To be considered, you MUST:

  • Carry out original research – that which conveys an innovative idea or new perspective – on a topic of interest within one of the competition categories. Note: This means that rather than writing a summary essay, you are presenting a novel analysis or perspective.

  • Follow the Submission Process outlined in the 2017-2018 Student Application Handbook (to be published in the Fall).

To participate in MIT INSPIRE, you MUST meet ALL of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You MUST be enrolled into an accredited high school program or be a student of home or private education and working towards a G.E.D. (high school diploma).
  • You MUST be under the age of 19.
  • You MUST be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Children of MIT faculty and staff are eligible to participate, as long as their parent or guardian is not part of the judging committee.
  • You may submit a project either individually or with one partner.
  • The submission must reflect your own work.
  • You may enter no more than one project.
  • You may choose to conduct research at an institution such as a university, library or corporate setting. Such projects are eligible as long as your mentor certifies that the submission reflects your own work.
  • Your project must not involve personal risk to any individuals (including the student) or animals, or damage to others’ property. Submitted work should not include any dangerous or harmful materials.
  • Projects directly involving living or non-living animals, or any parts thereof, are not eligible.
  • Projects involving human subjects must meet the requirements outlined in the “Eligibility of Projects Involving Human Subjects” section.
  • Late submissions, incomplete submissions, submissions involving plagiarism, submissions that do not reflect your own work, submissions involving harmful or dangerous materials or methods, submissions that do not abide by the guidelines of the INSPIRE competition, or submissions that violate any federal or state laws will not be accepted.

To compete for prizes, Finalists must submit additional forms and be able and willing to participate in the final round of the INSPIRE competition in person at MIT. Whether or not a student is selected as a Finalist, the student retains ownership of his or her own work.

All decisions by MIT INSPIRE judges are final.

The MIT INSPIRE competition does not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, and/or disability.