The Chang Career Exploration Prize

About the Award

From helping solve the housing crisis to building an emotional support platform for students in need, recipients of the Milton (PhD ’69) and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize are exploring new professional opportunities while working to make the world better.

The Chang Prize can provide up to $65,000 to recent Caltech alumni for exploring new career paths and developing new skills through innovative projects that have meaningful societal impact.

The Chang Prize is awarded at the discretion of Caltech and administered by the Caltech Alumni Association. A select committee comprised of Caltech alumni will convene to select Chang Prize recipient(s) annually.

Submit a Proposal

Eligibility

Alumni who have received their BS, MS, or PhD from Caltech within the past ten years may submit a proposal.

The application period for the 2020 Chang Prize is now closed. Thank you to all alumni who applied.

FAQs

What is the Milton and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize?

The Milton (PhD '69) and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize encourages recent Caltech graduates to explore new career paths through innovative projects that have meaningful societal impact. The Chang Career Exploration Prize can provide up to $65,000 in financial support for career exploration projects that last between six to twelve months. Applicants are encouraged to deliberately take a break from their current professional paths to fearlessly explore diverse interests and develop new skills.

Who is eligible to apply?

Caltech alumni who have received their BS, terminal masters, or PhD from Caltech within the past ten years (2011­–2020) are eligible to apply. A preference will be given to alumni who have graduated within the past five years. If you will be enrolled as a student at Caltech during the 2020–2021 academic year, you are not eligible to apply.

*Please note that your project must entail taking a deliberate break from your current professional path to explore a new career path.

How do I apply for the Chang Prize?

When the application cycle is open, eligible alumni must submit their applications using the Caltech Alumni Prizes & Awards Portal. The 2020 Chang Prize application cycle closed on June 30, 2020.

When should I begin my project?

Chang Prize recipients are expected to begin their projects by January 31, 2021. You should complete your project within 6–12 months of the project start date.

How will project proposals be evaluated?

The Chang Prize is awarded at the discretion of Caltech and administered by the Caltech Alumni Association. A selection committee comprised of Caltech alumni will convene to select the 2020 Chang Prize recipient(s). Proposals will be anonymized and evaluated by the committee. Your project proposal should entail a deliberate break from your current professional path to explore a new career. Your proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Merit: Is the proposed project compelling and innovative?
  • Knowledge Gained: Will the applicant gain valuable experience, engage in professional development, or pursue a career path outside of academia by undertaking this project?
  • Feasibility and Risk: Allowing for a generous amount of risk-taking, could the proposed project realistically be completed by the applicant within a year given their available time and resources? Will the applicant be able to fulfill all of the obligations that come with receiving the Chang Prize?
  • Need: Would receiving this prize make a substantial difference in the applicant’s ability to explore a new career path, take a risk, and complete their project?
  • Impact: Does the proposed project have the potential to make a positive impact on society?

Additional Rules and Guidelines:

  • Alumni must adhere to the Caltech honor code at all times.
  • An individual alumna or alumnus may submit only one project for the Chang Prize each year.
  • An individual alumna or alumnus may be selected as the recipient of the Chang Career Exploration Prize one time only.
  • Prizes will not be awarded in a given year if projects are not deemed viable.
  • All application materials must be submitted through the Caltech Alumni Prizes & Awards Portal. We are not able to accept submissions that are sent by mail or email. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Submissions by alumni who do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be considered.

When will recipients of the 2020 Chang Prize be announced?

Recipients of the 2020 Chang Prize will be announced by October 31, 2020.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the Chang Prize, contact us at changprize@alumni.caltech.edu.