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The John Templeton Foundation’s
Ideas Challenge
Official Rules


The John Templeton Foundation’s Ideas Challenge (“Challenge”) is void where prohibited by law.  NO FEE, PAYMENT, DONATION OR PURCHASE IS REQUIRED TO ENTER THE CHALLENGE OR WIN.

Entry in the Challenge constitutes each entrant’s representation and warranty that the entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to be bound by, and is in full compliance with, the Challenge Official Rules.  If an entrant cannot agree to be bound by, and to represent and warrant, full compliance with the Challenge Official Rules, the entrant is not eligible for the Challenge.

Each entrant bears sole responsibility for confirming that the entrant can participate fully and legally in the Challenge under the laws of the jurisdictions under which the entrant legally resides.  Any entrant not residing in a country where the Challenge is legal in all regards shall not be eligible to enter or win any Prize.

The Challenge is void where prohibited by law.

  1. Sponsor and Purpose

The John Templeton Foundation, with its principal office at 300 Conshohocken State Road, Suite 500, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428 is the Sponsor of the Challenge (“Sponsor”).  The Challenge is designed to facilitate thought on novel ideas in separate subject categories or in a category of your own choosing that is within the general area of interest for this Ideas Challenge that can be assessed through science and science methodology.  The research topics (“Requests for Ideas”) are referenced and described in more detail at https://www.templeton.org/internal-competiton-fund/templeton-ideas-challenge.  If your idea does not fall within one of the research topics specified for the Requests for Ideas but it is within the general area of interest for this Ideas Challenge as described at https://www.templeton.org/ideas-challenge-general-form, you are free to submit your own research topic Request for Idea.

  1. Eligibility

To be eligible to win a Prize in the Challenge, must be fluent in English, a legal resident of the United States, at least eighteen (18) years of age or older at the time of entry, having earned at least a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution, or an educationally equivalent degree.  Further, entrant must submit an Entry fully complying with the requirements of these Official Rules.  Entries submitted by persons under the age of eighteen (18), or otherwise not in compliance with these Official Rules, are not valid and will not be eligible to win a Prize.  The John Templeton Foundation may require proof of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules before awarding a Prize.

Employees, officers, and directors of the John Templeton Foundation, and any entities or individuals working on or assisting with the Challenge, and their respective immediate families (parents, spouse, children, or siblings) or individuals residing in their household (whether or not related) are not eligible to enter the Challenge.

The Challenge is not open to any entrant from any country, and entities or persons, appearing on the sanctions lists provided by the United States Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”), whether, currently listed there, or subsequently listed at any time during the Entry Period or any other period relevant to the Challenge.

  1. Entry Process

Each eligible entrant can submit multiple entries to the Challenge.  An eligible entrant needs to contribute an original work of not more than 500 words in English identifying and addressing a Request for Idea within the general area of interest for this Ideas Challenge, and otherwise fully complete the online application, which can be found at: https://www.templeton.org/ideas-challenge-general-form during the Challenge Entry Period.

  1. Entry Period

The Entry Period begins on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 3:00 pm EDT and ends on Monday, August 31 at 11:59 pm EDT.

  1. Judges, Judging Process and Judging Criteria

Sponsor has sole authority in determining the judging process for judging eligible entries submitted during the Entry Period.  The Judges for the Challenge shall have expertise in at least one of the general research topics of the Challenge’s Requests for Ideas.  The Judges will be assisted by staff of The John Templeton Foundation.  All of the Judges’ determinations shall be finally reviewed by Sponsor.  Sponsor shall have sole discretion in decisions as to the Prize Winners based on the recommendations of the Judges, using the criteria set forth in these Official Rules.  The decisions of the Judges and Sponsor will be binding on all entrants and cannot be challenged in any way.

Initially, each eligible Entry will be assessed by the Judges according to the following criteria, with each criterion evaluated equally:

  • Clarity of Approach: the idea and the proposed method of investigation are clearly articulated and technically feasible.
  • Novelty: the idea, as articulated/formulated, is an original contribution within the sciences and has not been previously published.
  • Relevance: the idea engages one or more of the concepts set forth in the Requests for Ideas or the general area of interest for this Ideas Challenge.
  • Impact: the idea has the potential to open new possibilities for scientific inquiry and investigation, and benefiting more than one discipline in its application.

Entries with the top scores from this initial assessment by the Judges will be further assessed for the following additional criterion:

  • Capacity:  the scholarly or professional track record of the entrant, and the ability of the entrant to pursue the idea in their current environment.

These criterion likewise will be assessed equally and be reviewed by Sponsor. Sponsor shall identify the top fifty (50) entries as potential Prize Winners.

  1. Prize and Odds of Winning

The Foundation will award to each of the top qualifying fifty (50) entries USD $1,000 by check or wire transfer (“Prize”) to the entrant identified and associated with the email address provided in the application submitted.

No Prize is transferable and no substitutions are allowed, except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

Any levies, taxes and fees associated with any Prize award are the sole responsibility of the Prize Winner.  Prize Winners are responsible for providing a valid and accurate taxpayer identification number and any other tax documentation requested before the Prize will be awarded.  If the laws of any other country or jurisdiction other than the United States governs the entrant, the potential Prize Winner agrees that it is solely responsible for any reporting obligations for, and for the payment of, any levies, taxes and fees to any governmental authorities or jurisdictions arising from or in connection with the Challenge.  Any potential Prize Winners shall provide any requested supporting documentation to the Sponsor confirming the obligations of any entrant before any Prize will be awarded.

Further, as more fully set forth in these Challenge Official Rules, before a Prize will be awarded, Sponsor may request the potential Prize Winner to execute a Declaration of Eligibility, Copyright Ownership and License, and Publicity and other Releases and Indemnifications consistent with these Official Rules, and to provide any other documents needed to satisfy the requirements of these Official Rules.

Odds of winning a Prize depend on the number of eligible entries received and the contents and strength of each of the eligible entries received based on the judging criteria set forth in these Official Rules.

  1. Notification and Conditions of Winning Prize

Sponsor, or its representative or agent, will notify any potential Prize Winner by email using the email address provided in the entrant’s application.  Entrants are responsible for providing and maintaining an accurate email address during the duration of the Entry Period and during the Prize Award period and subsequently.

Sponsor reserves the right to determine eligibility for winning a Prize in its sole discretion based on the criteria set forth in these Official Rules and to require the entrant to provide confirming evidence of eligibility and agreement to these Official Rules before a Prize is awarded, including but not limited to the execution of a Declaration of Eligibility, Copyright Ownership, and Publicity and Other Releases and Indemnifications.

Potential Prize Winners will be notified by Sponsor and once formally determined to be eligible to receive the Prize will be listed on Sponsor’s website at https://www.templeton.org with a summary description of the entrant’s Entry.  This listing of Prize Winners shall be available on or about Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at https://www.templeton.org/ideas-challenge-winners.

Sponsor will attempt to contact a potential Prize Winner no more than two (2) times during a seven (7) day period.  If notification attempts for a potential Prize Winner fails for any reason, or if a potential Prize Winner or the Entry does not comply with these Official Rules or Sponsor’s directions upon notification, the Prize may be forfeited.

If a potential Prize Winner cannot be contacted or otherwise does not qualify or is not eligible, Sponsor may choose an alternative potential Prize Winner using the Challenge criteria in its sole discretion to the extent there are other eligible, qualifying entries.

  1. Restrictions on Content of Entry

Entry may not contain material that violates or infringes another person’s or entity’s rights, including but not limited to any privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, such as copyright or trademark or patent.  Entry may not disparage Sponsor or any other person, entity or organization or group.  Entry may not contain material that is inappropriate, violent, indecent, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous, or that degrades or demeans the human form, image or status of women, men or the members of any group based on race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation or any other status.  Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entry that Sponsor determines, in whole or in part, in its sole discretion, does not comply with the terms and conditions of these Official Rules or otherwise does not meet the standards of Sponsor in its sole discretion.

  1. Original Work and Legal Right to Submit Work

By submitting an Entry, entrant represents and warrants that, consistent with the terms of the Official Rules: (a) the Entry is entrant’s original work; (b) entrant owns any copyright applicable to the Entry; (c) the Entry does not violate, in whole or in part, any existing copyright, trademark, patent or any other intellectual property right of any other person, organization or entity; (d) entrant has confirmed and is unaware of any contractual obligations entrant has which may be inconsistent with these Official Rules and the rights entrant is required to have in the Entry, including but not limited to any prohibitions, obligations or limitations arising from any current or former employment arrangement entrant may have; (e) entrant is not disclosing the confidential, trade secret or proprietary information of any other person or entity, including any obligation entrant may have in connection with or arising from any current or former employment; and (f) entrant has full power and all legal rights to submit an Entry in full compliance with these Official Rules.

  1. License and Right to Use Likeness and Work

By submitting an Entry, entrant grants permission and a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free nonexclusive license to Sponsor, and its affiliated entities, advisors, agents and licensees, to use, reproduce, create derivative works, perform, display, distribute, copy, post and share the Entry on any media now known or developed in the future, and in any language in connection with the charitable mission of Sponsor.  Sponsor and affiliated entities, advisors, agents and licensees shall have the right to use or not use the Entry in any manner or medium they may chose, now or in the future for this purpose.

By submitting an Entry, entrant agrees that the John Templeton Foundation, and affiliated entities, advisors, agents and licensees, may use your name, likeness, statements, Entry, city and state of residence, biographical information, voice, photo and/or video to promote the results of the Challenge and the charitable mission of Sponsor and its affiliated entities, arising from and related to the Entry, worldwide and in perpetuity, in any and all forms of media and print, now known and hereafter devised, including without limitation on the Internet, without restriction as to frequency or duration, and without any further compensation, consideration, notification or permission, except as may be prohibited by law. Such use may include, but is not limited to use in or on social media, websites and press releases, and in connection with any events of any type Sponsor and affiliated entities, advisors, agents and licensees, shall hold or participate in, to further Sponsor’s charitable mission, but Sponsor and affiliated entities, advisors, agents and licensees shall have no obligation to use entrant’s name, likeness, statements, Entry or biographical information in its or their sole discretion.

By submitting an Entry, entrant further agrees that entrant understands that any ideas, suggestions, and/or concepts included in the Entry may be publicly disclosed, available for comment and available, in whole or in part, to others.  Entrant waives all rights, claims and any cause of action that Entrant may have against Sponsor and its affiliated entities, advisors, agents and licensees, or any third parties related to or arising from any ideas, suggestions and/or concepts that may be disclosed in the Entry and any comments about any such ideas, suggestions and/or concepts.

  1. Operation of Challenge

Sponsor has the right to remove and disqualify any Entry without notice to any entrant in its sole discretion.

Neither Sponsor, nor any entities or individuals working on or assisting with the Challenge, is responsible for any illegible, lost, stolen, late, damaged, incomplete, mutilated or misdirected Entry or for any problems or technical malfunctions related to the electronic submission of an Entry.  If all required information is not provided or Entry is illegible, or technically inaccessible, the Entry will be disqualified.  Any Entry that does not comply with the Official Rules can be withdrawn and/or rejected, and deemed ineligible by Sponsor without any notice to the entrant.

If, for any reason, the Challenge is not capable of running as planned for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Challenge at any time.

By entering the Challenge, entrant affirmatively acknowledges that entrant submitted the entry and email address and any other personal identifiable information voluntarily to the Challenge, that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between entrant and Sponsor arising from the Entry, any Prize, or the use of the Entry in any way by others, whether on social media or at an event so long as such use is consistent with Sponsor’s charitable mission.

  1. Release

By entering the Challenge, entrant agrees on behalf of entrant and each of entrant’s respective heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors and assigns (“Releasing Party”) to these Official Rules and the decisions of the John Templeton Foundation, and any entities or individuals working on or assisting with the Challenge, and by entering, entrant releases, defends and holds harmless the John Templeton Foundation and any entities or individuals working on or assisting with the Challenge, and any social or other media used for the Challenge, and any of their respective officers, directors and employees as applicable (“Released Parties”) from any and all causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, covenants, contracts, controversies, promises, lost profits, indirect or direct damages, consequential damage, incidental damages, punitive or exemplary damages, judgments, claims and demands whosoever, in law, or equity, whether known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, which any Releasing Party has or may ever had, now or hereafter, arising from or related to the Challenge, these Official Rules, any Entry materials, including but not limited to any use or non-use of any Entry materials, including the email address provided for the entry, delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, misuse, and/or use of or inability to use, any Prize, or technical or other failures of any kind.

  1. Indemnification

By entering the Challenge, entrant agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the John Templeton Foundation and any entities or individuals working on or assisting with the Challenge, and each of their officers, directors, employees, owners, agents, affiliates, advisors and licensees, and any Judges, from and against any and all claims, actions, demands, and liabilities, including those raised or brought by third parties, and any costs and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable attorney and professional fees and costs and other expenses of any nature incurred in the investigation and defense of any such claims resulting from entrant’s breach of any provision of these Official Rules, or any representation or warranty entrant provides herein, or otherwise arising in any way out of entrant’s Entry into the Challenge, whether now known or unknown, or anticipated or unanticipated.  The John Templeton Foundation reserves the right to take exclusive control and defend any such claim otherwise subject to indemnification by entrant, in which event entrant agrees to cooperate fully with the Sponsor in asserting any available defenses.

  1. Choice of Law

The Challenge shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania without regard to conflict of law provisions.  By entering the Challenge, entrant agrees that any disputes, claims causes of action or controversies arising out of or in connection with this Challenge or any Prize shall be resolved by the State and Federal courts covering West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, as applicable, which shall have sole jurisdiction of any controversy regarding or arising from the Challenge, these Official Rules or any Prize.  BY ENTERING THE CHALLENGE, ENTRANT WAIVES ANY AND ALL OBJECTIONS TO JURISDICTION AND VENUE IN THE COURTS COVERING WEST Conshohocken, Pennsylvania AND SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS THERE.  Further, entrant acknowledges and agrees that entrant may only assert claims on entrant’s own behalf and not on behalf of any other person or entity arising from, or in connection with, this Challenge, these Official Rules or any Prize.

  1. Winners List/Official Rules

For a list of Prize Winners of this Challenge or for a copy of these Official Rules, visit https://www.templeton.org/ideas-challenge-winners on or about Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

  1. Terms and Conditions and Privacy

By entering the Challenge, you agree that any information provided may be used according to the terms and conditions of the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy for the website at https://www.templetonfoundation.org/content/privacy-policy, as the privacy policy may be amended from time to time, and as otherwise provided for in these Official Rules.  Each entrant by entering the Challenge affirmatively agrees to this privacy policy.  Further, each entrant understands and agrees that Sponsor and any entities or individuals working on or assisting with the Challenge, shall have the right to use the entry, including but not limited to, the email address and other information provided in the Entry, for Sponsor’s communications, events it may hold or attend or sponsor, and otherwise for charitable purposes.

  1. Reservation of Rights

Sponsor reserves the right at any time to remove or disqualify any Entry.  Any entrant who supplies false information, enters the Challenge by fraudulent means, or is otherwise determined to be in violation of these Challenge Official Rules shall lose all rights to participate in the Challenge, including but not limited to the receipt of any Prize or remaining portion of any Prize, and may be required to forfeit any Prize obtained based on any such fraudulent information or means.

  1. No Return of Entries

Entries cannot be individually acknowledged or returned or withdrawn once submitted.  No entrant shall have the right to be informed of the evaluation results for any Entry, whether the entrant’s own Entry or the entry of any other individual.

  1. Inquires

Please direct any inquiries or communications about the Challenge to ideaschallenge@templeton.org.