VIP Innovation Competition 2022 - Judging Categories and Rubric

Judging Categories

The Innovation Competition judging categories draw on the "Heilmeir Questions." George Heilmeir (LCD pioneer) posited that anyone proposing a research project or product development should answer the 9 questions below.

Category Description Guiding Questions


The presentation should clearly and concisely describe the goals of the project and provide the audience with a foundation from which to understand the remaining presentation content.

What are you trying to do? Articulate objectives using absolutely no jargon.


Teams should demonstrate that they have a broad understanding of existing challenges/approaches and have made efforts to integrate new perspectives into a novel solution or approach.

How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?

What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?


Teams should demonstrate that they understand the context of the project in the real world and the needs of stakeholders who would benefit from the new approach.

Who cares?

If you are successful, what difference will it make?


Teams should demonstrate that they have considered factors necessary to transform the idea into an implementable solution and have identified reasonable markers for progress.

What are the risks?

How much will it cost?

How long will it take?

What are the mid-term and final criteria for success?

Presentation Effectiveness

The team's presentation should be organized, clear, and enthusiastic. It should provide useful visuals and keep the audience engaged.  


Judging Rubric

Category Inadequate Fair Good Exceeds Expectations


Does not describe the need that the project addresses or the project’s specific goals

Superficial explanation; key points are unclear

Provides explanation of goals but some details are unclear

Provides clear explanation of the problem being addressed and the goals of the project


No time spent on explaining existing solutions, novel approaches

Vague discussion of existing solutions and new approach

Discussion of problem/current solutions from a limited perspective

Suggests how this approach could be an improvement

Clearly addresses problem and existing solutions from multiple perspectives

Makes a compelling case that this approach is a significant improvement


No discussion of stakeholders (e.g., potential users/ customers/ beneficiaries), no explanation of broader impact

Mentions potential stakeholders with no obvious connection to project outcomes

Some discussion of how stakeholders could potentially benefit from project outcomes

Motivational, value-added discussion of how multiple stakeholders would benefit from the project’s success


Did not address risks, cost, timeframe, or measures of success

No demonstration of progress

Superficial or limited consideration of risks, cost, timeframe, measures of success

Limited discussion of progress

Good understanding of risks, cost, timeframe

Some attempt to incorporate measures of success

Demonstration of progress

Outstanding understanding of risks, cost, timeframe

valid, well-structured measures of success

Demonstration of progress

Presentation Effectiveness

Did not effectively use visuals; unenthusiastic and unclear presentation; lacked organization

Used some visuals, but lacked organization; some points unclear

Good use of visuals; clear presentation; fairly well organized

Excellent visuals

Engaging and clear presentation

Outstanding organization