Emergent Ventures Grant/Fellowship Application

We want to jumpstart high-reward ideas—moonshots in many cases—that advance prosperity, opportunity, liberty, and well-being. We welcome the unusual and the unorthodox.

Our goal is positive social change, but we do not mind if you make a profit from your project. (Indeed, a quick path to revenue self-sufficiency is a feature not a bug!)

Projects will either be fellowships or grants: fellowships involve time in residence at the Mercatus Center in Northern Virginia; grants are one-time or slightly staggered payments to support a project.

We encourage you to think big, but we also will consider very small grants or short fellowships if they might change the trajectory of your life. We encourage applications from all ages and all parts of the world. 

  •  To be eligible for an EV grant, all applicants must be 13 years of age or older.

Get Started

The first stage of the application is answering a few basic questions and attaching a brief proposal. Once we receive it, we'll follow up with you about next steps or let you know that we have declined.

The proposal should be no longer than 1500 words. You may also attach supplementary materials, but we will read the proposal first and it must stand on its own.

  • The first part of the proposal should be about you. Tell us your personal story, and how it relates to what you wish to do. We probably don't care much about your formal education, credentials, or awards, unless they're particularly germane to who you are or your idea. Do tell us your background briefly, but credentials are not what will impress us.
  • Second, what is one mainstream or "consensus" view that you absolutely agree with? (This is our version of a "trick" question, reversing the now-fashionable contrarianism.)
  • The third part should be about your idea. Convince us that this is a great idea worth investing in, and tell us what is new or unusual in your vision and understanding. What's the problem you intend to solve? If you have a ballpark budget (with revenue sources and expenses), let us know the bare basics now; we won't hold you to it strictly.

Also (if applicable) tell us how long you have been working on this project or idea, whether you will be working on it full time or part time, any existing formal or informal partnerships or supporters, and how you might intend to reach your users or audience.

Personal Information



Please include your country code.

Where are you physically located most of the time?


File types: bmp gif jpg jpeg png qtf tif doc docx key keynote numbers odp ods odt pages xls xlsx

File types: bmp gif jpg jpeg png qtf tif doc docx key keynote numbers odp ods odt pages xls xlsx

File types: bmp gif jpg jpeg png qtf tif doc docx key keynote numbers odp ods odt pages xls xlsx

File types: bmp gif jpg jpeg png qtf tif doc docx key keynote numbers odp ods odt pages xls xlsx

If you would like to link to a multimedia file to support your application, please add the link here.

Legal notices

Please note that we have the right to destroy your materials and also to send them to outside referees, as well as to discuss them internally.

Emergent Ventures - a project of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University - does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to grant-making, fellowship selection, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors and clients.