YBI Fellowship Grant Application

The Yale Blockchain Initiative (YBI) 2018-19 Fellowship will be awarded to a student or team of students that show commitment, availability and determination to accelerate the student-led institutional development of the YBI. The YBI is a collaboration between the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY) through the Yale OpenLab. The awarded student group will receive mentorship from the teams at CBEY and Tsai CITY. The award is possible thanks to a gift from the Yale Class of 1977.


YBI Fellowship Grant: An award of U$S5000 will be given to a group of students with the strongest application where they must lay out a proposal for how to consolidate and lead the Yale Blockchain Initiative as an official student-led project. The grant is available thanks to a generous contribution from The Yale University Class of 1977. Applications should include a proposed budget expense plan for the 2018-2019 school year and are required to submit a report on progress by May 2018.

YBI history and current application format: The idea of setting up a Yale Blockchain Initiative was driven by growing student interest activity across campus in Blockchain. While providing institutional support for these efforts, the CBEY and Tsai CITY teams noticed the lack of a cohesive environment around this important emerging technology. Given this was mostly driven by student enthusiasm and expertise, it was apparent that such a grass-roots technological wave should be led by students, but at the same time be able to have institutional support and mentorship at Yale. This, along with a gift from the Class of 1977 has made it possible to allow students to propose how to form such an initiative.

application deadline: October 12, 2018

Basic tasks & requirements to consider in the application: 

The application for the YBI grant has significant freedom for students to propose creative and original ideas of their vision for YBI and how to achieve it.  However, basic tasks that are expected from grant applicants and their proposal should be considered and include the following. Setup of the institutional structure for the YBI to continue as a student-led initiative beyond Fall 2019. YBI institutional structure development includes: setting up a database of engaged students and faculty and blockchain related projects across campus, a communication hub for the Yale community to keep track of blockchain related events, talks and classes, and a process for student-led governance and organizing committees of YBI. Additionally, the selected YBI team is expected to help communicate and coordinate major blockchain related yearly events such as the Open Earth Challenge & Hack, continuation of the Blockchain Bootcamp and other conferences. Also expected is the organization of at least 4-6 blockchain related events and meetups throughout the 2018-2019 academic year that advance a Yale-wide blockchain discussions and know-how. A fundamental requirement of the applicant team is that it includes one or more undergraduates in the core team, that they present a year long development plan and that they produce a report of its progress and success by the end of the year. Tsai CITY and CBEY will provide necessary infrastructure, such as wiki-based web platforms, and bi-weekly coaching for the fellowship’s development.

The awarded student or student group will be  required to have significant understanding of blockchain technology, and experience in platform environments such as Ethereum and/or Hyperledger. Passion to further their own blockchain skills and contribute to dissemination of blockchain knowledge in the Yale-wide community is a key requirement. Knowledge of solidity or other smart contract language is encouraged. Passion for application of blockchain to social, environmental and general sustainability applications is highly encouraged.


Evaluation Criteria:

Applications will be reviewed and analyzed based on the following criteria (in no particular order or hierarchy): enthusiasm on the topic by the team, originality in the ideas proposed and vision for YBI, rigor in the development plan (including timeline, project management skills and budget management), blockchain background and know-how from team members, diversity in the team and strategy to ensure diversity in the engaged blockchain community at Yale (diversity here refers to yale affiliations, disciplines, race, gender, culture etc.), diverse blockchain topics (i.e. covers a spectrum of blockchain applications), length of period

Fellowship amount:

Gift from Yale Class of 1977: $5000


Only enrolled students (undergraduate, masters or PhD) of fall 2018 semester may apply.