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Frequently asked questions


We've pulled together the most common questions here.

Due to the international nature of the James Dyson Award there is no award ceremony. However, we will announce the winner of the James Dyson Award to the international press and this often includes on air media opportunities for the winner.

Not automatically. The James Dyson Award is funded by the charitable James Dyson Foundation. The foundation and award exist to inspire the next generation of design engineers, whether you want to work at Dyson or elsewhere.

The award is not an exercise in talent recruitment for Dyson, but it can help raise your profile as a budding design engineer, and if you dream of working for Dyson you can apply online. If successful, you’ll join a number of past award entrants on the payroll.

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 also be invited to take part in publicity opportunities in person or by phone or email. These requests will be handled by the James Dyson Foundation and your personal details will not be shared directly with journalists unless you have granted permission to do so. You have the right to decline any opportunity which you do not wish to be involved with directly, whether in person or via phone or email. However, the James Dyson Foundation may still use your story, project details, images and footage for media opportunities which will result in exposure for the Foundation, you and your design.

The James Dyson Award is administered and run by the James Dyson Foundation, an international charity dedicated to encouraging young people to realize their engineering potential. There is a clear distinction between the goals of the James Dyson Foundation, a philanthropic entity, and Dyson the commercial business. But there is also a relationship in that the James Dyson Foundation is funded through Dyson profits – 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, Dyson engineers volunteer their time to assist with the educational work of the James Dyson Foundation, including judging and selecting the Top 20 James Dyson Award entries each year.

No. You will retain the rights to any intellectual property surrounding your idea. Dyson will not steal your idea, ever. The James Dyson Award could, instead, help you find contacts that can push your design into market.

Each year the James Dyson Foundation organises a number of design engineering lectures and workshops in schools and universities around the world. We typically plan these events up to a year in advance. We’d love to do more but we’re quite a small team. However, we’re happy to consider your request if you contact us. You might also find some of the resources and tools on our website helpful.

The Award is only open to product design, industrial design and engineering students (or recent graduates). If your field of study was something else, you can enter as part of a team – but your team leader will need to have studied in one of the qualifying subjects.

We can only run the James Dyson Award in countries or regions where we have the suitable means to support it. We hope to add more countries to the James Dyson Award in future, when we can. When we do, we’ll update our Terms and Conditions.

Yes, but you should only enter each project once.

Only If your project has significantly developed or changed since you entered it previously.

Yes. There are no age restrictions, as long as you meet the criteria about student/recent graduate status.

Yes, you can enter a project even if it as at the latter stages of the design process or is already on the market.

Yes. We appreciate that prototyping is not always feasible while studying. That said, prototypes can help when explaining your design in images and video, and will give the judges a better idea of how (and if) it works.

Unfortunately, no. Our aim is to celebrate and raise awareness for young designers and we can’t do this without your designs and stories. Your entry will be published on the James Dyson Award website and may be used for publicity purposes. If you're worried your idea might be stolen by someone else, we suggest you seek advice from your local patent or intellectual property office before entering.

The sustainability winner is handpicked by James Dyson. It represents the best entry in the Dyson engineers’ top 20 shortlist that addresses a sustainability issue or has incorporated sustainability into the design process, materials or manufacturing.

Both the international winner and sustainability winner are handpicked by James Dyson from the Dyson engineers’ top 20 shortlist. The international winner is the best entry that meets the competition brief. The sustainability winner is an additional prize awarded to the best entry that addresses a sustainability issue, or has incorporated sustainability into its design process, materials or manufacturing. Each receive a prize of £30,000 and are announced at the same time.

No, the sustainability winner is the best sustainability-related entry submitted to the James Dyson Award and is chosen by James Dyson. It is not part of a separate competition.

Yes, all national finalists are considered for the top 20 shortlist.

We understand the current restrictions as a result of Covid-19 mean entrants may be unable to complete their prototypes or may have faced more challenges working with team members. Our judges are looking for great ideas that address clear problems and employ clever engineering principles. Prototypes are required to enter the competition, but they can be basic and made from cardboard. Our judges will be looking for clear explanations of how a product works and how it has been developed. Entrants may want to consider the use of sketches and drawings to help convey this information in the absence of full prototypes.

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