About the Children’s Prize

It’s a contest to find the best plan for directly and quickly saving children’s lives. The winner will receive funding to carry out the plan they propose.

The Prize is not a reward recognizing past work or achievements. Instead, it is an grant for future work to directly implement the life-saving intervention that is outlined in the submitted proposal.

Yes! We encourage applicants from anywhere in the world.

The Children’s Prize was created by Ted Caplow, who feels that the death of a child is a special tragedy, considering the potential years of life lost, the innocence of the victims, and the impact on families.

There is abundant data and research that is centered around children under five, so it is convenient to select this bracket. For example, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and under-5 children by 2030.

Please refer to this link for additional information:

No, the Children’s Prize is not a business plan contest. The winning proposal will include a sound plan to directly execute life-saving interventions with a high likelihood of success based on the experience and track record of the applicant. Most (but not all) business plans involve elements of risk and potential delay that do not align with the Prize mission.


The Children’s Prize is available to anyone. Proposals will be accepted from non-profits (charities), for profits (companies), government programs, academic institutions, and individuals aged 18 years or older. However, the prize funds may only be used for charitable purposes, as specified in the contest goals.

Yes, we encourage research and academic professionals to partner with a practitioner – someone directly conducting a life-saving intervention – to develop an application for the Prize.

Generally speaking, no. However, the prize funds may only be used for charitable purposes, subject to expenditure responsibility.

Yes, provided that it’s clear where the funds would go and who would administer them. Also, submitting a proposal as a partnership does not necessarily improve the quality of an application.

An applicant’s eligibility is established by a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire prior to starting the Entry Form.

You may win! Even if you don’t win, the finalists will be showcased, drawing attention and other funders to your project.

Prize Process

The online application will be available Tuesday, April 5 – Saturday, May 14, 2016.

It is basically a three-step process. The first step is to submit an ENTRY FORM application detailing your project. This is reviewed and if your entry is selected for the next round, then an email invitation will be sent to you to complete a full PRIZE PLAN application submission. This is reviewed further and if your plan is selected for the next round, then a finalist email notification will be sent to you to participate in a required QUESTION & ANSWER and JUDGING process.

The link to the application will be posted on the Children’s Prize website:

The prize will be judged by the Children’s Prize administrators and an independent, highly-qualified judging committee. All decisions of the Prize administrators are final and their authority over the Prize is absolute.

The Prize does not require a specific timeline, but the intention is to directly spend the money to save children’s lives as immediately as possible. A year or two seems reasonable to achieve this goal in most cases.

Prize Award

The 2016 Children’s Prize will award $250,000 to one winner.

The prize will be awarded December 10, 2016.

It’s possible, but unlikely.

Yes. The prize money must be spent to save children’s lives as described in the winning plan.

Yes, the winner be asked to sign an agreement laying out the terms, schedule, and reporting requirements for spending the prize funds.

There is no pre-determined schedule for awarding the prize. Applicants who are invited to the second round of the Prize are strongly encouraged to include a detailed budget and timeline.

There is no pre-determined criteria for verifying the use of funds, but at the second round of the Prize, proposals must include a section detailing how the donor may verify the use of funds.

A fundamental component of the Children’s Prize is direct intervention. To remain consistent with this, we prefer to see as little overhead or indirect costs as possible. But for all applicants, we can accept up to 10% of the budget for indirect costs, overhead, and/or organizational maintenance, although we would prefer to see less. Please also note that the Children’s Prize reserves the right to negotiate the budget before awarding the prize, as part of the prize contract that must be signed by the eventual winner.

Application Requirements and Tips

Here are several tips we’d strongly recommend to applicants:

  • We encourage all applicants to take the time to learn about our project’s priorities as discussed here before submitting an ENTRY FORM application.
  • It is in the best interest and benefit of the applicant to be as thorough and convincing as possible regarding the information provided to the Prize.
  • The Prize is purposely vague to allow entrants to creatively and convincingly express their unique vision to save the greatest number of children’s lives possible.
  • Applicants are encouraged to use or set up online accounts that may be very helpful to us in the judging of Prize entries. Some of these accounts could include (but are not limited to) YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Twitter, FaceBook, G+, Blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, Slideshare, Tumblr, etc.
  • Applicants should consistently check www.childrensprize.org for updates.

We want to fund project that include scientific component producing evidence that matters. To us, that means new, previously uncollected evidence that an intervention is able to save a lot of children’s lives. It is also important that the intervention be scalable and cost effective, so that more children’s lives can be saved.

We want to fund project that include scientific component producing evidence that matters. To us, that means new, previously uncollected evidence that an intervention is able to save a lot of children’s lives. It is also important that the intervention be scalable and cost effective, so that more children’s lives can be saved.

Yes and no. Our only criteria for the Prize is saving the lives of children under five. We recognize that in some cases it may be easier to collect data on morbidity (sickness and disease) than on death, however, applicants proposing to study morbidity must make a very convincing, evidence-based argument about the relationship between morbidity and mortality in their study population in order to advance through the Prize competition and be considered for the prize. In other words, you may use morbidity as a proxy for mortality, but not as a study endpoint on its own.

For the purposes of the Prize, a saved child is a child who will live to the age of 5 years old and would have died before that age without the intervention of the prize funds.

Yes and no. The children need not be named during the contest itself, but it is strongly suggested that the proposed plan include a method to specifically identify by name the children affected by the applicant’s proposed plan, and remit this list to the Children’s Prize after the prize has been awarded and the winning plan is put into motion. For example, if your plan involved a vaccine, you could not identify the exact children saved, but you could identify the children vaccinated, and present that information together with a credible estimate as to what fraction of these children would have died without the vaccine.

The applicant should include a resume, a budget, references or support letters, photographs, videos, news articles, etc., as detailed in the application forms at each round of the Prize.

There is no pre-determined criteria for demonstrating reliability. This requirement is one of the more experimental areas of the Prize, as networking technology is rapidly expanding the means by which we tell our stories online and through digital media across great distances.

Yes. The winner will need to allocate a portion of the $250,000 prize for impact assessment.

Proposals will be judged according to how many lives they estimate to save; the credibility of the plan and the proposal; the direct use of the funds, the probability of success and the ease of verification.

General Inquiries

Yes. Please make sure that all material you include is in English.

The Prize promotes connections between donors and recipients, encouraging modern networking technology while trying to add a new technique to the landscape of global philanthropy.

Not necessarily. Keep in mind that the critical consideration is that these funds must be used to preserve the lives of children who would otherwise die before the age of five.

The contest format allows the maximum exposure for all the participants involved, while increasing the probability of finding the best ideas for saving children with the prize funds available. The Prize format empowers the donor to specify, and hopefully achieve, the exact goals of the donation.

The Prize will not take ownership of your Intellectual Property rights; however, you are granting us a license to publicly share most of the material in your Prize entry when you apply. Please see the Guidelines and Privacy Policy for more details.

This was the name for the 2014 Children’s Prize. It was given this specific name because it focused on funding the scientific evaluation of interventions designed to save the lives of children under the age of 5. Two winners received $50,000 each to fund meticulous, independent, year-long field studies of their chosen intervention.