Issue Areas

The Roddenberry Fellowship is focused on defending and protecting Civil Rights; Immigration & Refugee Rights; LGBTQIA & Women’s Rights; and the Environment.

Civil Rights

Fellows will work toward equity for all, including in our public schools, criminal justice system, and places of work.

Environmental Protection

Fellows will work to mitigate the human impact on our natural resources, neighborhoods, and communities.

Immigration & Refugee Rights

Fellows will work to ensure the rights of all newcomers to the US regardless of where they come from or why.

LGBTQIA & Women's Rights

Fellows will work to secure rights and opportunities for everyone, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.

How to Apply?

Learn about participating in the Roddenberry Fellowship, including how to apply, key dates, and the scoring rubric.

Round One

Create an account, confirm your email, and complete the online registration form and application by Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 5:00 PM Pacific.

Round Two

Our team will review applications and invite Semifinalists in late October to submit Round Two applications by Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 5:00 PM Pacific.


An Evaluation Panel, comprised of an extraordinary group of judges, will review Finalist applications using the Scoring Rubric.


Twenty (20) Fellows will each receive $50K to execute and complete their projects and join an exceptional cohort of peers.

Questions & Answers

The FAQ should cover any questions you might have but if it hasn’t please contact us at

What is the application process?

Applying for the Fellowship is a two-step process. In the first round, individuals provide preliminary information about who they are, what they’re working on, and what they plan to do. If selected for the second round, individuals will be asked for a more detailed account of their plans and what they aim to achieve.

Who is the Foundation looking for?

We’re looking for individuals and their initiatives that push boundaries, seek new ways of approaching systemic and entrenched problems, and/or leverage specific opportunities in unconventional ways. We care about a well-thought-out plan, clear goals, specific metrics, and measurable impact. Just as importantly, we care about your vision. Does your work have potential to make a significant difference? Will it inspire others? Is it audacious? Check out our eligibility and criteria to learn more.

Is the Foundation looking for a specific strategy?

The approach to achieving impact is open and to be determined by each Fellow. You’re the experts in these issue areas - it’s not up to us to determine the best approach. That said, we are interested in ambitious, creative initiatives likely to affect a significant portion of a target population, geography, or community. Hyper-local initiatives or those small in scope are great but not aligned with our Fellowship goals. You also don’t need to be well-known or have 50K twitter followers – we want individuals with a track record of success, a bold vision for the future, and initiatives with potential for large-scale change.

What initiatives or individuals are eligible to apply?

Anyone over the age of 18 who is a United States citizen, permanent resident, DACA recipient, or current visa holder who resides in the 50 United States and its territories is eligible to apply. All proposals must be for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes and may not be for political or legislative purposes. 501c4 organizations are not eligible, but if you have a 501c3 arm of the organization, we can fund you as long as your work is legally separate from the 501c4 and the grant is earmarked as such. 

Why this Fellowship, and why now?

As basic freedoms are undermined, nationalism and xenophobia flourish, inhibitions against hate speech loosen, and environmental deregulation continues unabated, the need for new narratives and solutions is profound. Now more than ever, we need more people to step up and engage; to reject the mainstreaming of hate and bigotry; to push ourselves and others to think (and act) differently; and to protect the most vulnerable from those who wield power in destructive ways.

What are key dates?

Here are important dates to keep in mind and please review the timeline for more details.

Round One Application Deadline: September 19, 2018, 5:00 PM Pacific

Invitation to Round Two Application: October 23, 2018

Round Two Application Deadline: November 13, 2018, 5:00 PM Pacific

Announcement of Fellows: December 2018

Fellowship Duration: January 1 - December 31, 2019

If selected, what is the time commitment?

The time commitment for the 12-month Fellowship, outside of Fellows’ work on their own initiatives, is approximately five hours a month, plus a five-day convening in February. This includes:

  • 6 hours of professional coaching over 12 months
  • 1-2 hours for monthly cohort check-ins and guest expert calls
  • 1-2 hours per quarter for a progress report and updates to the Foundation
  • Professional development opportunities, as they arise (optional)
  • Plus: 5 days + travel for in-person cohort convening
How must the $50K be used by the Fellows?

Fellowship funds will be awarded as grants to achieve impact described in the application, including but not limited to salaries, project development, and technology. Funding received from The Roddenberry Foundation must be used for the project’s purposes and to ensure success. Please see our sample agreement for more information.

Do initiatives need to be incorporated as a 501c3?

No, 501c3 status is not a requirement and we accept applications from individuals who are affiliated with movements, institutions, networks, or loosely structured organizations.

Are you looking for only new organizations?

No, definitely not. Whether you’ve been doing this work for one year or a decade is less relevant than how you approach the issues, your vision for change, track record, and the impact you’ve made.

How has the Fellowship changed from 2018 to 2019?

The core of the Fellowship is unchanged. We are still focusing on four key issue areas – Civil Rights, Immigration & Refugee Rights, LGBTQIA and Women’s Rights, and Environmental Protection – and the duration, benefits, and award are the same. We have made changes to the applications and we have recruited a new, incredible cohort of judges. We have also adjusted the criteria for the Fellowship to refine the process by which Fellows are selected.

If I applied last year, can I apply again this year?

Yes, absolutely. There’s actually a question on the application where you can tell us how your ideas and initiative have evolved since last year.

Will applicant information be kept private?

All information submitted in applications and supplemental materials is confidential and will be used solely by the Foundation for judging and selection. 

Can I apply as a team?

While we recognize that this work is collaborative, the Fellowship is designed to support individual activist and changemakers. We know you work with other amazing people and that social change is a collective endeavor, but you must apply as an individual.

Why is there a $2mil budget cap?

We created a $2mil organizational budget cap to help us find leaders of early-stage ideas, new projects, or long-standing but small organizations. We are interested in individuals and organizations that are on the cusp of growth rather than larger, more established organizations that generally have more access to resources (though this work is never easy).