Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize FAQ

From stone tools to the tools employed today, humans have an insatiable appetite to innovate.

— Lore Harp McGovern

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants / Recipients 

  • Who can apply? Anyone in any field pursuing creative and meaningful projects that examine, interpret, develop, or apply technology to shape a better future for humanity may apply. Examples include: leaders in nonprofits, government, and private firms; technologists working for social change; researchers and scholars; filmmakers, artists, and other creatives; and, community leaders and educators of all kinds.
  • Is the prize for individuals or teams? The prize is for individuals.
  • Are there age limits for entrants? Yes. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • What languages can submissions be entered in? English.


  • What kind of projects will be considered? Projects chosen will be wide-ranging in their audience, medium, and target impact. For example: a pathbreaking publication on AI and ethics; a suite of online digital education resources for girls in developing countries to advance STEAM knowledge and skills; or, a documentary film on innovation in technology and sustainability.
  • Can I apply if I have already submitted the project idea to other competitions? Yes.
  • Can a prize recipient spend time onsite at CHM or interact online with the CHM staff while working on their Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize project? Yes. As mutually agreed with CHM, Changemakers will receive special access to the Museum’s unparalleled collection, in-house experts, and extensive network to help advance their work. They will also have the option for an eight-month residency (virtual or onsite, as conditions allow) at CHM, from May through December 2021.
  • How will prize recipients’ work and projects be shared? The Museum’s programs and content will showcase the Changemakers and their projects to amplify their impact and inspire others around the globe. The Museum will chronicle the progress of their projects during 2021 and their work will become part of the permanent collection, accessible to all.
  • Do recipients keep the intellectual property of their idea? Yes. Prize recipients retain all intellectual property rights to their application, submissions, and any resulting projects, content, or works they create.

Funding / Support

  • Are there limits on what recipients can do with the prize money? No. CHM does not dictate how the prize money is used.
  • Beyond the honorarium, are there other benefits offered to prize recipients? Yes. Being a prize recipient is about much more than funding. Recipients will be named as a distinguished “Patrick J. McGovern Prize Tech for Humanity Changemaker at CHM.” They will be afforded special access to the Museum’s collection, in-house experts, and community, including input on their project from the prize selection committee members. Prize recipients and their projects will be featured in CHM events, content, and platforms.
  • Will the prize or CHM provide additional funding to project operating costs or recipient living expenses? No. Prize recipients will be responsible for funding the development and operating costs of their work as well as for providing their own personal and administrative support.
  • Is the prize money subject to taxation? Yes. Prize recipients are responsible for payment of taxes where applicable when receiving and using the prize money.

If you have additional questions, please contact

The more powerful the technology, the greater the potential for change. It is imperative that we purposefully consider this potential and work to ensure that our innovations serve humanity’s future.

— Paul Saffo

Participation in the Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize program is void in those countries where prohibited or restricted by law. CHM reserves the right to limit, or restrict upon notice, participation in the Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize program to any person or entity at any time for any reason.


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