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Nominations: Frequently Asked Questions


Innovators Under 35 General Information

What is MIT Technology Review's global list of 35 young innovators?

Established in 1999 as the TR100, the annual list recognizes outstanding innovators who are younger than 35. The awards span a wide range of fields, including biotechnology, materials, computer hardware, energy, transportation, communications, and the Web. We are searching for individuals whose superb technical work promises to shape the coming decades. Our goal is to recognize the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve problems. We also reward ingenious and elegant work that matters to the world at large—not just to peers in a particular field or industry.

MIT Technology Review showcases these global winners in our July/August issue and online at We also recognize the winners at the Emtech MIT conference in October.

What is the difference between the regional lists of young innovators and the global list?

We launched regional editions of the Innovators Under 35 list in 2010. Now there are other regional versions, including Latin America, Europe, China, MENA (Middle East/North Africa), and Asia Pacific (which includes Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania). The winners of the regional competitions are encouraged to apply for the global list here. For a full listing of our regional competitions, visit

How is the list chosen?

Once all the nominees are in, the editors of MIT Technology Review winnow the group down to fewer than 100 finalists. The editors will solicit specific information from each finalist via email. If you are a nominee and you have not received a request for additional information by the end of February, that means you probably did not make this year's list of finalists and should apply again the following year. The finalists' materials are forwarded to a group of several dozen judges with expertise in all areas of technology. Based on the judges' ratings, the editors then pick the final list of 35.

Do I have to participate in a regional competition to be selected for the global list?

No, that is not necessary.

Information for Nomination

I nominated someone for the Innovators Under 35 list and have not heard back from MIT Technology Review yet. What should I do?

You do not need to do anything. We will be in touch with the candidate directly if he or she becomes a finalist.

What are you looking for in the nominee description?

This should be a brief capsule summary of the technical work for which you believe the nominee deserves recognition, including an explanation of its impact, both within the nominee's field and in the wider world. Don't tell us that someone is innovative or accomplished in general. Point to something in particular that we can write about.

Can a nominator be listed as a reference?

Yes! However, we might request a separate letter of support for the nominee.

What is the age qualification?

You need to be under 35 by August 1 of the year of the award. If you are nominating someone now, he or she should turn 35 no earlier than August 1, 2019.

What do you mean by "affiliation(s)"?

This is simply the nominee's place of work or study. We provide multiple fields in case a nominee is both working and studying for an advanced degree and in case a student or professor is founding a company. Please do not list professional memberships or the schools where a nominee has previously earned degrees. Past winners have come from startups, large companies, government agencies, and nonprofits, as well as from universities around the world. We encourage nominations from institutions of all types.

Whom should I list as references?

These should be advisors, supervisors, coworkers, or colleagues at other institutions who are familiar with the nominee's work and might be able to describe the work and its importance. These people should be willing and able to provide a short (approximately one-page) letter in support of the nominee.

Can I nominate partners, for example a group of 3 founders, or a joint submission?

Please nominate your submissions separately, i.e. one submission for each nominee.

Information Required from Finalists

What is the deadline to submit all required materials for nominations?

If you are selected as a finalist you will be contacted by email in mid- to late February. You will then have two weeks to submit additional materials, including reference letters.

How will MIT Technology Review contact finalists for additional information?

By e-mail.

What information is required from finalists?

A current CV or résumé; a personal statement; date of birth (winners must be under 35 by August 1 of the year of the award); the names and contact information (e-mail and phone) of three individuals who can write brief reference letters.

What information is helpful to include in my personal statement?

This should be a brief, first-person description of your work, including some technical detail about your innovation and how it could affect the world at large. It should be 300 to 500 words long. It is also helpful to include links to other media articles, peer-reviewed papers, company websites, etc.

Reference Letters

What information is required for a nominee reference letter?

We ask that a reference letter contain several paragraphs explaining how you know the candidate and why you believe he or she has done exceptional work.

In what form should a reference letter be mailed?

A reference can be completed and mailed on official letterhead, or in reply to the e-mail that we will send.

Other questions? If you have any questions regarding the nomination process, please e-mail