Making a submission? Read this guide instead

Making a Submission on Zealous

Discover how Zealous supports your candidates at each stage of their application.

Before we start

Candidates can only submit to published opportunities, giving you the flexibility to put the finishing touches on your call in complete anonymity.

Your submissions will open and close automatically based on your schedule. Candidates can make and edit their applications during that time.

You can find more about the life-cycle of an opportunity here.

Applicants Journey

Zealous allows you to structure your candidate’s journey, allowing them to save their changes at every step.














Registration / Login

Triggered when a candidate clicks submit

If the candidate applying doesn’t already have an account on Zealous, we will require them to fill out a very short registration form with basic details such as their name, email address and password.

This will allow them to save their submission and come back to it at any time, enabling them to submit previous projects to future calls. As part of our community initiatives, we also give candidates the opportunity to publish their projects on their own public portfolios and sign up to recommendations for opportunities they might have an interest in.

Candidates can remove their profiles at any time, removing access to their private information in line with GDPR. This will replace their work with shadow profiles, allowing you to identify a submission was made and keeping your analytics accurate over time.

The Registration step allows


  • Save and edit their applications
  • Reuse past projects in future applications
  • Access a free portfolio (optional)
  • Sign up for recommendations (optional)


Triggered as soon as a candidate has registered / logged in to submit to your opportunity

As soon as candidates show an interest in applying to your opportunity, we’ll prompt them to read and accept the content in your guidelines.

This clarifies what is needed from them, and allows you to include links to additional resources (such as terms and privacy policies).

A draft submission, which you will see on your dashboard, is created as soon as the candidate accepts your guidelines.

The Guidelines step allows

Admins to

  • Customise all of the text in your guidelines
  • Add imagery and videos to inspire candidates to submit (e.g. video of past event)
  • Link to your own resources (e.g. terms and privacy policy)
  • Measure draft submissions from the moment candidates accept them

Candidates to

  • Need to accept your guidelines before submitting
  • Create a draft submission they can fill out later

Judges to

  • Can view your guidelines on your published opportunity page


Shown as soon as candidates accept your guidelines

The submission step is what makes Zealous so unique.

Unlike regular application forms – the submission step contains any number of media items embedded directly into the page. This allows for submissions to be very visual and gives you the option to keep it as structured as you would like, or a little more creative. 

Should you wish to publish the results of some of your rounds, or run a public vote – the submission will be the only element made public (contents of the application form will be private).

Candidates can add the following items to the submission step:

The Submission step allows

Admins to

  • Let candidates know what they should submit
  • Customise what candidates can add to your submission
  • Restrict the number and types of items that can be added
  • Get candidates to confirm they fulfil your requirements and key data has been added

Candidates to

  • Embed works from other services
  • Save their submission and complete it later
  • Save time by reusing and editing projects submitted to other calls

Judges to

  • See the most engaging component of the application first


Shown as soon as candidates complete the submission step

The form allows for structured answers to specific questions you might have about their application. None of the information on the form is made available publicly (even when you publish your results) so this is the best place to keep any questions which contain private information.

Answers can be shown or hidden from judges. This is useful for diversity data, which shouldn’t be used to inform the selection of candidates.

The form step allows

Admins to

  • Add specific questions to candidates
  • Choose different types of formats for answers
  • Choose which answers to show judges
  • Keep applicants answers private, even when results are published

Candidates to

  • Auto-save answers as they go
  • Automatically reuse previous answers should they submit multiple times

Judges to

  • View only the relevant information for scoring entries
  • Allows diversity data to be hidden from the decision making process


Optional – Shown after the form is filled

Zealous allows you to request a fee from candidates before they submit, these can be set to be optional to allow candidates to donate money to your organisation. If you have no fees, this step will not be shown.

Fees can be structured to give candidates special deals such as “3 for the price of 2” and can be disabled to allow for early bird style strategies.

You can view a complete breakdown of payments raised from your dashboard at any time.

During a selection round

Admins to

  • Raise funds for your initiatives
  • Accept optional donations
  • Create special deals
  • Simulate early bird deals
  • Coming soon Choose your currency

Candidates to

  • Buy multiple submissions in one go
  • Download their invoices

Judges to

  • Have no access to financial information for your call


Upon completing the submission
(optionally – payment successful)

As soon as the candidate completes the submission they will be presented with a pop-up to let them know they have successfully submitted. They will also be sent an email with a direct link to edit their application.

If you have allowed candidates to submit multiple times, they will also be prompted to submit again. This will start the cycle again, but to save them time, Zealous automatically allows them to reuse a project on the submission step and reloads all the information in the application form for them to edit. If the candidate has prepaid for a submission, they will also skip this step.

Candidates have access to all the submissions they have made on their “My Submissions” page and can edit them at any time until your opportunity closes.

Once your opportunity has closed

Admins to

  • View draft and completed submissions progress
  • View all completed submissions
  • Compare past opportunities
  • Download PDF and CSV reports
  • Begin judging and selecting candidates in rounds

Candidates to

  • Check the status of submissions made
  • View the full submission
  • Reuse their submissions for other opportunities
  • Publish their work on their public portfolios
  • Remove their data (GDPR compliance)

Judges to

  • Start scoring entries for the first round once submissions close

Explore other journeys

Zealous was built to simplify journeys for
all of your stakeholders.


Save valuable time on administration from the moment you draft your call, to announcing your final selection.

Explore the Admin journey


Simplify the process of gathering input from judges, and keep track of their progress at each step.

Explore the Judge journey

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