Selection Process

Nominations for the 2017 round of 120 Under 40 were accepted from March 22 to May 17, 2017. If you were nominated in 2016 but did not win, you could be re-nominated for 2017 if you still met the eligibility criteria. (Please note that the 2016 winners were not eligible to be re-nominated.) Nominees had until May 26, 2017, to update their profiles.

The 40 winners for 2017 were chosen through online public voting and scoring by a jury of experts and leaders in family planning.

Online public voting took place from June 1 to June 15, 2017. Voters were able to cast one vote per nominee during this period. Voters could vote for as many nominees as they like, but only once per nominee.

Nominees must have received at least 75 votes in order to pass to the jury scoring round. Nominees that received 75 votes saw a badge displayed on their profile, notifying them that they passed to the jury scoring round, and received a notification email. Once that 75-vote threshold was reached, additional votes beyond 75 did not factor in.

The 120 Under 40 Jury, made up of leaders in the family planning and reproductive health fields, reviewed nominees that reached the 75-vote threshold on the basis of the following criteria, which are drawn from the published project description and the nominee profile questions:

  • Has the nominee made significant, demonstrated, quantifiable contributions to family planning?
  • Has the nominee acted as a source of innovation/"positive disruption” in family planning?
  • Has the nominee served as a role model to lead and inspire others? 
  • Has the nominee demonstrated passion for family planning?
  • Does the nominee have a vision for future work related to family planning?

After online voting and jury review closed, the project secretariat reviewed the results and determined the 40 winners, all of whom received $1,000 from the Gates Institute to continue the work they are involved in or to start new innovative projects. 

The winners were announced on September 12, 2017. A smaller representative group of winners were invited to the 120 Under 40 celebrations from September 18 to 22 in the United States. This smaller group was chosen as a cross-section of the 120 Under 40 winners, and was a diverse group in terms of area of focus, location, gender, etc.

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