In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) will be held virtually. Please contact [email protected] with any questions.


The Collegiate Inventors Competition Judging Process

Find out how we determine the winners.

Judging is completed in two rounds

Round 1

Each Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) entry is reviewed by our initial judging panel made up of scientists, researchers and experts in a variety of fields.

The Judges’ collective scores and rankings, along with data collected by independent researchers, are used by the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) to determine the Finalists. 

All Finalists are notified two months before the final judging round. 

Round 2

In October, Finalist teams meet virtually with our final judging panel to formally present the work they’ve done to bring their extraordinary inventions to life.

The final judging panel consists of NIHF Inductees and special guest Judges, which have included intellectual property experts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Abbott Laboratories, among others.

Following the Finalists’ presentations, the Judges deliberate and select the winners in each category.

Enter the Competition

The 2021 Collegiate Inventors Competition is now open for entries! Applications are due by June 7.

Meet our 2020 Judges

NIHF Inductees

Eric R. Fossum

CMOS Active Pixel Image Sensor Camera-on-a-Chip
2011 NIHF Inductee

Marcian "Ted" Hoff

1996 NIHF Inductee

Frances Ligler

Portable Optical Biosensors
2017 NIHF Inductee

Sumita Mitra

​​​​​​Nanocomposite Dental Materials
​​​​​​​2018 NIHF Inductee

Radia Perlman

Robust Network Routing and Bridging
2016 NIHF Inductee

Steve Sasson

Digital Camera
2011 NIHF Inductee

Spencer Silver

Post-it® Notes
2010 NIHF Inductee

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Jackie Cheng

Supervisory Patent Examiner

Scarlett Goon

Technology Center 1600 Quality Assurance Specialist