The $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize is awarded annually to outstanding mid-career inventors who have developed a patented product or process of significant value to society, which has been adopted for practical use (or has a high probability of being adopted).


  • be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  • be mid-career, which is defined as having received their bachelor’s degree no more than twenty-five years ago. A nominee for the 2019 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize must have received their bachelor’s degree in 1994 or later.
  • be named on two or more granted U.S. patents, one of which is a product or process that has been commercialized or has potential or realized adoption. Note: While we require two patents to be eligible, on average our winners have at least ten.
  • serve as an inspiration to young people, through their creativity, outreach, or mentoring activities.

Candidates may be individuals or two collaborating inventors, and they must be nominated by one of their peers.

How to Apply

Candidates must be nominated by a peer by November 30, 2018. Nominations are made via our online SlideRoom portal, which can be accessed by clicking the “Nominate” button on the Lemelson-MIT Prize website. Nominators may be assisted by another person who can enter the nomination information in SlideRoom and consult with Lemelson-MIT staff if questions arise. Further details regarding what is to be included in the nomination are below and on the SlideRoom nomination site.

Award Process and Timeline

First Round submissions are due from nominators by November 30, 2018. Nominators whose nominees pass the First Round eligibility requirements will be notified by early-December 2018 and will be asked to complete a Second Round submission by January 18, 2019. A screening committee composed of MIT affiliates reviews all nominations and selects finalists.

Nominators whose nominees pass the Second Round submission review will be notified by March 20, 2019, and will be asked to develop a Final Round submission that is due by April 26, 2019. A national jury composed of experts from science, engineering, medicine, technology, and business then selects the winner from the finalist pool. The award winner will be notified in late spring 2019 and announced in the fall of 2019. Winners will be invited and encouraged to participate in Lemelson-MIT Program activities.

For more information, visit the Lemelson-MIT Program website