Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them as they work to serve others.
The program starts at ages 15–17 and offers access to benefits such as scholarships, mentorship, access to career development opportunities, funding, and more as 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.
Rise is for life.
We offer benefits such as access to funding opportunities and a global network that will impact winners throughout their lives, making this one of the largest, if not the largest, award programs for individuals in the world.
Rise is a global community.
We connect talent from over 170 countries, with inaugural Global Winners hailing from 42 countries across 6 continents.
Rise looks for brilliance.
We look for hidden 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 brilliant 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 brilliant 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.
Imagine if we could find those talented people, connect them to one another, and provide them with the opportunities they need to solve hard problems in science and society. That is the purpose of Rise.
Research shows that there are thousands, if not millions, of brilliant 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.
We believe Rise can find exceptional people at this critical moment in their lives and empower them to build a better world. But we don’t just give them support once—we offer it over time, throughout their careers. That’s the power of Rise.
Everyone who applies joins a global community of leaders and gains access to free online courses and opportunities from our partners around the world.
Finalists participate in educational and leadership courses, as an award from Rise, to level up their skills and grow their networks. They also gain access to additional funding opportunities to experiment with innovative ideas to solve our hardest challenges.
100 Global Winners receive benefits to help them scale their impact. These benefits include a needs-based college scholarship, invitation to a Residential Summit, and mentorship and career services, and could also include graduate scholarships and funding to start a social enterprise, depending on the quality of idea and need for support as they work to serve others.
Benefits for Rise Global Winners take many shapes. The program is personalized and flexible, tailored to Global Winners’ needs as they evolve over time. We aim to provide Global Winners with individualized support to empower them to achieve their goals while they work to serve others throughout their lives.
All Rise Global Winners receive access to the following benefits and participate in the following programs upon selection:
- Residential Summit: An invitation to attend a fully-funded, three-week residential summit with other members of the Rise Global Winner cohort—to be held in a rotating location globally for each new cohort—as well as to join network events in subsequent years.
- Mentorship & Career Services: Mentors paired with each Global Winner to provide personal, academic, or professional guidance, and specialized career services for internships and jobs to be developed from 2022.
- Programming: Access to specialized programs, courses, and fellowship opportunities through Rise partners. The Winners’ anchor program in 2021/22 is a Human Centered Design course designed for the Rise Winners by DC Design. Online courses are delivered on a specially designed learning platform being developed with High Resolves.
- Global Winner Network: Access to a network of other Global Winners across cohorts to connect on common interests, make service commitments, launch enterprises, and collaborate together.
- 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.
- Technology: Technology packages, such as laptops or tablets, to be determined each year.
In addition, all Rise Global Winners will have the opportunity to apply for the following benefits:
- Partner Network: Opportunity to be matched to programs, secondary school scholarships, internships, and other benefits from partners who are part of the Rise network.
- Funding Opportunities: Opportunity to apply for funding to experiment with innovative ideas to address major problems in local communities or around the world—ranging from seed money to start a social enterprise to a grant for a non-profit. Funds will be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5 million per year of the program.
- Education Support: Opportunity to apply for scholarship funds for a graduate degree.
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 the 100 Rise Global Winners to convene in person each year 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. In future years, we plan to develop application processes for non-English speakers.
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 email@example.com 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.
If you are not selected as a Rise Global Winner in 2022, you can apply again in 2023, provided you still meet the age criteria.
By completing the application this year, you will still become part of the Rise Global Community and have access to learning resources, additional opportunities, and the network of Rise partners.