selecting the 2023-2024 Rise Global Winners and are no longer accepting applications at this time. 

Rise is for life.
The program starts at ages 15-17 and encourages a lifetime of service and learning by providing support that includes need-based scholarships, mentorship, networking, access to career development opportunities, and the potential for additional funding as Rise Global Winners work toward solving humanity’s most pressing problems.

Rise is a global community.
If one person alone can change the world, imagine what a network of exceptional people can do together throughout their lives. That is the vision of Rise.

Rise looks for brilliance.
We look for brilliance, in whatever form it takes, wherever it is in the world.  From high school classrooms, to refugee camps, to science fairs, we believe that brilliance is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. We’re on a mission to change the odds for the world’s most exceptional people from a young age and throughout their lives.

In 2019, Schmidt Futures co-founders Eric and Wendy Schmidt made a $1 billion philanthropic commitment to identify and support global talent.

Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, is the anchor program of that commitment. Rise builds on an existing partnership between Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, including the creation of the Schmidt Science Fellows program. Each organization has realized the power of building a network of exceptional talent, and this partnership allows them both for the first time to focus on reaching a younger audience between the ages of 15 and 17.

Rise depends on trusted partnerships with global institutions that have long been committed to identifying and supporting young people with the potential to build a better world.

We’ve developed collaborations with a broad variety of organizations in the public, private, and social sectors—including schools, universities, nonprofits, advocacy groups, businesses, and others. This network helps us find talented people who may go undiscovered or unsupported otherwise, and connect those future leaders to scholarships, internships, and opportunities around the world.

The world’s most important problems will be solved by the next generation of leaders. Yet too often, the most exceptional people never realize their full potential for global impact. Either they are never discovered, become isolated at a young age, lack access to opportunities to develop their ideas, or face social and economic barriers. 

At the same time, systems for identifying talent—such as universities and employers—too often rely on existing, traditional networks. We’re leaving countless exceptional people on the sidelines.  

If one person alone can change the world, imagine what a network of exceptional people can do together throughout their lives. That is the vision of Rise.

Research shows that there are thousands, if not millions, of exceptional people around the world who could have made a large impact had they been discovered and supported earlier in life. 

Research also shows that the networks and information young people encounter in the final years of secondary school-—before college or entering the workforce—are critical to shaping the direction of their lives. At this time in life, young people are full of creative ideas, unhindered by the reasons something can’t be done, and more willing to work collaboratively. 

The world’s challenges are also bigger and more complex than ever. Today’s generation of young people confront climate change; lack of access to healthy food and safe water; educational setbacks due to COVID-19; and racial, gender, and other inequality. At the same time, we have better tools than ever to solve these problems.  We need a new generation of leaders that can deal with the growing complexity of the world—and that can use the power of new tools and technologies to solve our greatest challenges. 

By identifying emerging talent in all disciplines, we can support people and their ideas as they work on solutions we can't even imagine today. If one person alone can change the world, imagine what a network of exceptional people can do together throughout their lives. That is the vision of Rise.

Everyone who applies joins a global community of leaders and gains access to opportunities from our partners around the world. 

Finalists participate in educational and social impact online learning experiences, offered through Rise, to level up their skills and grow their networks. They also gain access to funding on a competitive basis. 

The Rise Global Winners receive benefits to help them scale their impact. These benefits include a fully-funded residential summit, need-based higher education scholarships, funding for ideas on a competitive basis, access to a network of other Rise Global Winners, starter technology packages, mentorship, and career services.

In addition, the program may provide additional benefits and services to Winners and other members depending on need and funding.

The program provides the following benefits to Rise Global Winners:

  • Residential Summit: One fully-funded residential summit with other Rise Global Winners from their cohort—to be held in a rotating location globally. 
  • Higher Education Scholarships: A four-year, post-secondary scholarship at any accredited university, including tuition and a living stipend, based on need and where not already covered by financial aid.
  • Funding for Ideas on a Competitive Basis: Opportunity to apply for funding for innovative ideas—ranging, for example, from seed money to start a social enterprise to grants for a non-profit. Funds will be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5M/year of the program and will be available competitively to Winners and Finalists
  • Network Matching: Access to a network of other Global Winners, community members, and partner organizations, as well as career development programming, delivered primarily through technology (via our matching platform). 
  • Starter Technology Packages: Technology packages, such as laptops or tablets, to be determined each year based on budget and individual needs.  
  • Mentorship & Career Services: Mentorship to provide personal, academic, or professional guidance, and specialized career services for internships and jobs. 

The application is free, and there is no cost to Rise Global Winners or their families to participate in the Rise program.

The selection process and many subsequent phases of the Rise program will be administered virtually. We intend for each cohort of Rise Global Winners to convene after their selection; however, we are committed to ensuring the safety of all participants and are therefore evaluating the timing for in-person meetings for 2022 and beyond given the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rise application is currently only available to applicants with some command of the English language.

We are committed to ensuring our application process is as accessible as possible, and we invite you to review our Accessibility Statement.

If you are unable to access the app because your device is not compatible or you have limited data, you can use Rise’s web-browser application. That option can be accessed here. We’re also distributing paper applications on an as-needed basis. Please contact us at to inquire about this option.

Additionally, Rise is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community that reflects a broad range of backgrounds and experiences. We care about the potential applicants demonstrate in their work, not the opportunities they’ve had so far. We work with partners around the world to find talented young people who may not be discovered otherwise.

If you encounter any obstacles, we want to work with you to provide assistance. Please contact us so we can address any questions or needs that you might have.

Parent or guardian consent is required to apply. You will be prompted for this in the application process.


Each application year, Rise invites 15-17 year olds from around the world to participate in the Rise Challenge. Unlike many traditional applications, Rise uses videos, projects, and group interviews so applicants have multiple opportunities to showcase their potential. For applicants without access to technology, we offer an alternative paper application pathway.

Applicants introduce themselves through video or text responses, create an individual project that demonstrates their talents and benefits their communities, complete assessments, and peer review other applicants’ projects, among other activities. 

After applicants complete the Rise Challenge, Rise selects up to 500 Finalists to advance to “Finalist Days,” where they demonstrate their motivations, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills in an innovative interview format.

From the Finalists, we select up to 100 Rise Global Winners to provide opportunity as they work to serve others throughout their lifetime.

Applicants for the 2024 cohort must be between the ages of 15 and 17 as of July 1, 2024, meaning they are born on or between July 2, 2006 and July 1, 2009.

It does not matter what part of the globe you come from, or academic experience you have. Whether you are interested in science, innovation, technology, art, policy, community organizing, or any other discipline—we want to hear from you.

Rise finds promising young people and provides opportunity as they work to serve others throughout their lifetime. We understand that economic barriers are not the only challenges that keep exceptional people from serving others throughout their lives.

Rise Global Winners hail from around the world and demonstrate brilliance in a range of disciplines. Some may excel in STEM fields, others may show outstanding artistic ability, and others may have a gift for community service and organizing.

All Rise Global Winners demonstrate the five Rise Traits:

  1. Brilliance
  2. Perseverance
  3. Integrity
  4. Empathy
  5. Calling

Meet the Rise Global Winners at

The purpose of our selection process is to look at the whole you, not just your past achievements—but also your potential to commit to a lifetime of service to others. To do this, we divide our selection process into distinct components so we can learn about you from as many different angles as possible.

Peer Review

Your responses will be reviewed by a random selection of your peers (fellow Rise applicants) according to the Rise Traits. This review will get factored along with the other information you’ve shared throughout the application process to develop a composite score.

Expert Review

The submissions receiving the highest scores will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The panel of judges includes global experts who come from diverse backgrounds and work across numerous fields.

Live Evaluation

Up to 500 Finalists will be selected to participate in a series of activities and interviews. These applicants are further evaluated by an additional review panel that selects up to 100 Global Winners.

The application is like a jigsaw puzzle of multiple pieces: your responses to the short essay questions, your reviews of other peoples’ responses, others’ reviews of your responses, your project, your profile information, and other assessments. All pieces count and together form a whole picture of you as an applicant throughout the Rise Challenge.

Each year, Rise plans to select 100 Global Winners and provide them with access to benefits that last a lifetime as they work to serve others. 

However, everyone who completes the application will have the opportunity to become part of the Rise Global Community. You will have access to a network of peers, learning resources, and additional opportunities from Rise partners around the world.  Throughout the application process, you will build professional and personal skills, learn how to tell your story, and develop your portfolio with a significant project.

Don’t worry about figuring out the probability of winning. The best way to increase your chance of winning is to finish the application!

You can review the Submission Guidelines here. Submissions must follow the submission guidelines to advance. If you violate a guideline, moderators will flag your submission. In some cases, you may have a chance to resubmit and will receive an email message and see a warning message on your application. In these cases, please resubmit your response right away. We encourage applicants not to wait until the last minute to submit and to come back to your application before the deadline to confirm that you’re not being asked to resubmit.

The Rise application is currently only available to applicants with some command of the English language.

Applicants are encouraged to respond to the prompts by video. This video should take the form that best enables you to present your work. Examples from past submissions are selfies, recorded slide presentations, animations, and video documentaries. Videos don’t have to be perfectly polished. You are not being assessed on your ability to edit a video professionally, but we do encourage you to think about how you’re telling your story and getting your points across. Most of all, we encourage you to point the camera away from yourself and demonstrate what you’re working on.

You do not have to record your videos live. If you have limited access to a device or an unstable internet connection, you can record your video ahead of time and upload them at a later time.

Applicants who are not able to submit video responses due to device limitations or internet connectivity issues can provide written responses instead.

We encourage you to carefully consider your choice of submission format. While you are able to switch later by sending a request through our support team, doing so may mean that you lose your initial responses.

Applicants who apply by video find that they are better able to provide evidence of what they’ve accomplished. Similarly, peers and project reviewers have shared that they are better able to review the project and have a more enjoyable experience doing so. Applications with video responses are therefore more likely to advance. Please consider this when choosing a format.

We discourage you from submitting a written application unless you find it necessary to do so. Legitimate reasons for submitting a written application include:

  • Limited access to the internet such that you would find it challenging to upload or stream video
  • Limited or no access to a video recording device

If you don’t have a strong reason for not responding to the application questions with a video, review of your application may be negatively impacted.

Both video and text formats have length limitations, so think carefully about what you want to say. Videos must be a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of 5 minutes. Text responses must be a minimum of 250 characters and a maximum of 1600 characters. You can record or upload a video. We recommend watching your video after completing it to make sure that you captured it fully.

You could create a piece of music, art, performance, or film; develop a new product, software service, or business; build a social or political movement; create a body of research; or anything else. We encourage you to think of creative ways that your project could benefit your community. 

Evidencing your work

Set yourself metrics (Key Performance Indicators) that you will use to track your achievements. Report on your success towards achieving those goals as your project progresses and once it is completed. Document what you do along the way: make sure you don't just say what you've done for each phase—show it too!


This project can be part of a larger initiative, but the submitted work must be something that starts after 1 June 2023 and is completed in some part by 17 January 2024. It also must be work you’ve specifically prepared for your Rise application. If you’re pursuing a passion that you’ve completed projects on previously, that’s great; just make sure the work that you’re presenting is all new. You may be asked to verify this at points throughout the application process.


Group projects are allowed, but in presenting your project, only showcase the areas on which you’ve worked and be honest about your role. You will be asked about who else you worked with in your project summary. We also recommend that you notify your team members that you are using the project for your Rise application to avoid any potential issues. If you advance to become a Finalist, you will be asked to verify the aspects of the project you have completed yourself.

Community Engagement and Resources

  • Think Sheets: Rise will distribute worksheets designed to help you think through your project. These are optional and can be printed and useful for working on your project offline.
  • Workshops: Bi-weekly workshops are designed to guide and support candidates throughout their project. Each workshop focused on a part of the Rise Challenge. The Rise team plans to deliver weekly workshops throughout the application period.
  • Rise Global Community Online: Use the Rise Global Community on Discord to meet other community members, participate in activities and workshops, and share ideas about your project. Participating in the Rise Discord Community is optional, but strongly encouraged. 
  • Support: You can contact the Rise Team with questions by emailing

The resources are to help you with your Rise Challenge and to enrich your experience. They are optional and will not be factored into the Rise selection process.

Seeking guidance? Don’t worry, Rise provides resources to get the ideas flowing:

  • Think Sheets are available to help you work through your project. These can be printed and used for working on your project offline. Comprehensive Think Sheet | Summary Think Sheet (shorter version)
  • Download a list of the application questions which you can use to develop your responses offline.
  • Online workshops are designed to guide and support you through your project. Sign up at the Events page. Recordings of past workshops are viewable on Rise’s YouTube page.
  • Review the Submission Guidelines to ensure that you’re adhering to them.
  • Use the Rise Global Community on Discord to meet other community members, participate in activities and workshops, and share ideas about your project. 
  • Watch Rise’s Expert Lesson Playlist with encouragement, guidance, and tips from thought leaders from around the world.
  • Contact the Rise Team with any questions not answered by the above by emailing

Use of these resources is optional, but encouraged.

There’s a field in the application Project Summary form where you have the option to add a link to your project website or social media. You may also use the link field in the Project Summary form to provide additional evidence of your project, but please note that links must follow the Submission Guidelines and won’t be reviewed by your peers.  Do not include links in your application responses. 

Applicants are required to provide peer review on three projects after submitting their own. In each case, you’ll review a minimum of three submissions of your peers by answering select questions. The more videos you review, the more perspective and inspiration you’ll gain.

Each project review will be a compilation of the five videos or written responses that the peer has produced. This is a total of fifteen videos. Be sure to allow yourself time to provide a thoughtful assessment.

Peer review is just one of many approaches to creating a fair and inclusive evaluation process. We’ve found that YOU are able to “see” your peers better than some professional reviewers. The questions that your peers are asked to rate you on evaluate your answers according to the Rise Traits.

Peer review also has the benefit of enabling Rise to gather applications from a large number of applicants. By leveraging the power of the community, we can ensure that everyone gets evaluated.

We ask that you review one another with integrity. Not only are you on your honor to do so, but we are looking out for reviews that negatively target other participants. We've implemented measures to help detect and correct for biases to ensure that no applicant will be affected because of unfair or unreliable peer reviewers.

Please review thoughtfully and honestly.

You have until 4.59pm GMT on 31 January 2024 to complete the peer review section of your application.

Eligible applicants that complete a Profile become eligible to join the Rise Global Community on Discord to meet other community members, participate in activities and workshops, and share ideas about your project. Participating in the Rise Discord Community is optional, but strongly encouraged.

When you complete your Profile on your application, you will see the Discord connection become available on the Rise Hub. Click on it and follow the steps to sign in or create an account.

You are encouraged to download a printable version of the questions that can be used to work offline. Research your answers, formulate responses, and develop your project, then come back online to update your application.  

You can also download the Comprehensive Think Sheet and shorter, Summary Think Sheet to develop your responses.

If you are unable to access the Rise application because you don’t have a connected device or you have limited data, you may request a printable, paper application by emailing

Contact Rise support at Include as much information about the issue as possible, including a description and what browser and device you’ve been using. Please allow up to 48 business hours for the team to respond.

While Rise provides general information and answers questions related to the logistics of the application process, Rise does not have any representatives that help applicants with their Rise applications, and Rise does not collect any funds whatsoever in connection with the application process. You should never pay anyone claiming to be a Rise representative and you should never pay anyone to help you with your application regardless of how they identify themselves. We ask that you report any such solicitation by contacting safeguarding@risefortheworld. org.