Toptal Scholarships for Women

As part of Toptal commitment to supporting women with great leadership potential Toptal has established the Toptal Scholarships contest. These scholarships provide assistance to women from around the world to help empower them to follow their passion and become leaders. Subject to these Toptal Scholarships Official Rules, the selected recipients will receive US$10,000 and one year of one-on-one mentorship from a Toptal leader.

• The Scholarships Program is only available to individuals who consistently
live and identify as women, age 16 and older.
• This is an international Scholarship Program. However, you must be a legal resident or citizen of your country of residence to enter the Scholarship Program.
• You must apply to the region for which country you are a legal resident, as determined by the list in the appendix of this document. The Scholarship Program is not available to any resident or citizen of any country that prohibits the Scholarship Program or that is prohibited by U.S. law (e.g., the Crimea region of the Ukraine, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, or Syria). You may be asked to provide proof of residence, and any supporting documentation, in the interview stage of the application process.

• The Scholarship program is not available to any person listed on any of the following (or similar) lists: Specially Designated Nationals and Consolidated Sanctions Lists (maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury); the Denied Persons, Entity, and Unverified Lists (maintained by the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce); and the Consolidated List of sanctions  designations by the United Nations, European Union and United Kingdom.
• Employees, clients, and contractors (including current talent engaged with or through Toptal) of Toptal, LLC as well as other companies involved in the conduct of this Scholarship Program, and any employees, members of the immediate families and households of any such employees and contractors of any of the foregoing are not eligible to enter.
• Void where prohibited by law.

How to Apply
• No purchase is necessary to enter the Scholarships Program.
• Team entries and the inclusion of any material that you did not create are not permitted.
• The Scholarships Program begins at 9am Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 25th July 2018 and application acceptance ends at 11:59 pm EST on the date specified below for that region. Applications received by Toptal before the start or after the end of these Scholarships Program start and end dates/times will not be eligible or accepted.
• Africa – 30 September 2018
• Oceania – 31 October 2018
• Asia – 30 November 2018
• Europe – 31 January 2019
• Americas – 31 March 2019
• All of the following steps must be successfully completed to complete
your application:
• First, write a blog post on your chosen idea to change the world. The
blog post (“Blog Post”) must clearly include the following sections:
• Your vision to change the world
• How you believe you can accomplish your goals
• Support and mentorship you need to accomplish your goals
• It must clearly and unambiguously reference Toptal Scholarships
• Publish the Blog Post on your personal blog about your idea. The Blog Post must be at least 1,000 words. To be and remain eligible for the Scholarship Program, the Blog Post must remain posted during the entire Scholarship Program, including any period of awards.
• If you decide to include in your application links to software you have written, you must link to the GitHub repository in the application form.
Any type of GitHub contribution is acceptable, provided that (a) it must consist solely of your own personal work and (b) it must comply with all of GitHub’s requirements, policies, guidelines, and terms and conditions with respect to starting or contributing to an open source project on GitHub. Any further files (for example, videos or presentations) you create to support your application, must be linked to in the Blog Post.
• Complete the application on
For your application to be eligible for entry, you must answer all application questions and your answers must be complete and accurate.
• Your Blog Post and accompanying information must be fully complete and submitted through the Toptal Scholarship Application page ( prior to the Scholarship

Program application deadline, to be eligible:
• You may only submit one application for this Scholarship Program.
• If there is a problem with your application that renders it ineligible or unacceptable under these Scholarship Program Official Rules, in Toptal’s sole and absolute discretion, Toptal may choose to notify you of the problem. If Toptal notifies you of a problem, you may resubmit your entry at any time prior to the end of the contest submission deadline stated above and your resubmission, if accepted, will be entered in the Scholarship Program from the time of its acceptance.
• Regardless, all applicants are solely responsible for their applications and compliance with these Scholarship Official Rules. Toptal will have no responsibility for any delay in or failure to provide such notification or for any attempted resubmission by you. Further, applicants may not submit more than one resubmission. Regardless of the preceding bullet point however, applications must be submitted in accordance with any technical specifications set forth in the Scholarship Program Application.
Applications will be declined if not correctly completed and submitted.
• Toptal assumes no responsibility for any failure to receive an Application
as a direct or indirect result of a technical problem or any kind of
computer, network, carrier, or third party malfunction or other problem.

How Toptal Will Determine Scholarship Winners
• At least three judges of Toptal’s Judging Committee (comprised of employees or external judges, to be selected by Toptal in its sole discretion, who are experienced professionals) will determine the top three to four applicants for each Region by reviewing each eligible and accepted application in its entirety, including the following components of each (as described above): (1) the Blog Post, (2) the Application Form.

Each of these elements will be weighted equally in judging.
• At least three judges of the Judging Committee will evaluate each application based on the following criteria, each of which will be considered in equal measure: (1) clarity of vision and quality of the Blog Post, (2) the academic and professional accomplishments of the applicant, (3) demonstrated financial need and/or lack of supportive professional
network, and (4) how well the applicant specifies mentorship needs and how a Toptal mentor can support this individual. Each judge will score each of these elements on a 10-point scale.
• The top four applications with the highest total score for each Region will be selected for a telephone interview. Judging interviews will be scheduled to take place within 7 calendar days of our email or telephone notification of the applicant’s selection for interview. Our judges will use commercially reasonable efforts to coor inate schedules with selected applicants, but Toptal cannot guarantee or promise that any specific date
or time will be available and it is the applicant’s sole responsibility to be available for a proposed interview date and time during such 7-day period as well as to attend and complete the scheduled interview on time.
Failure to agree upon an interview date and time and failure to attend a scheduled interview will result in disqualification. Applicants who are more than 5 minutes late to a scheduled interview will be deemed a no-show.

• The interviewing judge(s) will score each interview on a scale of 1 – 10.

Interviews will be scored on the applicant’s ability to clearly communicate a strong enthusiasm and commitment to their professional goals and how the award will further those goals.

• To select the final winner for each Region’s award, each interviewee’s scores (each judged element weighed equally) will be averaged across the judge(s)’ scores and totaled for a maximum score of 50 points for each applicant. Of the final four interviewed applicants, Toptal will award that Region’s award to the applicant with the highest total score. In the event of a tie for any award, the Lead Judge will rescore the tied applicants’ entries (that is, all judged elements, except the interview) to determine the final recipient for that Region’s award. In this event, only the Lead Judge’s final score will be considered for the tiebreaker.
• The Judging Committee and, when applicable, the Lead Judge’s decision is final and binding.

Notification, Award, and Award Restrictions
• Each prize (that is, “award”) consists of (a) US$10,000 and (b) one (1) year of relevant mentorship by a Toptal-designated mentor, who will have experience relevant to the winning applicant’s goals and who works for or with Toptal (the mentorship component has a value of approximately US$5,000).
• The mentorship portion of each award will consist of at least forty (40) hours of remote mentorship via telephone or VoIP conversation, as determined by the mentor (the “Mentorship Program”).

• The Scholarship Program will have up to 5 winners (“winners” or “recipients”). One winner will be announced on or around the following dates for each region:
• Africa – 7 November 2018
• Oceania – 5 December 2018
• Asia – 9 January 2019
• Europe – 13 March 2019
• Americas – 8 May 2019
• An applicant is only eligible for one award under the Scholarship Program. An applicant may not submit an application for more than one region, even if they have moved permanent residence. In case of multiple applications from the same person, all applications for that person may be voided.
• The winner will be notified using the email address provided by the applicant on the Entry Form. If you are selected, you must claim your award within 10 days of the date of notice (that is, the day that the email is sent by Toptal) on Toptal’s notification to you. If you fail to claim your award as specified in these Scholarship Official Rules, your award will be automatically forfeited and you will not receive the award or any portion thereof. Toptal may, but is not obligated to, send follow-up notices to any recipient during such 10-day period. Any follow-up notice will not restart or otherwise modify the 10-day period for your response. If you fail to claim your award, as stated above, Toptal will select the next-highest scored applicant for that region and, if necessary, repeat the process until the earlier of (a) a recipient claims the award and (b) the list of interviewed
applicants for that region is exhausted, in which case Toptal will donate
the monetary portion of the forfeited award (US$10,000) to a charity of its choice and the Mentorship Program portion of the award will be cancelled.
• The scholarship award will be non-transferable and the cash component will be paid to the winner via ACH, PayPal, or wire transfer. Winners will be responsible for all third party (e.g. financial institution) transaction fees associated with payment and the cost of any currency conversion (including fees and conversion rates). Such amounts may be automatically deducted from the award prior to the recipient’s receipt. If a recipient
selects PayPal for payment of the monetary portion of the award, the recipient will be responsible for setting up a PayPal account (typically set up is free) and any transaction fees levied by PayPal or its partners. Toptal is not responsible for making any monetary payment to a recipient if (1) such payment is prohibited by law, (2) recipient does not cooperate with Toptal’s efforts to make payment, or (3) if payment cannot practically be
made via one of the payment methods set out above.
• The monetary component of each award is a one-time only amount for each winner.
• Toptal does not guarantee or promise that any specific mentor will be available or that any specific mentor will continue to be available after starting the Mentorship Program. Mentors are subject to availability and may be replaced at any time with or without notice. Mentoring will be provided remotely by free VOIP or other telecommunication service. You will need to acquire access to such service at your own cost (as requested
by your mentor) and to be available for mentoring by such service on the days and times that you and your Mentor set. Typical mentoring sessions are anticipated to be one hour each and will generally take place weekly, subject to your and your mentor’s availability and schedules. Mentors may, but are not obligated to, provide make-up sessions for any
scheduled session that you schedule but cannot or do not attend. The Mentorship Program will be subject to additional terms and conditions, which will be provided to each recipient who receives an award prior to the start of the Mentorship Program. Toptal is not responsible for providing the Mentorship program if doing so is prohibited by law in the United States or the country of the recipient.
• A recipient will be disqualified for any of the following reasons: (1) failure to provide Toptal with proof of identity and legal residence and/or citizenship, any required affidavit within 15 days of Toptal’s requests for each of these documents; (2) any non-compliance with these Scholarships Official Rules, as determined in Toptal’s sole discretion. In such cases, Toptal will select the next-highest scored applicant for that region and, if necessary, repeat the process until the earlier of (a) a recipient claims the
award and (b) the list of interviewed applicants for that region is exhausted, in which case Toptal will donate the monetary portion of the forfeited award (US$10,000) to a charity of its choice and the Mentorship Program portion of the award will be cancelled.

• The scholarship winner may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability & Publicity Release where permitted by law, as well as provide information necessary for compliance with any applicable tax laws. Failure to comply may be grounds for disqualification.

• No award substitution or (except for the monetary portion of an award) cash redemption will be allowed. However, Toptal reserves the right to substitute an award of equal or greater value, or (for the mentoring portion of an award) cash equivalent, if the award becomes unavailable or for any other reason, in Toptal’s discretion. Awards are not transferable. Awards may not be returned to Toptal. No warranty or guarantee, express or implied, is provided with respect to the Scholarship Program or any award. Recipient must take possession of the Award upon delivery. Toptal will have no obligation or liability for any Awards returned due to inability to deliver to the recipient’s specified address. Awards consist only of the items expressly specified in these Scholarships Official Rules.
• All expenses or costs associated with the acceptance or use of the awards, including without limitation any additional required services or equipment, are the responsibility of each recipient. To use the mentoring portion of the Award, you will need (to provide at your own cost) a computer and a broadband Internet connection (with voice and/or video chat capability). All awards will be awarded if properly claimed. As described above, to submit an application, you will need to publish your own personal blog on the Internet. You may use any lawful tools and services to publish your personal blog and there are numerous free and for-fee options available from third party providers. Toptal does not provide or endorse any such tools or providers. If you have a personal blog prior to entering the Scholarship Program, you do not need to create or publish a new or separate personal blog for the purposes of entering the Scholarship Program.
• If any attempted notification or prize is returned as undeliverable, the potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. There is a limit of one prize per person or household.
Additional Submission Requirements
• By providing Toptal with any information or materials (collectively and
individually, “Submission Materials”) in connection with the Scholarship
Program (whether or not your Application qualifies or is accepted by
Toptal), you grant Toptal a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual,
irrevocable, royalty-free, fully paid, sublicensable and transferable license
to use, modify, reproduce, distribute, display, publish and perform your
Submission Materials in connection with the Scholarship Program and its
business in general. You hereby represent and warrant that you have all
rights, title, and interest necessary to submit and for Toptal and any others
associated with the Scholarship Program to receive, accept, use, modify,
reproduce, distribute, display, publish, perform and otherwise exploit the
Submission Materials.

• You represent and warrant to Toptal that your Submission Material (and participation in the Scholarship Program) and Toptal’s possession and use of Submission Material as contemplated in these Scholarships Official Rules: (1) do not and will not violate, infringe, or misappropriate any third party’s copyright, trademark, right of privacy or publicity, or other personal or proprietary right; and (2) do not contain any matter that is defamatory, obscene, unlawful, threatening, abusive, tortious, offensive, harassing, or
that otherwise do not comply with these Scholarships Official Rules.
• You will ensure that any Submission Materials that you provide to Toptal or any other person or entity (including GitHub and any mentor) in connection with the Scholarships Program will not contain any virus, spyware, or other malicious code or programming.
Technical Problems & Termination Toptal reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend this Scholarships Program in the event of unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, infection by computer viruses or bugs, tampering, or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of Toptal that, in Toptal’s determination, corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Scholarships Program. In the event of termination of the Scholarships Program, a notice will be posted online.

All federal, state and local taxes on prize value or otherwise related to the acceptance of any award are the sole responsibility of the award winner. An IRS form 1099 and the information (which must be provided to Toptal by you) necessary to generate an IRS form 1099 will be required, if required by law. Recipients must also cooperate with any other reasonable request by Toptal and any government tax authority regarding an award.

• If you enter, the personal information you provide on your entry will be collected and used by Toptal in accordance with its then-current Toptal Website Privacy Policy, available on Without limitation, Toptal may use this information to contact you regarding this Scholarships Program, Toptal products and services and future promotions relating to Toptal products and services. If you are an award winner, you specifically agree that Toptal may identify you as such (together with your final score) on its website and in other written communications to other applicants or
the general public.
• Acceptance of an award (or any portion of an award) constitutes permission for Toptal and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents and licensees to use winner’s name and/or likeness for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law. All entries become the sole property of Toptal and will not be returned.

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