Competition Rules


  • A competing team must consist entirely of undergraduate students.
  • A competing team must be led by a student who is currently registered at a participating university or college; that student will serve as the primary contact for the team.
  • There is no maximum number of teammates. Teams are encouraged to include members across different disciplines (e.g. physics, history, journalism, and computer science). Students may be members of more than one team.
  • Members of a team can be from a single participating institutions, or one or more participating institutions together with one or more nonparticipating universities or colleges.
  • Individual undergraduate students at participating institutions are also invited to enter the competition.
  • Part-time students are welcome to enter the competition provided they are either enrolled in a participating institution or a member of a team led by a student from a participating institution.
  • Students who are looking for teammates may use the “Find Teammates” link on our discussion board to find and recruit interested team members.
  • The competition coordinators will not become involved in disputes within teams.
  • All team members and all individual entrants must review, acknowledge, and agree to the competition rules. Submissions will otherwise be disqualified.


  • To enter, teams (or individuals) must fully complete and submit a registration form by the applicable deadline.


  • All deliverables and presentations are accessible to the public. Some of the presentations may also be recorded and made available on university sites or on the internet. It is also expected that media personnel will cover this competition. Any and all of these recordings or deliverables may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television, and the internet. The same material may also be made available to the printed media (newspapers, magazines, journals) for publication purposes. Any data or information discussed or divulged in the competition’s public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data of information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions. If a team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their deliverables or presentations, they must in advance obtain permission and authorization from the owners to use this material. Also, that material must be appropriately cited and credited.


  • Judges will review the fact sheets and select 10 to 12 finalist entries. The final judges will select the top six entrants based on their presentations and fact sheets.
  • The competition coordinators reserve the right to eliminate entrants based on non-compliance with rules or failure to submit mandatory deliverables. U of I students are required to comply with the UIUC Student Code,

No-show or non-provision of deliverables

  • Failure to show up to a scheduled event or failure to submit competition deliverables without prior notification of the competition coordinator (, will be understood as withdrawal from the competition. Team members who cannot attend a team presentation must notify fellow team members and the competition coordinator ( in advance so other arrangements can be made. Providing reasonable notice of cancellation and agreeing to other arrangements with the competition coordinator in advance of that activity will not count against your team.

Appeals, extensions, and exceptions

  • At the discretion of the competition coordinators, extensions and exceptions may be offered. The competition coordinators reserve the right to review appeals on a case-by-case basis and rule on them with decisions that may differ from the rules.


  • The competition coordinating team will use a variety of communication channels to convey information to participants and the public. It is the sole responsibility of participants to ensure that they have made note of the various submission deadlines and requirements as stipulated on the competition website.

Final Presentations

  • The shortlisted teams (or individuals) must present their solutions to the team of judges at the competition final award ceremony, planned at the Siebel Center for Design. (Depending on Covid-related measures, this ceremony might be presented virtually.) No stand-ins will be permitted for any team member. Providing reasonable notice of cancellation and agreeing to other arrangements with the competition coordinator ( in advance of that activity will not count against your team.
  • A team may use some or all of its participants as final presenters.  The time limit will remain as posted for each team’s total presentation.


  • Winning money will be evenly split among team members and directly deposited into their bank accounts, where possible. In some instances it may be necessary to transfer the funds to the team leader’s bank account; the team leader will be responsible for disbursing funds to team mates.