Skip to main content



Rise (the “Challenge”), an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, is sponsored by The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation (the “Sponsor” or “we”). By entering the Challenge, you agree that your participation will be governed by, and you shall abide by, all of the terms and conditions outlined below (the “Rules”).

These Rules form part of your agreement with us, along with the Terms of Use located at ("Terms"). 



We are building a global community of future leaders, connecting applicants with access to free learning resources and opportunities around the world. Rise will select a set of Global Winners to receive additional benefits as they commit their talents to building a better world. 

We believe that traditional selection processes don’t always identify all types of talent, so the Rise application process provides a variety of opportunities to showcase your potential, ranging from videos to projects to interviews.  


The Challenge is open to people between 15 and 17 years old as of 1 July 2024 00:01 Pacific Daylight Time (”PDT”) meaning they were born on or between 2 July 2006 and 1 July 2009. Applicants who are minors must have the permission of their parent/legal guardian to participate in the Challenge. You will be required at various stages to provide verification of eligibility, age, identity, and parent/legal guardian permission (if applicable).

The foregoing notwithstanding, the following individuals are not eligible to enter or win the Challenge: (a) current or former (within the twelve months immediately preceding the start of the Entry Period) employees, officers, directors and contractors of the Sponsor or Rhodes Trust; (b) anyone involved in the conduct of the Challenge, including judges; (c) any member of the immediate family (i.e., a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild) or household of any of the foregoing individuals; (d) any individual who is prohibited or restricted by law in their country or in the United States from participating in the Challenge. If you are prohibited from visiting the United States or are otherwise not permitted to receive any portion of a benefit for any reason, including because of the United States Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”), we may be prohibited from providing benefits or we may have to take additional steps to do so. The Challenge expressly excludes participation from any individual appearing on the list provided by OFAC, whether currently listed, or subsequently listed at any time during the Challenge’s duration.  

Applicants must be natural persons; business entities and group submissions are not eligible. Applicants must apply as their authentic selves; avatars, pseudonyms, and fake identities are not eligible. All personal and financial information provided in connection with the Competition must be accurate and truthful. Individuals may only apply to the Challenge one time per Challenge year. Individuals who submit multiple applications, whether in the same channel or by different application pathways, will be subject to disqualification. Previous Rise Global Winners are not eligible to apply to the Challenge in any subsequent Challenge year.

Applicants must have sufficient proficiency in English to read and understand these Rules and other important documents such as the Privacy Notice and consent forms, and to conduct themselves throughout the selection process and program in English, including to converse with us and your peers in English.


The entry period for the Challenge begins at 12:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 14 September 2023 and ends at 16:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 17 January 2024 (the “Entry Period”). Sponsor's computer shall serve as the official clock for the Challenge.

All Applicants will be required to complete the application as described below in order to have a complete submission, and will have until 17 January 2024 16:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to complete the entry and until 31 January 2024 16:59 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to complete the peer review portion of the application. We will announce anticipated Global Winners in or before October 2024.


To apply, visit during the Entry Period and follow the entry instructions to make an entry (a “Submission”). If you were sent a link by an organization or individual, please use the link shared to direct you to the application.

Individuals who are unable to apply via the web pathway may be granted authorization to apply through a paper application on a case-by-case basis, depending on demonstrated need. Interested candidates must email to request a paper application and provide sufficient reasoning for why the web pathway is inaccessible. We reserve the right to make this option available on a case-by-case basis in our sole discretion.

You are required to create an account and complete a Registration Profile to unlock the other steps of the application. You may update your profile for this application period after 1 June 2023. This profile may be edited up until the application deadline of 17 January 2024. You are limited to one application in a given Entry Period. If it is discovered that an applicant has submitted multiple applications, this could result in disqualification of their entry.

The application process consists of sharing information about your demographics, education and experiences,, submitting video essays, participating in automated assessments, and completing reviews of the video essays of other applicants. Applicants whose device is not capable of video recording or who have limited data may respond to the prompts in writing instead of via video and review the written responses of others. Applicants will be asked to complete a profile by answering questions related to personal demographics and socio-economic status.

The first two essay questions will ask you about your motivations and challenges you have overcome to get to where you are. The next three essay questions will ask you to develop a project that demonstrates your talents and benefits your community.

You will be required to complete an individual project between 1 June 2023 and 17 January 2024 (the “Project Period”) as part of your Submission. The project involves identifying a topic, researching it, designing a plan, executing that plan, and reflecting on your work. You will be asked to record updates on your work that share your project progress. The project should be ambitious, but this does not mean it must be perfect. 

Rules for the project: 

  • The project can be part of a larger initiative, but it must be something that you start and end within the Project Period. 
  • The Project must be work you’ve specifically prepared for your Rise application. If you are working on a group project that you would like to use for the Rise Challenge, we ask that you only showcase the areas in which you work on yourself. Please provide honest detail about your roles and responsibilities.

Violation of any of the above may result in disqualification. 

Applicants will be encouraged to watch video lessons, develop their project following the guidance, and provide updates on their progress. Paper applicants will be asked to complete the project in a format that might differ slightly.  

In the third part of the application, you are required to complete a quiz and a game.

When you’re satisfied with your application, select the Submit button to indicate that it’s final. Once you submit your application, you cannot return to edit or change your responses. After submitting, you’ll unlock access to review the projects of your peersYou will be required to review a minimum of three projects of your peers for your application to be considered complete.

Paper applicants will follow a similar procedure to the above, but will be asked to complete the project in a format that might differ slightly from the web application due to differences in technology. Paper applicants will not have the opportunity to submit videos or review the videos of their peers. Additionally, they will not be asked to complete a quiz or game assessment as part of their application submission, but may be required to do so at a later time should they advance to becoming a Finalist.

Proof of entry does not constitute proof of receipt. Parts of Submissions once made cannot be modified, returned or acknowledged. Participation in the Challenge is voluntary and does not require you to purchase anything from or to make any payment to, the Sponsor or Rhodes Trust.

We will have no obligation (express or implied) to use or display any Submission in whole or in part, and may at any time abandon the use of a Submission for any reason, or for no reason. 

You should retain a copy of all portions of your Submission before submitting them to us, as we may ask to see copies of the original versions to verify authenticity.  We are not responsible for, and you specifically release Sponsor and Rhodes Trust from any claims or liability relating to, any loss or damage to your Submission.


All Submissions must adhere to the following guidelines (the “Submission Guidelines”).  Your submission must be:

a. Your own original creation;   

b. In English;

c. Not a duplicate of any prior Submission;

d. Free of any content that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, or proprietary or confidential information of others;

e. In compliance with the Rise Policy on Artificial Intelligence;

f. Free of material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene, hateful, harassing, derogatory, disparaging, or defamatory;

g. Free of material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; and

h. Free of material that is unlawful, in violation of, or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the Submission is created or the Challenge is operated.

Additionally, we strongly advise eliminating all of your personally identifiable information from video submissions that will be subject to peer review. This includes your name, address, birth date, personal identity number, and school name.

Responses to the short essay questions–whether in video or text–must additionally conform to the following guidelines: 

a. Free of personally identifiable information which might pose a risk to your safety. This includes but is not limited to sharing your full name, age, address, name of school, items in the background that reveal this type of information, or school uniforms/sports attire with the name of the school on it. Sharing a first name, country, or nationality will not be considered a violation of our guidelines, but we do encourage applicants to use their best judgment in what information they share ;

b. Free of the personal information of others, voice, image, or likeness of any other identifiable individual without such person’s prior written consent;

c. Videos must be a minimum of 30 seconds and no longer than 5 minutes. Text responses must be a minimum character count of 250 characters and be no longer than 1600 characters;

d. Responses must be unique: you may not submit the same response to different questions;

e. Content is intelligible and free of technical issues which might prevent it from being assessed;

f. Responses are related and relevant to the challenge. Content cannot be designed to deceive or create a negative user experience for other applicants.

g. Doesn’t include links outside of the designated form field.


By entering, you represent and warrant that: 

a. Your Submission is an original work created solely by you and all ideas, creative elements, and other materials are your own; 

b. Your Submission is accurate and truthful to the best of your knowledge;

c. Your Submission does not violate, and your participation in this Challenge is not prohibited by, any applicable law, rule or regulation in the country in which you reside;

d. No other party has any right, title, claim or interest in your Submission;

e. You have the right and authority to grant all rights or permissions set forth herein;  

f. Our use of your Submission to operate the Challenge will not infringe or involve the misappropriation of any third-party rights; 

g. You have the right to enter and participate in the Challenge as contemplated hereunder without the need of any consent of any third party (other than a parent or guardian); 

h. You will abide by these Rules and all applicable laws and regulations; and 

i. You are under no obligation or disability, created by law or otherwise, which would in any manner prevent or restrict making a Submission or becoming a Global Winner as outlined herein.


Entering into and participating in the Challenge requires you to submit your ideas and project details for review by your peers, us, third-party selectors, and our partner organizations. Under no circumstances will we be required to treat your ideas and project details as confidential. For the avoidance of doubt, we will not be liable to you or any other person as a result of any similarities to your ideas and projects that may appear in any future products or services of the Sponsor, Rhodes Trust, or any third party.


Following the Entry Period, judging shall proceed as follows:

Applicants review one another according to Judging Criteria.

The individual projects will be reviewed by other Applicants according to judging criteria. The eligible Submissions receiving the highest scores will be reviewed by a panel of judges designated by Sponsor according to the Judging Criteria described below. Following completion of the application, up to 500 Finalists will be selected to move on to Finalist Days.

These top Finalists will be further reviewed by an additional panel who select up to 100 Global Winners.

Throughout the Rise Challenge, a moderator may review and exclude any Submissions that don’t comply with the Submission Guidelines or the Rise Code of Conduct. Please note that this initial review is not a final determination of eligibility or compliance with the Terms and Rules.

All decisions of Sponsor and the reviewers are final and binding in all respects.


All applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria (collectively the “Judging Criteria”): Brilliance, Perseverance, Integrity, Empathy, and Calling. Additional details regarding these criteria may be provided during the Competition.


Applicants selected as potential finalists must: (i) complete all onboarding paperwork and take all actions requested, and (ii) complete the Finalist Days group activities and interviews in order to obtain Finalist status and be eligible to be selected as a Global Winner. Failure to respond within seven days of notification, and/or failure to complete all requested items within a reasonable period thereafter may result, in our sole discretion, in disqualification and the selection of an alternate Finalist.

We will notify potential winners (“Winner(s)-Elect”) and their parents/legal guardians via email to the address provided on the application. We may publicly announce the name(s) of one or more Winners-Elect, provided that no Winner-Elect shall be certified as a Global Winner until they (and their parent or legal guardian if applicable) have executed and returned all requested documents and information, including consent and waiver forms, supporting records and documentation, confirmation of eligibility, and publicity release. Failure to respond within seven days of notification, and/or failure to complete all requested items within a reasonable period thereafter may result, in our sole discretion, in disqualification and the selection of an alternate Winner-Elect.

We reserve the right to conduct a background check on each potential Finalist and Winner-Elect, and you consent to the same and agree to provide whatever additional information, permission and/or documentation is required or requested in order to complete a background check.

Global Winners must comply with all posted policies and requirements and participate in all required activities– including attending the Rise Residential Summit within 2 years of selection as a Global Winner–in order to keep their Global Winner status; we may revoke the Winner status and all remaining benefits of any individual who fails to do so. Deferrals will not be permitted except for unforeseeable circumstances outside of your control, such as a health issue, geopolitical circumstances, or the like.


Benefits for Rise Global Winners may take many shapes. The program is personalized and flexible, tailored to Global Winners’ needs. We aim to provide Global Winners with individualized support to empower them to achieve their goals while they work to serve others.

Rise Global Winners will receive access to benefits and participate in various programs and activities such as the ones described below. While we do our best to describe the benefits we intend to offer, we’re mindful that circumstances can change and we therefore reserve the right to alter the timing, type, or amount of benefits offered.

  • Residential Summit: A mandatory, fully-funded in-person residential summit with other members of the Rise Global Winner cohort. Attendance is required to maintain Global Winner status and receive all other benefits.
  • Global Winner Network: Access to a network of other Global Winners across cohorts to connect on common interests, make service commitments, launch enterprises, attend events, and collaborate together.
  • Higher Education Scholarships: Opportunity to apply for a four-year, post-secondary needs-based education scholarship including tuition and a living stipend, subject to the Scholarship Terms set forth below.
  • Technology: A technology package, such as a laptop or tablet, to be determined and issued immediately before or during the first semester/term of post-secondary education.
  • Other Benefits or Support: We may offer different or additional benefits or support depending on your circumstances or ours, or other factors. Any different or additional benefits or support will be formally announced once finalized and confirmed.

By entering Rise, you signal your interest in engaging in these activities and opportunities and your understanding of the time commitments involved.

In addition, all Rise Global Winners will have the opportunity to apply for the following benefits over the course of the program:

  • 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.
  • Education Support: Opportunity to apply for scholarship funds for a graduate degree.

Applicants may also receive certain benefits as a result of being named a Finalist, in our sole discretion and subject to availability. Any Finalist benefits will be announced around the time of the Rise Finalist announcement.

Higher education scholarships are subject to the following terms (“Scholarship Terms”): (i) scholarship amounts will be based on demonstrated need and not available to the extent fees or expenses can be covered by financial aid; (ii) scholarships will be offered for up to four years of post-secondary study at an accredited university; (iii) in limited cases, and in our sole discretion, we may offer scholarship benefits for other post-secondary studies, (iv) scholarship support may be forfeited if, in our sole discretion, it is not utilized within a reasonable timeframe following selection as a Global Winner; (iv) continued eligibility for scholarship benefits is subject to the Global Winner’s provision of requested grade and course information on a regular basis; and (v) scholarship support may be reduced or forfeited if the Rise Winner fails to comply with or meet any published Rise expectations or academic standards.

Benefits or funding may be reduced or revoked in the event of any misstatement or inaccuracy in documentation or information. We reserve the right to request the return of any payments made due to mistakes, misinformation, and/or inaccuracies in the reporting and/or administration of a Global Winner’s financial package and information. In the event of any claim by a third party affecting or relating to a Submission, we shall have, in addition to any other rights available at law or in equity, the right to immediately revoke any benefit awarded.

All costs associated with receiving a benefit (e.g. taxes, levies and any other applicable fees) are the sole responsibility of the recipient. A United States IRS form 1099 or 1042-S will be issued if required by law. Any costs or expenses associated with the acceptance or use of any benefit award are the responsibility of the recipient. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of right to receive any benefit awarded will be allowed, except in our sole discretion.


At each phase of the Challenge, we reserve the right to verify the eligibility of any Applicant and compliance with these Rules. We may, in our sole discretion and at any time, disqualify any Applicant and/or any Submission or portion thereof that we determine (i) does not or is likely not to comply with the Rules, Terms, or Rise Code of Conduct; (ii) has tampered with the entry process; (iii) has acted in any way that would discredit or harm the reputation of the Sponsor or Rhodes Trust or their related persons and entities, or (iv) is inconsistent with the missions and values of Sponsor or Rhodes Trust. We reserve the right to make such changes to any Submission as are necessary to make it compliant or to require the Applicant to do so. Without limiting the foregoing, any acts of dishonesty or providing false or misleading information are grounds for disqualification.  All disqualification decisions shall be final and binding. 

We reserve the right to terminate, modify or suspend this Challenge (i) should fraud or misconduct or other causes beyond our control corrupt the administration, integrity, security or proper operation of the Challenge, or (ii) for any of the following reasons: act of God, unavoidable accident, epidemic, fire, blackout, act of public enemy, war, riot or civil commotion, enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal, strike, lockout or other labor dispute, inclement weather, failure or malfunction of technical facilities or of technical personnel to appear or be available, or failure of essential production. 

We are not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, mutilated, misdirected, misdelivered, or delayed entries, or for technical or human errors or failures of any kind in connection with the submission, transmission, processing or judging of Submissions, including any malfunctions or failures of computer hardware, computer software, networks or telephone equipment or any technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or any combination thereof. Any attempt by an individual to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge is a violation of these Rules, and should such an attempt be made, we reserve the right to seek damages from any such individual to the fullest extent of the law. We are not responsible for any typographical or other error in the display or communication of the offer or administration of the Challenge, or in the announcement of any benefit. 

These Rules set forth the entire agreement and understanding between Sponsor and Applicant concerning the subject matter hereof, and merge and supersede all prior discussions, agreements and understandings of any kind between us. 

Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, at any future time to terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge for any reason, in our sole discretion, including if we determine that the quality or breadth of the Submissions is not of a standard to qualify for the awarding of one or more of the prizes.

Each Applicant shall be deemed an independent contractor and nothing contained herein shall be deemed to create an employment relationship, a joint venture, or a partnership.

Our failure to enforce any of these Rules shall not constitute a waiver of any provision contained herein. The titles of sections of these Rules are for convenience only and shall not be given any legal effect. The word “including” is used herein to mean “including but not limited to.” All notices shall be in writing and shall be delivered in accordance with any posted instructions.


Please contact if you have any questions.

Prior versions of the Rules may be located here: 

Year 1 Rules

Year 2 Rules

Year 3 Rules