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How to Apply for the Zayed Sustainability Prize including eligibility criteria, submission requirements, and tips for a successful application.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is a prestigious global award that recognizes and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative, and inspiring sustainability solutions across various categories. 

Inspired by the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the UAE's founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the prize aims to catalyze and reward individuals, small businesses, and high schools that are pushing the boundaries of sustainability. 

If you are looking to apply for the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the following process will guide you through every step necessary to submit a competitive application.

Understanding the Categories

Before you begin the application process, you need to understand the categories under which the Zayed Sustainability Prize accepts submissions. There are five distinct categories:

  • Health
  • Food
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Global High Schools

Each category has its unique criteria, so it's important to establish which category your project fits best. For the Global High Schools category, submissions must detail a sustainability project to be initiated by the school, not a recap of past work.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should carefully read the eligibility criteria listed on the Zayed Sustainability Prize website. It's crucial that applicants meet these standards, which typically focus on the viability and innovation of the project, its social and economic impact, and its environmental benefits. Be aware that the eligibility criteria might have different requirements for each category.

Registration and Creating an Account

To begin the application process, you must first register an account on the Zayed Sustainability Prize website.

  • Navigate to the official Zayed Sustainability Prize website.
  • Locate and click on the 'Apply Now' or 'Register' button.
  • Fill in the required details such as your name, organization, and contact information to create an account.
  • Confirm your registration through an email verification process.

Completing the Application Form

Once your account is set up, you can start completing the application form. Ensure that you take your time with this process, as detailed and accurate information is necessary for a successful application. 

  • Log in to your newly created account on the Zayed Sustainability Prize portal.
  • Begin filling out the application form relevant to your chosen category.
  • Provide exhaustive details about your sustainability project, including its objectives, methodology, impact, and potential for growth.
  • Ensure that all sections of the application are complete and accurate before submission.

Preparing Supporting Documentation

Supporting documentation is crucial in substantiating the claims made in your application. These often include reports, financial statements, proof of concept, metrics of success, and other relevant materials that can prove the validity and effectiveness of your project.

  • Gather all necessary documentation that supports your application.
  • Scan and prepare digital copies of all documents, ensuring they are clear and legible.
  • Check the file size and format requirements on the Zayed Sustainability Prize website to avoid submission issues.

Submitting Letters of Reference

Letters of reference are important in providing a third-party perspective on your project’s impact and credibility. These should come from individuals or organizations that are familiar with your work and are able to vouch for your commitment to sustainability.

  • Reach out to mentors, partners, industry experts, or other individuals that have been closely associated with your project who can provide a strong, credible reference.
  • Request letters of reference to be written on official letterhead where possible, including the referee's contact information.
  • Scan and save these letters, ready for attachment to your application submission.

Reviewing the Application

Before you make your submission, it's vital to thoroughly review the application to ensure all information provided is accurate, all questions have been answered to the best of your ability, and that it meets all the prize criteria and guidelines.

  • Read through each section of the application meticulously to spot any errors or omissions.
  • Double-check that all attachments and supporting documents are correctly included.
  • Use tools such as spell checkers to ensure there are no typos or grammatical mistakes.
  • Consider having a colleague or mentor review the application to provide feedback and catch any aspects you may have missed. 

Submission of Application

With the application form complete and supporting documents prepared, you can now submit your application for the Zayed Sustainability Prize.

  • Log back into your account on the Zayed Sustainability Prize portal.
  • Upload the required documents and review all details one final time.
  • Ensure you have adhered to all instructions and guidelines for submission.
  • Once you are confident that your application is complete and correct, proceed to submit it before the deadline.
  • Take note of any submission confirmations or reference numbers provided for future reference.

Next Steps After Submission

After submitting your application, there are several steps you should expect as part of the selection process:

  • Application processing, where the Zayed Sustainability Prize team confirms receipt and ensures your submission meets the basic criteria.
  • Evaluation by a panel of experts takes place, during which applications are assessed on merit and aligned with the prize's core tenets.
  • If shortlisted, you may be contacted for additional information or verification of data.
  • The announcement of finalists often follows a rigorous assessment process.
  • Finalists are then reviewed by the Jury who will select the winners for each category. 

In conclusion, applying for the Zayed Sustainability Prize is an extensive but rewarding process that could lead to global recognition and support for your sustainability endeavors. By following each step and taking care to provide a thorough and accurate application, you stand a better chance at success. Once you have submitted your application, it is essential to remain patient and optimistic while the judging process takes place, as this can often take several months. 

Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize are typically presented with their awards during the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Good luck!

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