Official Rules

About the Prize

The Roddenberry Prize is designed to embrace the optimistic future Gene Roddenberry envisioned through Star Trek and support The Roddenberry Foundation’s priority of identifying bold innovations working to address root causes. The Prize will identify solutions that are at the cusp of scale across a range of disciplines focused on creating a better future for humanity.

Solutions may cover a range of topics and disciplines encompassing areas such as art, science, storytelling, and technology. Entrants can include individuals, non-profits, social enterprises, B Corporations, and private companies. The total prize purse will be $1 million dispersed across five winners. Winners will be announced in January 2017 and their solutions will be shared on The Roddenberry Foundation website.

Fifty years ago, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry envisioned a boldly better future, full of optimism, driven by exploration and strengthened by diversity. Yet urgent challenges today threaten humanity and the infinite possibilities of tomorrow.

We need daring ideas from innovative thinkers to achieve the future Gene imagined. Submit your bold solution that delivers on the promise of innovation, captures the spirit of discovery and embraces the power of diversity to benefit all humanity.

The best ideas for a boldly better future—whether rooted in art, science, technology or another domain of human ingenuity—will win a total prize of $1 million to implement their world-changing solution.

After all, things are only impossible until they’re not.

The total prize purse will be $1 million dispersed across five winners: one $400k grand prize and four $150k awards.



Prize entrants can be individuals or teams. Targeted outreach will be focused in the US, however entrants across the globe can participate. To be eligible for the Prize, entrants must:

  • All team members must be 18 years of age or older
  • Meet all submission deadlines
  • Submit an application in English
  • Include completed responses to all required questions
  • Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the Prize
  • Be able to legally receive unrestricted grant funding
  • Provide three professional references

All applications must be completed and submitted by November 16, 2016 in English on the prize website. Additional information may be requested from an entrant at any time. Context Partners, the prize administrator, will review all entries and determine which entrants and solutions meet prize eligibility. Subject matter experts will help further narrow the entries. A panel of judges will review finalists and recommend winners. The Roddenberry Foundation will then make the final selection decision. Due to the expected number of applications, reviewers will not be able to provide individual feedback for applications not selected. A request to submit additional information does not guarantee selection. The Roddenberry Foundation and its partners assume no obligation, no responsibility and no liability for costs incurred by entrants in completing the application.

All selected entries will be notified in January 2017. Entry and notification deadlines are subject to change at any time. Any changes will be reflected on the Prize website.


Evaluation Criteria

A panel of judges and the prize administrator will assess the overall quality of the entry based on the responses in the entry form and their expertise. Entries will be evaluated against all other eligible entries received. The winners will be the entries in each award level that the judges give the highest score and are approved by The Roddenberry Foundation.

Solutions may cover a range of topics and disciplines and will be evaluated on their potential for transformative and lasting impact, demonstration of a feasible and achievable path to implementation, and the boldness of their vision to benefit our shared future. All solutions must be for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes and may not be for political or legislative purposes, as determined by The Roddenberry Foundation consistent with applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The Roddenberry Foundation’s review criteria are objective and non-discriminatory.

Transformational Impact

  • The solution strategically intervenes in a broader system to maximize impact
  • The solution’s expected outcomes will yield significant and meaningful results
  • The solution will create transformational impact for its target community
  • The solution is designed to scale the magnitude of its impact


  • The entrant has the skills, capacity, and partnerships to deliver on the solution
  • The solution has a realistic and feasible plan to move forward
  • Major risks are identified and effectively addressed


  • The solution is substantially different from other efforts addressing similar issues or efforts in its field


Permissions and Restrictions

The Roddenberry Foundation reserves the right to amend these Official Rules or cancel the Prize at any time. Any changes will be reflected on the Prize website.

Prize funds will be awarded as grants to achieve the solution described in the submission. Funding received from The Roddenberry Foundation may not be used for other purpose. Recipients must provide evidence to The Roddenberry Foundation of the use of the funds. No portion of funds received from The Roddenberry Foundation may be used for lobbying, directly or indirectly, to influence specific legislation or to support any political activities such as campaigning or otherwise influencing the outcome of a specific public election.

Prize funds are taxable income and the Foundation will report the grant to the IRS. Winners will be required to provide social security numbers (in the case of individuals) or taxpayer identification numbers (in the case of entities). In the case of teams, the Foundation will require social security numbers from all team members, to whom the income will be reported equally.