About The Milton and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize


What is the Milton and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize?
The Milton (PhD ’69) and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize encourages recent Caltech alumni to pursue new career opportunities outside of academia. The prize provides funding for alumni to take a career sabbatical and undertake innovative projects that have the potential to make a meaningful and positive impact on society. We encourage alumni to take risks and explore problems outside their fields of study. Recipients of the Chang Prize can receive up to $65,000 in funding for their projects. 

Who is eligible to apply?
Caltech alumni who have received their BS, terminal masters, or PhD from Caltech within the past ten years (2009-2019) 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 2019-2020 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?
We will begin accepting proposals for the 2019 Chang Prize on March 1, 2019. Download the application form for detailed information about what is required for submission, then click here to apply. If you have any issues downloading the application form, contact us at changprize@alumni.caltech.edu.

When should I begin my project?
Chang Prize recipients are expected to begin their projects by January 31, 2020. You should expect to complete your project within 6-12 months.

How will project proposals be evaluated?
Proposals will be evaluated by a committee comprised of Caltech faculty, staff, and alumni. 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 winning 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 project have the potential to make a positive impact on society?

Are there any additional requirements for recipients of the Chang Prize?
Please review the agreement for recipients of the Milton and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize.  

Additional Rules and Guidelines:

  • Applicants must adhere to the Caltech honor code at all times.

  • An individual alumna or alumnus can submit only one project for the Chang Prize each year.

  • An individual alumna or alumnus  can be selected as the recipient of the Chang Career Exploration Prize one time.

  • If fewer than one undergraduate or graduate alumni project is deemed viable in a given year, one or no prizes may be awarded in that year.

  • All application materials must be submitted through the Caltech Alumni Association website. We are not able to accept applications that are submitted by mail or email. Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications submitted by alumni who do not meet the eligibility criterion will not be considered.

When will the winners of the 2019 Milton and Rosalind Chang Career Exploration Prize be announced?
Winners of the Chang Prize will be announced by the end of September 2019.

Where can I learn more about previous Chang Prize recipients?
Read about the 2018 Chang Prize recipients and read blog updates about their projects.

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