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How to Make Your Big Questions Project Application Stand Out

The Big Questions Project podcast development program is a partnership between the John Templeton Foundation and PRX that trains, mentors, and provides resources to new voices in podcasting.

The Big Questions Project is a new podcast development program for individuals, thinkers, and storytellers focused on or at the intersection of scientific, philosophical, and spiritual life.

Participants in PRX’s Big Questions Project will receive $35,000 in funding to produce two seasons of an original series. Participants will work directly with PRX Productions.

Selected teams will receive the following:

  • PRX technology and distribution resources include one year of free access to PRX Dovetail, the best-in-class podcast publishing and monetization platform for post-production flexibility and support, and featuring tools such as metrics.
  • Mentorship sessions with PRX’s sponsorship, development, and business teams; and,
  • Marketing resources to help podcast series reach and engage audiences.

To learn more about the program and eligibility requirements, please check out our FAQs.

The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm ET, Monday, October 31st.

Four Ways to Make Your Application Stand Out

1. Tell us why you’re the one to make this podcast

The strongest applicants make clear why they are the team to create this podcast in particular.

Think about the work you’ve done, the experiences you’ve had, the places you’ve lived, the passions you’ve pursued, and anything else that’s relevant to the story. Then connect the dots for us: why you and why this show?

2. Tell us who your show is for — and be specific

“When you make a podcast for everyone, you make a podcast for no one.” That’s a phrase you’ll hear us say a lot.

So tell us: Who is your listener? What do they care about? Can you picture where they’ll be and what they’ll be doing while they listen? Do you know why they started listening? Do you know what you want them to think, feel, and do after they listen to your podcast?

The team reviewing your application may not be your target audience, but the more you demonstrate you know who you’re trying to reach and how your podcast serves them, the more we’ll trust you’ll reach them.

3. Think stories, not topics

Applications that will get our attention have a story to tell. They have characters instead of categories. They have driving themes instead of loosely structured conversations. They sketch episode outlines and season arcs, allowing us to hear the show.

And — you may be sensing a theme here — they get specific.

4. Show us you’re ready to make the most of this opportunity

Training, mentorship, and funding are a big deal. But strong applicants know that there’s more to achieving success than that. They show us they’re ready to make the most of this opportunity, from how they’ll use this time and funding to create their show to demonstrating openness to iterate their podcast based on feedback they receive during the program.

This means taking time to create a thorough and sensible budget. It means thinking about what goals you want to achieve. Above all, it means conveying an entrepreneurial spirit, either through work you’ve already done or through your vision for what your show can become–and how you’ll get it there.

Ready to jump in?

Great! All that’s left to do now is apply. The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm ET Monday, October 31st. Good luck. We are excited to hear from you!

Not Ready? Still Have Questions?

PRX hosted an information session webinar last month to discuss the Big Questions Project and its application process. Watch it below!

You can also send any inquiries to bigquestions@prx.org. We will do our best to get back to you promptly.

We look forward to seeing your ideas come to life!

Apply today!

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