Categories & Prizes
Applicants submit their inventions in categories that represent significant sectors of the economy that could be reimagined and improved through invention.
$10K to the winning undergraduate team in each category.
National media campaign and exposure to investment and business communities.
A paid trip to an awards celebration.
All 2021 Student Prize applicants must be full-time, matriculated, degree-seeking students in the fall semester of 2020 at any U.S. college or university. Postdocs, audit students, and alumni are not eligible.
Patents are encouraged but not required. Additionally, applicants should be able to outline examples of their involvement in youth mentoring and outreach activities, and are asked to consider environmental sustainability as a factor in their inventive work. For additional information on sustainability-focused inventing, we encourage applicants to review these helpful toolkits.
2021 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners are required to attend EurekaFest in mid-to-late June 2021 (dates TBD). For undergraduate team winners, at least one team member must attend. Attendance at EurekaFest is at the Lemelson-MIT Program’s expense. EurekaFest is a unique, inspiring opportunity for winners to interact with one another and the Lemelson-MIT high school InvenTeams.
If you are unsure about which category to apply to or have questions about your eligibility, please contact Janell Ciemiecki, Awards Program Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNDERGRADUATE TEAM PRIZE:
- An undergraduate team is composed of 2-5 members and is founded and led by an undergraduate student. Teams must have a tested prototype of one invention that fits into one of the four prize categories. Graduate students can be part of the undergraduate team, provided there is a majority of undergraduate team members. Individual undergraduate students cannot apply without a team. The student submitting the application will be considered the team lead and the main point of contact for anything application-related.
INDIVIDUAL GRADUATE PRIZE:
An individual graduate student must have at least two inventions with tested prototypes. Graduate students should choose a primary invention from their portfolio and apply to the prize category that best fits their primary invention. Their second and any additional (if applicable) inventions do not need to be in the same category as the primary invention. There is no graduate student team prize.
Selection Process & Key Dates
The 2021 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize features a two-part online application process, the Initial Application and the Category Application, using the SurveyMonkey Apply applicant portal. All applicants need to create a SurveyMonkey Apply account by clicking the “Apply Now” button below. Repeat applicants do not need to create a new SurveyMonkey Apply account and can login to the account that they previously created on the platform.
Applicants will be judged on the overall inventiveness of their work, the potential for commercialization/adoption of the invention(s), the systems and design thinking approach applied to the development of the invention(s), youth mentoring and leadership experience, and faculty recommendations. Category-specific screening committees review applications to select finalists and a prestigious national jury selects winners. Details appear below.
Note: dates are subject to change.
How to Apply
2017 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winner
Daniela Blanco, a PhD candidate at New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, is committed to creating positi
Marx Acosta-Rubio, Grant Christensen, and Hal Jones are undergraduate students at Brigham Young University (BYU) and co-fo
Five students from Carthage College hope to improve the safety of air and space travel.
Tzu-Chieh (Zijay) Tang has a passion for building sustainable technologies that are inspired by nature and hopes to help s
Shriya Srinivasan is a Schmidt Science Fellow and Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
The Augeo team is comprised of five undergraduate engineering students at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) who are solving p