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PRX Opens Submissions for the PRX Big Questions Project, A Podcast Development Program for Creators in the Natural Sciences, Human Sciences, Philosophy, Ethics, or Theology Who Are New to Audio

Participants will receive $35,000 in funding to produce a podcast pilot and two seasons of an original series. Submissions are open now at prx.org/bigquestions. PRX’s Big Questions Project is supported by the John Templeton Foundation

prx.org/bigquestions

Public media organization PRX — one of the world’s leading podcast publishers — today announced the PRX Big Questions Project, a new podcast development program for individuals, thinkers, and storytellers focused on or at the intersection of scientific, philosophical, and spiritual life.

Participants will be guided through the podcast piloting process before developing at least two seasons of their podcast, up to eight episodes each.

The program is open to either individuals or production teams of up to two people each, who are new to the audio medium, located in the United States or Canada. Supported by the John Templeton Foundation, submissions are welcome from those whose expertise includes or intersects with the natural sciences, human sciences, philosophy, ethics, or theology. More information is below regarding subject areas.

Applications are open now through October 31, 2022. Visit prx.org/bigquestions for full information and for the application.

Applicants will be notified of their application status at the end of 2022, and the program will take place from January 2023 — August 2024 (subject to change).

Participants in PRX’s Big Questions Project will receive $35,000 in funding to produce a podcast pilot and two seasons of an original series. Participants will work directly with PRX Productions, PRX’s award-winning team specializing in high-quality audio production and storytelling for and with creators such as CBS News and Simon & Schuster, PBS, America Abroad Media, and more.

Based on the pilot, PRX will work closely with each participant in the program to provide access to the following:

  • PRX technology and distribution resources, including one year of free access to PRX Dovetail, the best-in-class podcast publishing and monetization platform designed 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.

The aim of the PRX Big Questions Project is to help listeners gain a deeper understanding of how issues such as spirituality, character, ethics, and humility connect to their daily lives, thereby seeking creators whose work gives voice to the deepest questions facing humanity.

For the podcast development program, individuals of any professional experience level in their respective field are invited to apply, but their podcast must pertain to one of the following subject areas:

  • The natural sciences through explorations of the fundamental structures, constituents, and laws of the natural world and humankind’s place in it;
  • The human sciences through explorations of human nature, the study of human flourishing, and fundamental structures and realities within the social, behavioral, and cognitive sciences; or,
  • Theology and philosophy through explorations of the divine and divinity, religion and spirituality, and intersections between philosophy, science, morality, and social systems.

Four podcasts will be selected. Applicants will be notified by the end of 2022.

Submissions will be reviewed by accomplished media and podcast professionals, as well professionals in the humanities, including: CBS Sunday Morning correspondent David Pogue, public theologian and The Confessional podcast host Nadia Bolz-Weber, New York Times senior story editor James Ryerson, philosopher Michael Rota, NOVA Now podcast host Dr. Alok Patel, and multiple staff members from PRX, including CEO Kerri Hoffman, Chief Development Officer Janetta Stringfellow, Director of Training Stephanie Kuo, Senior Director of Content Audrey Mardavich, Chief Technology Officer Andrew Kuklewicz, and Chief of Business Development & Content Jason Saldanha.

“This is an exciting initiative. At PRX, we aim to continue to open up podcasting to new voices while empowering creators,” said Jason Saldanha, Chief of Business Development and Content at PRX. “We hope anyone tackling the deepest questions facing us today across scientific, philosophical, or spiritual life will apply. Thank you to the John Templeton Foundation for support in bringing this program and the podcasts to come to life, and to Courtney Fleurantin, the project manager for this initiative.”

PRX will hold a virtual information session about the PRX Big Questions Project and the application process. This event will take place Tuesday, Sep. 20, at 3pm ET / 12pm PT. Sign up for this free webinar is available at this Zoom registration link. A captioned video recording and transcript will be provided on the FAQ page of the application following the webinar.

In addition to the Big Questions Project, PRX training and podcast development programs include the Google Podcasts creator program for global creators, the Ready to Learn Podcast Accelerator in partnership with PBS KIDS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the PRX Journalism Podcast Accelerator in partnership with the Knight Foundation, and the Africa Podcast Lab.

PRX distributes podcasts from TED, the Smithsonian, The Moth, Project Brazen, Religion of Sports, Futuro Media, PBS, Radiotopia, and more. In addition, with the support of the John Templeton Foundation, PRX distributes “How God Works” a podcast from pioneering Northeastern University psychology professor and author David DeSteno, exploring the intersections of religion and science.

For more about PRX, visit PRX.org.

About PRX

PRX is a non-profit public media company specializing in audio journalism and storytelling. PRX serves independent producers and organizations by helping them connect to their most engaged, supportive audiences. One of the world’s leading podcast publishers, PRX works in partnership with TED, PBS, the Smithsonian, Futuro Media, GBH, Religion of Sports, and more. PRX is also home to Radiotopia, known as one of the most creative and successful podcast networks. In addition, PRX distributes trusted and treasured public radio programming to hundreds of stations nationwide, including “The World,” “The Moth Radio Hour,” “This American Life,” “Snap Judgment,” “Reveal,” “The Takeaway,” and “Latino USA.” PRX programs have won awards from the Peabody Awards, duPont-Columbia Awards, the IDA Documentary Awards, and the Pulitzer Prizes. Visit PRX.org for more.

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