Instructions for Entering the Fair

1) Establish an Account

You must have a student account on the NJRSF website before you can register your project. If you have an existing account from a prior year, you can log in and proceed to Step 2 in the entry process. If you are a new student, use this link to establish an account on our website. Fill out the form and set your role as "Student". You will first receive an email with a temporary login. Please follow the instructions in the email to reset your password. Then click on Login Now on the navbar to sign in.

Before proceeding to Step 2 in the entry process, you should check the following:

Note: ISEF has discontinued the requirement for students to have an individual SSP ID; thus, it has been removed from our registration process.

2) Register Your Project

  1. Sign into your account by clicking on Login now on the navbar or by clicking here.
  2. Complete the project registration process.
    1. Screen one defines your school.
    2. Screen two covers student and project information.
  3. As you fill out the entry form, make sure that you:
    1. type the email addresses for yourself, your Advisor, and your team member (if applicable) in the exact form of their userid on the site. (We recommend using all lowercase.)
    2. include all team members in the initial registration. It is not possible to modify a project from individual to team (or vice-versa) after the project is registered.
  4. After registering your project, you will receive an entry number of the format "entryYYYY.nnn" where YYYY is the year of the fair, and nnn is an ordinal number assigned to your project. Make a note of that number, because you should include it if you need to contact us with questions about your project.

3) Upload Required Forms

After registering your project, go to the Students tab on the navbar and click on Entry Status in the drop-down. You must be logged in for this link to function properly. Here you will find links to upload your completed NJRSF Entry Form, ISEF Form 1B, and all required ISEF forms including the NJRSF Research Plan Form. All NJRSF and ISEF forms are available for download from the NJRSF site. Each form should be completed and saved as an individual file – they should NOT be combined into a single file.

Forms required for EACH student:
NJRSF Entry Form
ISEF Form 1B: Approval Form
Forms required for ALL projects:
NJRSF Research Plan Form
ISEF Form 1: Checklist for Adult Sponsor
ISEF Form 1A: Student Checklist

For team projects, the ISEF forms are to be submitted only once and either team member can do it.

Additional ISEF Forms are needed for projects that require Certification, are being done at a Registered Research Institution, and/or are a Continuation from a prior year. To determine if additional forms are needed for your project, consult the ISEF Rules Wizard. For detailed information on certification requirements, visit our Certification of Projects page.

All NJRSF and ISEF forms are fillable PDF forms that MUST be completed and saved using Adobe Acrobat Reader version 15.0 or higher. You can download and install the software for free from the Adobe website. Note for Mac users: the default PDF Viewer in Safari does not save forms properly and must not be used.

4) Web-signing Forms

The NJRSF Entry Form and all ISEF forms will need to be signed by the appropriate individuals: some by the student, and some by the teacher, parent, or mentor. You must put in email addresses (a.k.a. user IDs) for each adult who must sign your forms. This information can be entered by clicking on the Entry Registration link on the Entry Status screen. At a minimum this includes your parents, and for some it will include mentors, IRB members, Designated Supervisor, etc. To web-sign your forms, these individuals must have an account on the NJRSF website and they must select the appropriate role ("Teacher", "Other Mentor", or "Parent"). Their email address will automatically link their account to your project, so please make sure you enter it correctly in your entry registration.

After uploading your forms, click on Sign Student Forms under your name on the navbar to web-sign your NJRSF Entry Form and ISEF Approval Form (1B). For projects continued from a prior year, you will also need to web-sign your ISEF Continuation Projects Form (7).

Your Advisor, Parent, and Other Mentor (if applicable) will receive an email notifying them that there are forms they need to web-sign. They can web-sign your forms by logging in, and then clicking on Sign Student Forms under their name on the navbar.

Exceptions to the web-signature process:

  1. If you have a Teacher/Parent/Other Mentor that is unable to use the NJRSF web-signing process, then that individual can sign the applicable NJRSF and ISEF forms with Adobe digital signatures. Note: those that are able to web-sign your forms should still do so (i.e. we allow for a mix of web and Adobe signatures). For instructions, go to the Adobe Digital Signatures Instructions page.
  2. If you did work over the summer and have forms that were signed by our SRC or by others before September 15, 2017, then you can scan and upload those forms.

5) Monitor Your Entry Status

All further instructions for completing your entry are on the Entry Status screen. Log into your account, then go to the Students tab on the navbar and click on Entry Status in the drop-down.

Once all of the required documents are uploaded and web-signed, you should use the link on your Entry Status screen to request an SRC review. Once the SRC has reviewed your documents they will provide feedback – either as an approval or as notes about what problems remain. If there are issues, then you should revise the forms accordingly and upload them again (they will replace the forms previously uploaded). You should then notify the SRC again, and re-enter the approval cycle.

It is very important that you monitor your Entry Status for important notifications and to see whether there is action required on your part. Pay special attention to:

  1. the SRC status line, which may have important messages requesting additional information or forms related to your project;
  2. the Category Review status line, to find out what category your project has been assigned to;
  3. the Pre-Screening status line, to know whether or not your project has advanced to the exhibition phase of the Fair;

Other items submitted via the Entry Status screen are the Submission Fee, Abstract, and Supplemental Registration information.

6) Modifying Your Documentation

Your ISEF forms are required to describe the project you enter in the fair. Accordingly, some students find it necessary to make modifications after initial SRC approval. Please note that uploading ANY of your forms after you have received approval will negate that approval and your forms will have to be reviewed once again with their new content. Any modified forms must also be re-signed (as described above) in order to have valid signatures on them. You should be aware that this might invalidate the signing date sequence required by ISEF, and might make you ineligible for the ISEF awards. So please do not modify your forms unless it is truly necessary. (Note: revising your Research Plan ONLY will trigger a new review by our SRC, but it will not impact your ISEF eligibility, so long as no ISEF forms need to be modified.)

7) Compatibility with ISEF SRC Processing

At present, ISEF does not accept digital signatures on the ISEF certification forms. Students selected to attend ISEF will have their forms signed after the Awards Ceremony by the students, teachers, and parents (who, hopefully, will be in attendance). For those who are unable to attend, the forms will be faxed to them for signature. With our web-signature process, we will ask participants to afix their signatures using the dates as recorded in our online system.

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