Tips for Applying

While your application will be evaluated by Harvard experts and staff, your application materials should be written for a wider audience. In order to fulfill the mission of the Bright Ideas initiative —disseminating knowledge of innovation and best practices with persons in positions to use it as well as with the general public—we ask that you communicate the essence of your innovation and its most significant benefits simply, vividly, and succinctly.

Top Tips for Crafting an Application:

  1. Tell your story, perhaps from a user's perspective.
  2. Get wide-ranging feedback from colleagues and coworkers to ensure that you are communicating as clearly and persuasively as possible.
  3. Frame your work with the media in mind.
  4. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and technical terms.
  5. Avoid overused words, such as:
    • benchmark
    • community-based
    • customer-based
    • empower/ment
    • facilitate
    • inputs
    • integrated services
    • need-based
    • oriented/orientated
    • outcomes
    • ownership
    • paradigm
    • partnership
    • preventive/preventative
    • self-sustaining
    • streamline
    • unique
  6. Review examples of past successful applicants