Guidelines & Judging Criteria


The Campus of the Future competition was open to all U-M students (all majors, undergraduate and graduate) who were enrolled and post-doctoral fellows who were in residence at least a portion of the calendar year 2017.


Project abstracts were expected to be 500 words or less, with one additional page allowed for figures/images, and had to include:

  1. A problem statement, proposed solution and approach.
  2. A connection to at least one of the three scales: room-scale, building-scale or total campus. (Ideas could fit into more than one category.)
  3. A description of the final deliverable, such as a written report, prototype, performance, visual representation, computer simulation, temporary bricks-and-mortar structure, pop-up exhibit, art installation, etc.
  4. An estimate of any funds that would be required to complete the project. (Funding of $2,000 was available on a need basis.)

Abstracts were due on May 1, 2017. Projects that met all competition criteria were announced May 15.

Project Showcase

Student teams were expected to deliver the following materials by September 24:

  1. A two-minute video describing their project, including the problem statement, proposed solution and approach. Also required was a presentation of findings and/or a demonstration of the prototype in operation, as appropriate to the specific deliverable.
  2. A description of any additional needs the team would need for the showcase, such as extra space, tables, AV, power, etc.

An announcement of proposals that met these conditions – thereby qualifying for the project showcase – was made October 8. Each qualifying team was then assigned a space at the October 26 showcase to exhibit their project. A team member was present during this event to discuss each project and answer judges’ questions.

Judging Criteria

A panel of judges was instructed to use the Six Cs of Academic Innovation in their evaluation of the students’ projects.

Challenge: addressed a specific need or challenge on current higher education campuses.

Creativity and Innovation: imagined radically creative and innovative ways to respond to this need or challenge.

Conceptual Development: proposed change in a thorough manner, having thought through in detail the issue at hand and the vision for change.

Coherence: described the idea in a clear and coherent form that was clearly and coherently expressed.

Consistency: demonstrated that the idea had a core purpose(s) and that there was consistency among its parts that connected back to that purpose(s).

Changing Education: explained the extent to which the idea had the potential to transform how learning can happen.

Prize Money

A nationally renowned panel of judges awarded $30,000 in prizes to the best ideas at the project showcase.