Note: The information provided here refers to past Digital Media and Learning Competitions, and is provided for archival and reference purposes only. If you are seeking the current Digital Media and Learning Competition, please navigate to


When do I submit a budget? How much can I ask for?
A full budget and budget narrative will be required of all finalists. Proposed award amount should be realistically consistent with what you are proposing to do and the number of necessary team members.

What should be included in my project's budget?
Budgets may include the costs of project collaborators and staff, technological consultants, software, hardware, project materials and supplies, meetings, and travel. All budgets must also include airfare (or other transportation), transfers, lodging and meals for two to three days for a winner's event at a major urban site in the United States (to be determined). For institutional/organizational applications, indirect costs will be permitted at a maximum of fifteen (15) percent ONLY if required in a published indirect cost policy by the primary applicant's home institution or organization.

Will I be required to describe my project to the public?
Yes. All applications will be made available for public viewing and commenting.

If all applications are public, can someone steal my idea?
All applications are available for public viewing, commenting and judging, so submitting anything carries all the benefits and risks associated with public online circulation. On the one hand, the public sharing of ideas opens them up to the collective "wisdom of the crowds" and also allows you to improve your application based on collective feedback. On the other hand, it could result in the potential appropriation and remix of your ideas subject to the legal rights available to you.

During the expert review of applications, our judges may be able to identify applications that appear to be plagiarized from other applications and decline them. We cannot, however, make this a promise. If you are concerned about the "theft" of intellectual property in the public domain, this Competition may not be for you. If, however, you are confident in your ideas, are excited by the possibility of improving them with collective feedback, and are intrigued by the possibility of remix and web 2.0 collaboration, the Competition welcomes your participation.

Do I hold the intellectual property rights for my idea?
Copyright in material submitted with any application shall remain with the original owner. Applicants must ensure that any intellectual property owned by others and used in their submissions is approved for use and appropriately attributed.

Copyright in the product produced as a result of the award shall remain with the successful Applicant subject to the terms of the Competition. For the 21st Century Learning Lab Designers category, all applicants must agree, however, that if they receive an award they will license the use of the product in accordance with a Creative Commons License (Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike) or be Open Source.

In the Game Changers category, the rules are different because the participation by Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) and Electronic Arts (EA) involve products where the intellectual property is owned by those companies in their respective products and the nature of this category of the Competition is different than other elements of the Competition. In Game Changers this year, applicants will be suggesting new user-generated levels for existing games and the intellectual property rights are not severable. Therefore, the intellectual property in any new user-generated levels for LittleBigPlanet™ or Spore™ shall be owned by SCEA and EA respectively.

It is the strong preference of the administrators of the Competition, the University of California and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that the product produced as a result of an award be made publicly available promptly upon the completion of the product for little or no cost to the public. Distribution to the public at little or no cost is most consistent with the charitable principles underlying the purposes of the Competition. In keeping with the spirit of the Competition, however, it is recognized that there could be circumstances where a different distribution model could serve effectively the underlying educational purpose of the Competition.

Does making a comment on someone else's application qualify me as a collaborator on that project? Should an application that I commented on win, can I claim any of the award?
All comments and feedback are provided voluntarily, with the knowledge that they will be taken into consideration by applicants and may be incorporated into an application. Only primary applicants and those listed as co-applicants and official collaborators in the official application are eligible to receive an award. Commenting on an application, providing ideas and feedback, even if your comment provides an idea that results in the project being awarded, does not give you any ownership rights to the project.

If, during the first round, you find an application on which you would like to become an official collaborator, we encourage you to contact the primary applicant of that application. During the second round, primary applicants will have the opportunity to revise their list of collaborators. It will be at the discretion of the primary applicant whether they choose to do so and no applicant will be penalized for not accepting new collaborators.

What if I have questions that are not answered here?
There are several ways to get more information about the Digital Media and Learning Competition: