Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

Anyone with an idea! We want the best ideas from people with firsthand experiences solving problems with solutions rooted in science, technology and innovation. The call is open to anyone including researchers, policy experts, entrepreneurs, academics, technologists, past and current policy makers, scientists, innovators, and any person with a good idea relevant to the accelerator topic.

Can you share more about the kinds of ideas you are looking for?

We recommend looking closely at the live accelerator application page for topical scope and our proposal library for a better sense of what we mean by “ambitious and actionable” policy ideas.

How does the accelerator process work, and what am I committing to if I am accepted?

Interested parties begin by completing our official submission form, which can be found on the live application website. Each submission requires prospective authors to submit information on who they are, as well as a summary of their idea to help our team understand and evaluate each submission. We recommend reviewing the form in advance and thinking through each answer to the questions before officially submitting your proposal. We also suggest reviewing existing papers on our website for examples of previous work. Once an idea is submitted, the Day One Project will review and accept a set of ideas. If your idea is accepted, the Day One Project will work with you to help define and refine your initial idea, and convert it into a short, actionable policy memo over the course of six- to nine-weeks. Our team will work with each individual author(s) to curate and craft your idea into an actionable policy. The Day One team will provide writing resources, phone consultation, editorial support, and connections to domain experts (when applicable) to help authors advance their idea into a full proposal. Following the completion of the accelerator, we aim to invite authors to engage policymakers. We will work with authors to drive traction on their proposal with the goal of pushing for the implementation of recommendations outlined.

What will spending 4-6 hours of my week accomplish?

We hope that invited accelerator participants will benefit from working with the Day One Project team in three key ways: Mentorship: You will have access to mentorship and training on government policy levers, technical assistance on proposal development, guidance on engaging policymakers, and other dedicated resources for you to become an empowered advocate for change, regardless of your starting point. Networking: Not only will you work hand-in-hand with the Day One team, but you will collaborate with our network of experts, your impressive cohort peers, and a group of current and former policymakers. Impact: By the end of the accelerator, you will have developed an actionable policy proposal and have the skillset to champion this policy in the Federal Government.
Impact: By the end of the accelerator, you will have developed an actionable policy proposal and have the skillset to champion this policy in the Federal Government.

How will my submission be evaluated?

Ideas will be evaluated across two primary dimensions: 1) potential for impact and 2) feasibility to implement. Within these categories, we consider various factors as we evaluate submissions. Your idea does not need to address each and every question. We offer the below categories and questions as a guide to help authors as they consider their proposal: Understanding of the problem – Does the author articulate an understanding of the issue and experience working on this particular problem within or outside of government? Novelty of solution – Is the idea new? Does the idea impact a new area of policy, or present an opportunity for an agency or department to apply an idea in a new way? Does the idea have potential to grow and scale as a result of the federal government taking action? Urgency and need – Does the proposal aim to take on a burning issue on a national stage lacking creative ideas for how to solve it? Does the idea draw attention to an issue that is an emerging opportunity or potential threat? Does the idea propose an action that would otherwise not happen if the government failed to act? Potential for implementation – Is the proposal aligned with any ongoing or existing actions? Is there any historical precedent from previous/current administrations taking on the issue, and are there current ongoing efforts to address it? Does the idea have potential to appeal to a bipartisan audience? Does it already have a champion or sponsor within the government working on the issue? Required resources – What financial resources might be required to move the idea forward? Does it require new investment? Is there a way to utilize existing funds in a new way to provide financial support? Target audience/customer – Does the idea have a clear policy platform and audience to act on it? Is it something that can be executed on by the executive branch, or is it better suited for a specific agency or congress to work on? Is it something appropriately scoped or scaled for a particular high-level policymaker? We seek a wide range of ideas covering diverse topics and plan to select the best ideas that are submitted.

What are Day One Project Accelerators?

Our accelerators are a six- to nine-week, part-time process designed to create “policy entrepreneurs”: those with or without any prior policy experience but are highly motivated to leverage the tools, skills, and networks we provide to drive change. Selected participants will have a chance to develop their ideas with guidance from policy advisors, meet with veteran policymakers to learn more about the nuances of policy implementation, hone their ability to craft actionable policy on the federal level, and build a community with their fellow cohort