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Fellowships to USA, Canada, and International
Post-Graduate Students for Scientific Research

Activate Fellowship

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Foundation / Corporation

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Activate Global Inc.

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Fellowships to USA, Canada, and International post-graduate students to carry out scientific research in a USA lab. Research areas of interest include defense industries, transportation, manufacturing, computing, electricity, chemicals, buildings, and agriculture. Eligible research projects are those that range from early concepts that have not yet been fully validated - if the applicant has done some cost or technoeconomic modeling - to projects with early prototypes.

In addition to funding, fellows receive:

  • Research Facilities: Fellows access vital research tools, equipment, facilities, and expertise through collaboration with a host laboratory. Activate takes no rights to fellows’ intellectual property and works to ensure that fellows retain ownership of any IP developed during their two-year fellowship term. 
  • A Community of Peers: Bringing technology to market can be a long and lonely road. Fellows take this journey together as part of a dynamic community of scientists, engineers, and technologists who share what they know and celebrate each other’s victories.
  • Startup Curriculum: Tailored for scientists and engineers and delivered weekly, the startup curriculum includes sessions on core business and product development concepts, VIP speakers, skill development workshops, and shared learning from other fellows and alumni.
  • An Unrivaled Network: Activate facilitates connections between fellows and its broad network of industry executives, investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and other experts from academia, industry, government, and finance—any of whom can serve as advisors or partners. 
  • Rigorous Mentorship: Activate's experienced team meets with fellows one-on-one on a regular basis to help develop priorities, provide guidance, and make connections to Activate's broader network of advisors, industry experts, and investors.

Activate offers four Activate communities: collectives of fellows who are either geographically or virtually connected. Geographically-connected communities are centered around a host city. These communities are: Activate Berkeley, Activate Boston, and Activate New York. The community that is virtually connected—but confined to the U.S.—is Activate Anywhere. Activate Fellows form close-knit communities across the United States. Each community receives intensive and personalized support from its dedicated team:

  • Activate Anywhere: In every part of the U.S., talented scientists and engineers are eager to launch their entrepreneurial journeys. Activate Anywhere is a new community of fellows who are connected but not co-located. Fellows work in their local innovation ecosystem, plugged into Activate’s national network of mentorship, education, community, and other resources they need to succeed. For additional information, see:
  • Activate Berkeley: Activate Berkeley provides access to an unmatched research and innovation ecosystem. Since 2015, Activate has partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Cyclotron Road Division to support fellows accelerating the clean energy transition and pushing the boundaries of advanced computing. Activate’s partnership with the University of California, Berkeley gives fellows access to a deep well of additional research and laboratory resources. For additional information, see:
  • Activate Boston: Activate Boston sits in the heart of a world-renowned innovation hub, a nexus for cutting-edge research from defense to energy to biotech. Fellows developing microelectronics access MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research laboratory operated for the U.S. Department of Defense by MIT. Activate works with Boston-area research organizations, including U Mass Boston’s Venture Development Center and Greentown Labs, to support fellows developing energy and climate technologies. For additional information, see:
  • Activate New York: Activate Global is thrilled to announce the newest community, launching with Cohort 2022: Activate New York. Details will be shared about this community in the coming weeks.

Fellows work across eight industries, aligned with Activate's broader mission to address climate change and other global challenges by reinventing the economy to be sustainable, resilient, and equitable. In each of these sectors, Activate is assembling a coalition of funders, commercial partners, industry advisers, and technology experts to help guide you. For additional information, see:

Activate has also identified three Imperatives. See:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 199295

Estimated Size of Grant:

Fellows receive a yearly living stipend of $80,000 to $110,000 plus a health insurance stipend and travel allowance. Each project also receives $100,000 in research funding.

Term of Contract:

This is a two-year fellowship.
All fellows are expected to begin their two-year appointments between June 1 and September 1. Fellows are also required to attend the fellowship kickoff events during the early summer.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible, you…
- Must have a bachelor’s degree and 4+ years post-baccalaureate scientific research, engineering, or technology development experience.
To participate in the upcoming cohort, applicants currently in Ph.D. programs need to complete their degrees by September of the year the cohort starts. (Cohort 2022 applicants must complete their Ph.D. by September of 2022.)
- Must propose a project that is relevant to the target industries and is based in the physical or biological sciences, or related engineering disciplines.
- Must not have raised more than $2,000,000 in debt or equity funding from non-governmental sources for the proposed project and/or project cannot be commercially ready for full-scale product sales before the application deadline.
- Must be able to work in the U.S., and have access to a qualified host laboratory.

Note: Some Activate funding and laboratory partners have additional eligibility requirements, such as U.S. citizenship. All fellows, whether they are part of the Activate Anywhere Community or a geographically-connected one (Activate Berkeley, Activate Boston, or Activate New York), must be authorized to work in the U.S. for the duration of the fellowship. Applicants who are foreign nationals need to explain their plans for obtaining a valid immigration status by the start of the fellowship. Activate cannot hold, sponsor, or petition for fellow work visas. In addition, some of Activate's sponsors have citizenship requirements. However, Activate has a number of sponsors who can support fellows regardless of citizenship status.

The fellowship does not currently support innovators who are developing products that mainly impact the healthcare or biomedical sectors.

Projects already at full-scale commercial deployment are too advanced for the fellowship.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Register for an informational webinar and a live fellow Q&A panel to learn more about the fellowship, the mission, what Activate Global looks for, and how to apply. Sign up for office hours to learn more about and ask questions related to the CDR Imperative.

CDR Imperative Office Hours:
November 2, 8:30 am - 9:30 am PST
November 9, 8:30 am - 9:00 am PST
November 16, 8:30 am - 9:30 am PST
November 22, 8:30 am - 9:30 am PST

Fellowship Informational Webinar:
November 9, 9:00 am PST

Live Q&A with Fellows:
November 16, 9:00 am PST

For additional information on these events and to register, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Cohort 2022 applications are open through November 30.

- October 15 - November 30: Cohort 2022 Application Period
Applicants submit requested information and documents through a personal portal
- December - January: Internal Application Review
Eligibility screen and full application review, including input from external subject-matter experts
- Mid-January: Applicant Notification
Applicants receive status updates, including whether they are invited to interview
- January 24 - February 4: Phone Interviews
Activate team conducts 30-minute interviews with selected applicants to learn more about them and their proposed projects
- February 21 - 25: Finalist Week Preparation
Community-specific open houses for Cohort 2022 finalists to meet the team and fellows and prepare for Finalist Week
- March 1 - 3: Applicant Finalist Event
Invite-only virtual event for subject-matter experts and Activate staff to meet and evaluate Cohort 2022 finalists
- Mid-April: Cohort 2022 Selection Finalized
Selected applicants are invited to join the fellowship
- June 22 – 25: Fellowship Begins
Cohort 2022 fellow retreat at the Activate Summit

Only one application per applicant or applicant team (two individuals applying together, as co-founders) will be accepted.

Applicants are allowed to select up to two fellowship communities: their primary community of interest and one alternate. Applicants can apply for any set of communities, with one important exception: If you live within 50 miles of the host city of a geographically-connected community—Berkeley, Boston, or New York City—you are ineligible for the virtual Activate Anywhere Community.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply, fill out the questionnaire on the URL for Full Text (RFP) link below.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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