Introduced in 1990, the Collegiate Inventors Competition has recognized, rewarded, and encouraged hundreds of students to share their inventive ideas with the world. The Competition promotes exploration in invention, science, engineering, technology, and other creative endeavors and provides a window on the technologies from which society will benefit in the future.


Eligible entries must:

  • Represent the original idea and work of a student or team of no more than four students with mentorship from a university advisor.
  • Be submitted by students who meet our full-time eligibility requirement.
    • Individual entrants must be enrolled as full-time students in any U.S. college or university for at least part of the 12-month period prior to entry.
    • Teams must include at least one member who meets this requirement, and all remaining members must be enrolled at least part-time at some point during the 12-month period prior to entry.
  • Be complete, workable and well-articulated.
    • For example, there must be evidence the invention has been reduced to practice.
  • Prove capable of being reproduced.
  • Be submitted in English.


The entry must be the original idea and work product of a student or team of students with his or her university advisor and must not have been (1) made available to the public as a commercial product or process, (2) described in extensive detail in a publication more than one year prior to the date of submission, or (3) issued a patent more than one year prior to the date of submission. On rare occasion, exceptions may be made to allow the submission of significant recent improvements to matter patented or published more than one year prior to submission of the application. The entry submitted must be written in English.

The invention, a reduced-to-practice idea or working prototype, must be the work of a student or team of students with his or her university advisor. If it is a machine, it must be operable. If it is a chemical, it must be complete with evidence of successful application of the idea. If it is a new plant, color photographs or slides must be included in the submission. If a new or original ornamental design for an article of manufacture is submitted, the entire design must be included in the application. In addition, the invention should be capable of being reproduced.

Do not send your invention. Finalists will be notified and given instructions to send any necessary documentation. A university transcript must be provided at that time to verify student status.


$100,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to the top three entries in each division. Advisors of winning entries receive cash prizes as well. Other prizes may be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

Scholarship Website:http://www.invent.org/collegiate/