Frequently asked questions
ENTERING THE AWARD
Q) Why should I enter the James Dyson Award?
A) Many reasons! You could be in with the chance of winning either in your country or internationally. There's also the prestige: the Award will celebrate and publicise your work on a global platform. Your project will have its own display page on the James Dyson Award website – a place that you can direct friends, family and even prospective employers.
Q) Who can enter the James Dyson Award?
A) Entrants must be, or have been within the last four years, undergraduate / bachelor or postgraduate engineering or design students for at least one semester at an institution in a country chosen to participate in the JDA and are required to provide evidence as requested by the JDF. In case of team entries, at least one team member must fulfil the above eligibility criteria for the team to be able to participate in the James Dyson Award. All other team members must be currently university level students or have graduated within the last 4 years at an institution in a country chosen to participate in the JDA, but may be (or have been) students of other disciplines. They will also be required to provide evidence proving their student or alumni status:
a. A copy of a signed letter from your tutor or lecturer stating you attend(ed) a particular course within a particular university
b. Your degree certificate
c. A letter from the University to you confirming your place and degree title
If in doubt of your eligibility – get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q) I’m a mature student. Can I enter the James Dyson Award?
A) Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria above.
Q) Why is my country not participating in the James Dyson Award?
A) The Award is still relatively new but it is already running in 18 countries where we have suitable means to support it. If the Award is extended to more countries, it will be mentioned in future competition’s Terms and conditions.
Q) I studied jewellery/graphic/fashion/etc design – can I enter?
A) Sorry, the award is only open to university level students studying in the fields of product design, industrial design and engineering.
Q) What countries are participating in the James Dyson Award?
A) Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and USA.
Q) Can I enter as part of a team?
A) Yes, team projects are judged in the same way as individual projects. Should a team win, the prize money is split between the team members.
Q) Can I only enter one project – or can I submit all my best designs?
A) You can enter as many designs as you like. The winning project is judged on the basis of merit, regardless of the designer.
Q) I'm French, but studied and developed my project at a university in Singapore. Which country does my entry get allocated to?
A) The James Dyson Award is about celebrating young designers, but equally it's about rewarding the educators who invested in you to help you get to where you have. That's why we’re offering an equal prize to the university department that inspired and encouraged the work. So your entry would be tagged to Singapore, not France.
Q) I haven't made a prototype of my product – does that mean I can't enter?
A) No. We understand that it’s unfeasible to expect every great design idea to be prototyped at university easily. But having evidence of a working prototype (in images and video) will greatly help your chances – the judges will have abetter idea of how (and if) it works.
Q) What do I have to submit to have the chance of winning the James Dyson Award?
A) You will need:
· Three paragraphs in both English and your mother tongue if different, covering the function, inspiration and development of your product.
· Up to 10 images showing the development process of your design: early sketches, rudimentary prototypes, detailed CAD renderings (optional), and the finished product on a white background (up to 3 Mb each)
· A video (uploaded via YouTube) showing your development journey and ideally a prototype in action. This is strongly recommended, but not mandatory.
· Proof of eligibility. See above for further details.
Q) What are you looking for in a good entry?
A) We're looking for ideas that:
1. demonstrate a significant and practical purpose, offering real benefits to the end user
2. are viable; incorporate clever yet simple engineering principles that make an invention work.
3. are ideally working prototypes or have been tested using crude models
4. are commercially viable
5. have been designed with sustainability in mind
Q) Will I be expected to do publicity?
A) Yes. By agreeing to the terms and conditions of the award, you are accepting that your story, project details, images and footage can be used for publicity purposes. You may be invited to take part in some publicity opportunities in person, for example interviews put forward to you by the James Dyson Foundation. You have the right to decline any opportunity which you do not wish to be involved with in person. However, the Foundation may still use your story, project details, images and footage to satisfy media opportunities which will result in PR for the Foundation and exposure for you and your design.
Q) I want to keep my entry secret. Can I still enter the Award?
A) The structure of the competition means it is not possible for your entry to be kept secret. The James Dyson Award is about celebrating young designers and we couldn’t do this without your designs and stories. Your entry will be published on themes Dyson Award website and may be used for publicity purposes. It is your responsibility to seek advice and protection from your local Patent or Intellectual Property office before submitting your entry.
Q) Where does the £10,000 prize go to within my university?
A) It's offered to your design department through which you are eligible to enter the JDA, as a cash prize or piece of equipment up to the same value. The prize will not be given to individuals; rather it will be donated to the department to further educational opportunities in design and engineering.
Q) Surely I can't compete against the rest of the world? I've got no chance of winning!
A) Everyone has an equal chance of winning the James Dyson Award – it will be awarded to the student with the best project. Plus, you’ve got a chance to win at a National level too. Each design is judged on its merit – rather than its origin or designer. And even if you don't win anything, there's still a good chance that your entry to the James Dyson Award will get you some great exposure throughout the international media and design community.
THE JUDGING PROCESS
Q) How is my project judged?
A) Entries will be reviewed through a number of stages:
· Stage 1: A panel of design and engineering professors and professionals in each of the 18 participating countries
· Stage 2: A panel of Dyson design engineers
· James Dyson will choose the final winner, informed by the international judges.
Q) How many winners will there be, and what's the prize?
There will be one International Winner, and one National Winner in each country participating in the James Dyson Award. The prizes the Winners and Finalists will receive include -
- £30,000 for the student or student team
- £10,000 for the student’s university department
- James Dyson Award trophy and certificate
Two International Runners-up:
- £10,000 each
- James Dyson Award certificate
- £2,000 each
- James Dyson Award certificate
Up to nine National Finalists from each country:
- James Dyson Award certificate.
Q) Will there be an award ceremony?
A) Due to the international nature of the James Dyson Award, we don’t plan to hold an award ceremony. However, we will be still be announcing the winner of the James Dyson Award to the international press.
THE JAMES DYSON FOUNDATION AND DYSON
Q) What is the James Dyson Foundation?
A) We're a registered charity dedicated to encouraging more young people into design engineering. To find out more visit www.jamesdysonfoundation.com
Q) What's the relationship between the James Dyson Award and Dyson?
A) The James Dyson Award is administered and run by the James Dyson Foundation, which has the mission of encouraging young people to fulfil their potential to become designers or engineers. There is a clear distinction between the goals of James Dyson Foundation, a philanthropic entity, and Dyson the commercial business. There is also an obvious relationship - the James Dyson Foundation is funded through Dyson profit; it benefits from having James Dyson acting as the chair of the board of trustees and it is able to tap into resources that Dyson can offer, for example its engineers who volunteer to assist with the educational work of the James Dyson Foundation.
Q) Will Dyson profit from my ideas?
A) No. As stated in the terms and conditions, you will retain the rights to any intellectual property surrounding your idea. The aim of the James Dyson Award, run through Dyson’s charity the James Dyson Foundation, is to give young design engineers the helping hand they need to showcase their ideas on a global stage and get exposure which will enable them to make contacts and push their work forward. Dyson will not take on your idea.
Q) Will I get a job at Dyson if I win?
A) The James Dyson Award is funded by the James Dyson Foundation – a charity. The intention is to encourage more young people into design engineering, not to recruit for Dyson the company. That said, the Award raises the profile of participating young design engineers and there are a number of past entrants who have subsequently applied for jobs at Dyson and still work there happily today. If you are interested in working for Dyson, please visit www.careers.dyson.com
Q) Can the Dyson team visit my university?
A) Each year the James Dyson Foundation organises a number design engineering lectures and workshops in schools and universities around the world. We plan these events up to a year in advance and while we would always like to do more, we are a small team. Instead, we offer a number of free educational resources, please visit www.jamesdysonfoundation.com.
Q) What happened to the Dyson Design Award in my country?
A) The James Dyson Award now sits under the James Dyson Foundation, Dyson’s charitable arm, and we’ve got ambitions to grow the award, year on year. That’s why we’ve moved from separate awards to one international award. The changes make the award consistent and fair as students in every country are working to the same brief and entries will be judged purely on their merit. The new James Dyson Award is also more wide reaching thanks to the scope of the website. And there’s a bigger prize and more global recognition in store for the winner.
Q) Why can’t I read entries in my own language?
A) When a student enters a project, they are asked to submit their written content in both English and their mother tongue. This is so our international judging panel will be able to understand the submission, and judge it accordingly. If your own language isn’t the same as the competitor’s, you’ll be able to see their content in the default language - English.