Official Rules


  • Competition submission constitutes an agreement by the Entrant to adhere to the rules, requirements, and conditions set forth by the Competition Sponsor (the National Science Foundation [NSF]) and Organizer (the American Institute of Biological Sciences [AIBS]).

  • Any Entrant found to be in violation of any rules will be disqualified.

  • If the selected winner fulfills all of the Level 4 Achievements (but not all of Levels 5 or 6), they will be awarded $500,000 USD. If the selected winner fulfills all of the Level 5 Achievements (but not all of Level 6), they will be awarded $750,000 USD. If the selected winner fulfills all of the Levels of Achievements set forth for the Competition, including all of the Level 6 parameters, they will be awarded $1,000,000 USD. Only one winner for the Competition will be selected. A maximum of $1,000,000 USD will be awarded, depending on the level of accomplishment achieved by the winner.

  • No Entrant may use the logo or official seal of the National Science Foundation or the American Institute of Biological Sciences in their submission, and must not claim endorsement by the Sponsor, the Organizer, or the Beyond the Box Innovation Competition.

  • Any submission materials received by the Organizer that were not requested in the official entry form will not be provided to the judges.

  • Per 15 USC Sec. 3719 - Prize competitions:
    "An individual or entity [defined as "Entrant" for this competition] shall not be deemed ineligible under subsection (g) because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the competition on an equitable basis."

  • All federal, state, and local laws must be followed.

  • By submitting to the Competition, each Entrant warrants that he or she (or a member of the team) is the author and owner of any copyrightable works and/or possess any necessary intellectual property rights associated with the submission, that the works are original with the Entrant (or are an improved version of already existing work that the Entrant has rights to use and improve upon), and that the Entrant does not violate or infringe any copyright, intellectual property, or other rights of any third party, as protected under U.S. law.

  • AIBS and NSF have no responsibility for any proprietary information or intellectual property submitted to the Competition.

  • Each Entrant retains full ownership of their submission.

  • The Sponsor and Organizer reserve the right to disqualify any Entrant from the Competition for entering any submission that is not his or her own.

  • By participating in the Competition, each Entrant grants to the Sponsor a limited, non- exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license and right to reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, and use images and/or videos associated with the submission to the degree required to administer the Competition, and to publicly perform and publicly display the Submission, including, without limitation, for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Competition.

  • AIBS, NSF, and Beyond the Box Innovation Competition reserve the right to use semifinalist and finalist winners' names, likenesses, associated institutions, team names, and entries for educational publicity as well as promotional purposes, including promotion on Web sites and in press releases, exhibition of the winning Entrant, etc. It is understood that entries will be shared with reporters covering these awards and for promotion of the Competition.

  • The Winner is responsible for all taxes and other fees connected with the prize received as well as any travel that might be paid for by the Sponsors.

  • Per 15 USC Sec. 3719, by participating in this Competition, each Entrant agrees to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the federal government and its related entities and the American Institute of Biological Sciences, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in this Competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise. By participating in this Competition, each Entrant agrees to indemnify the federal government and the American Institute of Biological Sciences against third party claims for damages arising from or related to Competition activities.

  • All Entrants agree that they, their heirs and estates shall hold harmless the United States, the employees of the federal government, and all employees of AIBS for any and all injuries and/or claims arising from participation in this Competition, to include those that may occur while traveling to or participating in Competition activities.

  • NSF and AIBS are not be responsible for any claims or complaints from third parties should the entries be published or exhibited.

  • AIBS and NSF reserve the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, for any reason, at their discretion.

  • If an insufficient number of qualified entries are received, the Sponsors have the right to modify or cancel the Competition prior to announcing any winners.

  • The Competition Sponsor and Organizer reserve the right to update, amend and augment rules, should that be necessary to ensure a fair and open Competition. Any and all modifications will be publically announced and noticed on the Web site and sent to the email addresses that have been provided to the Sponsor and Organizer for all interested, potential, or actual Entrants.

  • As this Innovation Competition is, in part, designed to stimulate innovation and develop a new resource for solving a national problem, the winning Entrant agrees to explore with the Organizer and Sponsor opportunities for making the winning submission available to help digitize the nation's insect specimens.

  • The Competition Sponsor and Organizer, at their discretion, have the right to disqualify any Entrant from the Competition if they believe that the Entrant displays what would be considered inappropriate practices; undermines the Competition through cheating, deception, and/or any other unfair action; and/or threatens, intimidates, abuses, or harasses the Competition Sponsor, the Competition Organizer, any other Entrants, or the judges.

For full contest rules, visit the Complete Contest Rules and Materials section.



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