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 gather at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, where they meet 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 USPTO, 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 both the Graduate and Undergraduate categories.

Enter the Competition

Entries for the 2022 Collegiate Inventors Competition are closed. Check back in the spring for information on the 2023 competition.

Meet our 2022 Judges

NIHF Inductees

JD Albert

Electronic Ink
2016 NIHF Inductee

Sylvia Blankenship, Ph.D.

1-MCP for Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Freshness
2022 NIHF Inductee

Eric R. Fossum, Ph.D.

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

Marcian "Ted" Hoff, Ph.D.

Microprocessor
1996 NIHF Inductee

Lonnie Johnson, D.Sc

Super Soaker®
2022 NIHF Inductee

Don Keck, Ph.D.

Optical Fiber
1993 Inductee

Alois Langer, Ph.D.

Implantable Defibrillator
2002 NIHF Inductee

Victor Lawrence, Ph.D.

Signal Processing in Telecommunications
2016 NIHF Inductee

Radia Perlman, Ph.D.

Robust Network Routing and Bridging
2016 NIHF Inductee

Steve Sasson, D.Sc.

Digital Camera
2011 Inductee

Gary Sharp, Ph.D.

Polarization-Control Technology
2015 Inductee

Jim West, D.Sc.

Electret Microphone
1999 Inductee