FAQ + Resources


Who can apply?
Individuals or teams of graduate students and/or post-doc fellows either currently earning their degree, or those who completed their degree in the prior calendar year.What is the prize for?
The prize recognizes graduate students for generating innovative ideas and for their potential leadership in the advancement of planetary defense-related fields including asteroid impact prediction, impact mitigation, mitigation law and policy development, impact economics, and planetary defense public education and communication. More information here.

Can teams apply?
Yes, one representative from the team may apply on behalf of the whole team, and they will serve as the team's spokesperson and single point of contact through the process.

What is the prize?

The prize winning student or team will receive a prestigious museum-quality award, a cash prize of $10,000 USD, and global exposure through a press campaign, ensuring widespread acknowledgment of their innovative ideas.

What are some examples of what we are looking for?
Click here to see some example ideas for proposals.

Where can I find detailed and reliable information about current planetary defense?
Click here to see a list of resource sites.

What is the submission deadline for the prize?
Mandatory pre-applications are now open and should be sent via this google form. Final applications are due by February 15th, 2024. The Prize will be awarded on Asteroid Day, June 30th, 2024.

What are the eligibility criteria?
Applicants must either be currently enrolled in a graduate-level program at an accredited university or have graduated within the past year (postdocs are welcomed). They must have demonstrated exemplary academic performance.
Examples include:
- NEO Discovery and Impact Prediction
- Hypothetical Asteroid Impact Hazard Characterization
- Legal and Policy Issues for Planetary Defense
- Disaster Preparedness (Disaster Management & Earth Impact Response)
- International Policies
- Missions + Deflection / Disruption Testing & Modeling
- Earth Impact Effects & Consequences
- Public Education & Communication
- Deflection technology validation

Can you provide more details about the application process?
There is a two part application process that starts with submission of a preliminary application in coordination with an advocate. This is done through a form on the website in the student section. The preliminary application consists of the following elements:
- Name
- Contact Information
- University/Institution
- Advocate Name & Address
- Letter of Recommendation
- Degree(s)
- Current Degree Program
- PD Related Field
- Proof of Work
- Nominee Statement

If a candidate receives approval to proceed from the organizing committee, they will be asked to send in the final application. This includes:
- A proposal describing innovative solutions, project ideas or advocacy plans (max 500 words + references/links)
- A personal statement regarding career aspirations
- Two letters of recommendation (initial pre-application recommendation will be accepted as 1 letter)
- A C.V. or resume
- A copy of their academic transcripts

How can students get more information?
Sign up for our newsletter and visit the student section.

Will the university receive any money to support the Prize winner?
$2,500 will be provided to the student's university to host a celebration for their Prize winning achievements.

How could a student receive the prize money?
The prize can be disbursed in one of these ways:
- Cash prize to the student;
- Reimbursements for expenses related to Planetary Defense projects;
- Through the student’s university if the student elects to do so.

Are there any restrictions on how the prize money can be used?  
The Schweickart Prize committee will award the cash prize for the purpose of furthering the student’s research and/or work in Planetary Defense. The committee will not require reporting on how the prize money is spent, unless the student chooses to receive the funds through expense reimbursement.


Schweickart Prize Example Proposals
Planetary Defense Resource Sites
Rusty's 2023 ASE Conference Keynote PDF
Protecting Earth: An Astronaut's Perspective | Rusty Schweickart | TEDxSonoma Video

2024 Schweickart Prize Flyer