Collegiate Inventors Competition judging happens in two rounds:
Judges – Scientists, researchers, and experts in a variety of fields review each entry submitted to the Competition. Entries are assigned to judges based on the particular field or category of the invention.
To ensure blind scoring, the judges do not meet or collaborate with each other in scoring the entries. Their collective scores and rankings, along with data collected by independent researchers, are used by the National Inventors Hall of Fame to determine the Finalists. All Finalists are notified by telephone about two months before the final judging round, while other entrants will be notified by email.
In November, all Competition Finalists meet individually with the final panel of judges for formal presentation of their invention, in Washington, D.C. The final round of judging consists of National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees and special guest judges, which in the past have included experts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the National Institutes of Health, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, and the Kauffman Foundation, among others.
After a post-presentation question-and-answer session with the Finalists, the panel deliberates and selects the winners in each division based on degree of originality and inventiveness of the work presented, level of completeness or development of the invention, potential impact or benefit of the invention to society, and level of student initiative.