RESNA > Events > 2024 Student Design Challenge > SDC FAQs

Student Design Challenge: Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the Student Design Challenge? Read below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding this student competition.

My team has been chosen as a finalist to present in-person at the conference. What are the specific requirements of my team?

You will be expected to attend a live judging event with the SDC judges, the RESNA Awards Ceremony, and represent your design at a booth within the Experience Hall.

My team has been chosen as a finalist to present in-person at the conference. What are the specific guidelines regarding the presentation?

As far as the format of the presentation, each finalist team will receive correspondence from RESNA’s office requesting a pre-recorded video of your presentation and instructions on how to do so. On the day of final judging at the conference, these presentations will be played for the judges and the audience one at a time. After each team presentation, the judges will ask each team questions in a live format.

Should I bring my product to the conference?

Yes! It is always beneficial to bring your physical product for a live demonstration.

Regarding content:

  • Each finalist team is allowed to and encouraged to present on any updates you have made to your project since the original submission. The overall idea is to cover the contents of your submitted Design Brief and focus on areas that may highlight why your design is: innovative, adaptive, accessible, beneficial, and unlike available designs.
  • Historically, judges like to know that market research has been done by the team and that the team is able to defend why the submitted design is different from the current products on the market. It is also beneficial to show any user testing done – the judges always love seeing that the team is remembering to design for the people they are serving each step of the way. 

If my team has been selected as a finalist to present in-person at RESNA 2023, how many team members may present?

Up to two team members may present in-person at the conference. The prize package which includes a free 1-year membership to RESNA and a conference registration will have a limit of how many team members will be given this prize.

Since uploading our design brief, we have worked more on the project and have improved the design. Would it be recommended that we show the new content in the final presentation?

You are allowed to and encouraged to present on any updates you have made since your initial design submission.

Would the students own the rights to the design?  For example, if a company shows interest in the design as a real product, are the students contacted about that interest?  How are the students' designs protected?  Have any of the previous competition winners experienced companies wanting to advance their idea?

SDC teams still own the rights to their design though if they are pursuing patents presenting at the conference may affect this process so please consult legal counsel for specific questions about pursuing patents. In the past, we have had teams specifically tell us which information they did not want to disclose publicly at conference (final round teams are invited to present at the live final judging at the RESNA annual conference). That said, if ownership is a concern for any of your student teams, I would recommend that they speak with the legal/tech transfer office at your university. If a company is interested in one of the products submitted, the SDC team can interact with the company directly.

We are planning on entering the SDC and would like to know if the design briefs will be published publically or if they will only be shared with the judges. In other words, will we be disclosing our IP by entering the competition? 

The judges will have access to information about each of the projects that are submitted, however, RESNA will keep the submission not available publicly if IP disclosure is of concern to your students’ team and you notify us of this concern. You are responsible for letting RESNA know of this request. Please note that if your project is to be chosen as one of the finalists, you will be asked to present your project in a live format (either in-person or virtual), and the project information will be shared on our website and in press releases - If you are a finalist team and have IP disclosure concerns, please make adjustments to the final stage presentation appropriately.

For teams with IP disclosure concerns, will the team have the opportunity to cater that open-audience “public” presentation such that it is non-disclosing if they are selected? 

Yes, all finalist teams will have an opportunity to prepare their final stage presentation and documentation between the time they are notified of their selection as finalist and the RESNA annual conference (about 6-8 weeks turnaround time). Please note, each team can choose to not disclose some of the private information at any time during the competition process. This means each team can also do this in their full submission, I would advise that if the aspects that are innovative are the more “private info”, it would be to their benefit to wow the judges by disclosing it in their full submission but ultimately it is up to them how much information they disclose.

If my team has IP disclosure concerns, would we be able to hide internal components of our design if we are selected as finalists to present and focus on what the design can do rather than how it works? In other words, could we show a demonstration with the inner workings of the device hidden?

Yes, you are allowed to choose what and how much you share regarding your project at the final public presentation at the conference. Please keep in mind, if the internal components are the innovative aspects that will “wow” the judges that get you to the final stages, choosing to not disclose that information could reflect on your judging but you are not required to share any specific information. That is left to your team’s discretion. 

Is this an International competition?

Yes, this is an international competition. The SDC is open to students from all over the world. We frequently have several representatives from India and South Korea. In 2021 we had a team from Canada and Switzerland as well.

Is there anywhere we may be able to view example presentations from past conferences?

Yes, you can find past projects here.

Below are some pointers leading up to your final judging for SDC finalists:

  • Submission tips & advice:
    • Historically, the SDC judges have prioritized these aspects of a submission:
      • Has the team has tested their product with an end user, or have they received end-user feedback
      • Has market research been completed?
  • Pre-recorded presentation:
    • You should have received correspondence from RESNA’s office regarding how to pre-record your presentation. On the day of the live final judging, these pre-recorded presentations will be played for the judges one at a time. Then after each team presentation, the judges will ask the teams questions in a live format. For logistics information, please reach out to RESNA office at info@resna.org.
  •  Live judging helpful tips & advice:
    • You are allowed to and encouraged to present on any updates you have made since your initial design submission.
    • Think ahead: you may be asked about future plans for your project.
    • The overall idea is to cover the contents of your submitted Design Brief.
    • Focus on areas that may highlight why your design is: innovative, adaptive, accessible, beneficial, and unlike available designs.
    • Judges like to know that market research has been done, so please be prepare to defend why the submitted design is different from the current products on the market.
    • It is always beneficial to show any user testing: it is crucial that you, as the design team, is remembering to design for the people you are serving each step of the way.
    • It is always beneficial to have a physical product or device to demo at the live judging.

Please contact the RESNA office at info@resna.org with any other questions regarding the SDC.

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