In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) was held virtually. Please note, competition details on our website reflect the traditional in-person event. Please contact [email protected] with any questions.

Collegiate Inventors Apply

Enter the Collegiate Inventors Competition

The Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) is your opportunity to bring national attention to your work, gain valuable feedback from our National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees and compete for cash prizes.

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in an exciting, university-led invention competition

Each year, we bring together the nation’s most promising college students to showcase, recognize and reward their cutting-edge research and discoveries.

Review our application process

To enter CIC, you’ll need to fill out our online application form. Here’s what you’ll be asked to provide:

  • Your student information
  • An essay including a brief description or abstract of your invention
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty adviser or professional reference
  • A literature/patent search and summary
  • Any relevant supporting or supplemental materials you wish to submit, such as charts, graphs, videos, articles, samples, etc.

Make sure you’re eligible to compete

Individual Eligibility
Any full-time student enrolled in a U.S. college or university is eligible to enter. A full-time student is anyone who had been enrolled full-time between June 2019 and June 2020.

Team Eligibility
In the case of a team, at least one member of the team must be enrolled as a full-time student. The remaining team members must be enrolled as full-time or part-time students. A part-time student is anyone who has been enrolled part-time between June 2019 and June 2020.

Non-U.S. citizens are eligible, as long as they are enrolled in a U.S. college or university and can meet the student eligibility status.

Entries are ineligible if (1) the invention has already been patented or disclosed by another party/inventor, or (2) you have been issued a patent for the invention more than one year prior to the date of submission to the competition.

For questions about eligibility requirements, please contact us at [email protected].

Follow our tips for a compelling entry

  1. Be clear.

    It’s essential to articulate as clearly as possible what your invention is and why it is an invention. The judges are interested in learning exactly what you are contributing to the ideas and technology in your field. Also, keep in mind spelling and grammatical errors will affect how your entry is judged.

  2. Be concise.

    To achieve the best score possible, cover all requested information but avoid jargon and unnecessary materials that could detract from your entry. The more concise you are, the better.

  3. Be convincing.

    It’s up to you to convince the judges that your entry is the best among the many outstanding inventions they will see. Remember, while our judges are experienced researchers, they may not be familiar with your unique project or specialty. Be sure to describe your work in a clear and positive manner. As an example, keep your work along the lines of what you’ve seen published in Scientific American or Nature.

We’re here to help you through the entry process. Call 800-968-4332 and choose option 5, or email us at [email protected].