Must the award money be used for research?
No, it's an unrestricted cash gift.
How many awards are there each year?
There is only one $30,000 Lemelson Illinois Student Prize presented each year.
Am I competing against students at MIT or other schools?
You are only competing against fellow University of Illinois students. MIT administers their own competition and awards their own prize. Our $30,000 prize is only awarded to an Illinois student.
Are there any requirements for the winner?
The winner is required to attend a press conference and reception in March of 2013. In addition to presenting the winning idea at the press conference event, the Technology Entrepreneur Center would like to engage the winner with high schools in Illinois and around the nation. We also encourage the winner to attend a Lemelson-MIT Awards event (though this is not required).
Do I have to be in the College of Engineering to apply?
No. We accept applications from any senior or graduate student on campus regardless of major or college. Winning applications are not based on your major but are based on the innovation and inventiveness you present in your application.
Who is eligible to apply?
All students are eligible to compete. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the academic year in which the award will be presented.
When is the deadline?
5:00pm on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. We will not accept applications after this time. There are no exceptions.
Am I required to have a patent?
Do I forfeit my intellectual property rights by submitting an application?
Generally, no. We use only titles and short descriptions of inventions for public relations purposes. Additionally, the judging panel will be asked to keep in mind that student applications are distributed solely for the purpose of evaluation for the Lemelson Illinois Student Prize and should not be reproduced for other purposes.
However, please be aware that you will be barred from obtaining patent protection, if the patent application is filed more than one year after a "publication" that may permit a person reasonably skilled in the field to make the invention based upon your application. In addition, you will be barred from obtaining patent protection in foreign countries.
Please consult the Illinois policies relating to intellectual property, the Office of Technology Management, and the USPTO to ensure protection of your intellectual property.
Who are the judges?
The judges’ panel is comprised of Illinois alumni and entrepreneurs as well as faculty members representing diverse areas of expertise across several colleges and departments.