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Student Prize
Application Guidelines

First, candidates must register.

Second, after completing your candidate contact information, please fill in each of the application sections, carefully adhering to the instructions:

As a courtesy to the distinguished individuals who volunteer their time to help make the prize competition possible, we ask that you strictly observe all of the guidelines for submission. Please note that applications that do not follow instructions will be disqualified from consideration. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Application Sections for ALL Applicants:

Cover Letter:
Please write a one-page "Executive Summary," giving the reader a brief snapshot of: 

  • You (or your team)
  • Your main focus as an inventor (or team of inventors)
  • Leadership and Youth mentoring experience

Description of Inventiveness

Describe your “portfolio of inventiveness” (graduate students) or invention (undergraduate team) in 1000 words or less, addressing the following:

  • Define the problems/needs and how your invention(s) offers solutions.
  • What makes your invention(s) novel?
  • How does your invention(s) improve upon prior technology or processes?
  • What are the potential economic, environmental and societal benefits of your invention(s)?
  • If you have worked in team environments, what was your role in developing key inventions?
  • How do you envision your invention(s) being commercialized, or possessing the potential for adoption?

For IP purposes, please be sure to address:

  • What is the background of each inventor including education and any relevant job experience?
  • What were the roles and responsibilities of each inventor particularly with regard to the invention?
  • What is the problem that the invention(s) is trying to solve?
  • How did the problem come to the inventors’ attention?  
  • How did the inventors decide that this was an important problem to work on?
  • What problem solutions were attempted and how were they developed and tested?

Add content from your resume / CV to the online application form.

Letter of Recommendation 
One letter of recommendation from a faculty or research-scientist staff is required. Each letter should be addressed to Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition Committee, limited to two pages or less, and:

  • Describe the significance of the applicant's invention(s)/innovation(s) to the field
  • State the student's role in developing the invention(s)
  • Define the state-of-the-art status in the area of the invention(s)
  • Describe potential implications of the student's work

Two other pertinent supporting materials may be provided, such as videos, professional articles, photos, diagrams, and press clippings. 

Application Section for Finalists Only.
(These extra materials from Finalists will be due February 14th, 2014)

Applicants who make it past the first screening round (a.k.a. “Finalists”), will be asked to produce and submit a short, two-minute screencast using Camtasia, that describes their primary invention and the impact that it has had or could have on the economy. 

Screencast Guidelines:

  • Tailor the video to a youth audience
  • Size is limited to 50MB 
  • Creativity is encouraged!
  • DO NOT USE ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS (music, images, video, etc.) without the explicit written permission for use from the copyright holder. 

Letters of Recommendation 

  • Finalists will be asked to submit two additional letters

Please Note: If/ when a candidate is selected as a prize recipient, some (non-confidential) information presented in their applications will be used to prepare public educational materials.

If you have questions after carefully reviewing all of the instructions, and FAQ section, please contact the Lemelson-MIT Program at lemelson_awards@mit.edu

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