Awards FAQs

Who should apply to the Design Incubation Communication Design Awards?

Communication Design Educators who have a project that fits in one of the award categories and seeks peer review and recognition of scholarship, teaching, or service. Educators on a tenure or promotion track find external peer review opportunities and recognition extremely important for their professional development. International submissions are welcome.

When can I apply?

Applications open on June 1 each year. The deadline is August 31st.

Are there eligibility requirements?

Eligible candidates must hold a teaching or research position (full-time faculty or teaching adjuncts) at an accredited college or university (anywhere in the world) that offers education in communication design or related fields. Individuals or teams may apply. Applicants may not receive more than one award in a given year, nor awards for two consecutive years within the same category.

Where can I see award winners from previous years?

Visit the awards section of our website to view winning submissions and information about the awards.

What if I have a project that does not fit into the categories outlined on the application page?

Most projects undertaken by communication design educators in the course of their academic careers will fit into one of our three categories of scholarship, teaching, or service. If you do not see a good fit for yours, contact the Jury Chair to discuss.

What are the award criteria?

Criteria are common across the three award categories of Scholarship: Published Research, Scholarship: Creative Work, Teaching, and Service. Within each category, submissions are assessed using the following criteria: originality/innovation; quality; scope; impact/contribution; and presentation. Review and evaluation are qualitative. Relying on jury expertise and recommendations, Design Incubation reserves the right to award multiple awards and also the right to award none. The decision of the jury is final.

Is there any kind of fee scholarship available?

Compared to most awards competition entry fees, the Design Incubation Awards entry fee is nominal ($20). However, we recognize this may still be a hardship for some who do not have institutional support or who are working in other economic contexts. Design Incubation wants to encourage broad submissions from an international base. Therefore, we have a limited number of fee scholarships available on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the jury chair. If you are serious about submitting an application, please contact the jury chair explaining your circumstances at least one month prior to the deadline (August 31).

If I do not win one year can I apply again?

Yes, absolutely! We welcome second-year submissions. Consider contacting the jury chair for feedback to inform your resubmission.

Will I receive feedback on my application?

We receive many applications. However, a major tenet of our mission is to support the professional development of communication design educators. if you are interested in improving your application for resubmission or for your dossier, select the option for feedback on the application form.

What is the timeframe for the materials I am submitting?

We recommend submitting work that is recent. Given that demonstrating results and impact often takes time, work should have been completed within the past two years. If you have questions about this, please contact the jury chair.

How is the jury selected?

Each year Design Incubation selects a Jury Chair. The Jury Chair is then charged to form a jury comprised of communication design educators of national standing and able to contribute to the peer-review process.

What is the jurying process?

Once submissions and administered, jurying is a two-round process that takes place virtually over a two-month period. The process is managed by the Jury Chair with Design Incubation’s support. Throughout the process, the jury is able to ask and respond to questions, provide comments, and submit feedback to aid in the peer-review process.

During the first round of jurying, the jury reviews and assesses the submissions. After this is completed, the Jury Chair assembles a shortlist of submissions that met or exceeded the criteria and merit further consideration.

During the second round of jurying, short-listed submissions are again reviewed and assessed. After deliberations and discussion, the award winners and runners-up are selected in each category. These are confirmed with the jury prior to informing Design Incubation and awardees.

When will I be notified if I have received an award?

You will be notified in October.

Will I receive notification if I do not receive an award?

Yes, you will be notified in October.