Frequently Asked Questions

I'm having trouble logging in
You can no longer login on this site. It is only for committee members. The public site is now

Can I enter more than one project?
No, you cannot. By ISEF rules you can only enter one project in one ISEF-affiliated regional science fair in any given year. If you enter as part of a team, you cannot enter an individual project in the same year, and vice-versa.
I don't know where to send my forms.
All forms should be submitted online via the zFairs site.
My digital signatures are not being recognized by the system
When the forms are approved, the signatures will be acknowledged. If you want to set up your signature to be valid, though, make sure of the following:
If I did my project at a Registered Research Institution, and have approval from an IACUC or IRB, how do I handle the paperwork?
It's past the Dec 1 deadline, can I still submit certification forms?
Remember that the early submission deadline is for projects that require prior approval before the work is begun. So, if you submit late, we will get to your forms when we can, but problems may delay your approval enough to make it hard for you to complete your work. So don't wait! In any case, by far the most important form to submit by Dec 1 is your research plan.
I don't know how to decide whether I need to submit certification?
First, all students need to submit forms 1A, 1B, the sponsor checklist, and the research plan. If you are not sure then it is best to submit the minimal forms by Dec 1, and request a review. When we review, we will let you know if other forms are needed.
Can I continue a project from a previous year?
Yes, you can, but you should be aware of the ISEF rule that says that all the work judged in a given year must be completed in a continguous period of 12 months in the 18 months prior to ISEF. This rule is sometimes difficult to adhere to in multiyear projects, so you should give it some thought as to how you separate the years of your work.
I did a summer project in a professional lab with a mentor, can I compete with that work?
To the extent that the work is your own, yes, you can. See also the section above about the paperwork for these cases. You should be careful to make clear your own role in the project, and the form 1C will be required (filled out by your summer mentor or supervisor). Also, if the project is one that requires ISEF certification, then you should have implemented all the ISEF forms before starting the summer work. If you did not, then your form will have to be signed as "approved after work was performed" by our SRC chair, and you will be required to submit complete (signed and dated) documentation of the review procedures used by the host institution to preapprove your work. Finally, you should be aware of certain restrictions that will never be waived: these include the use of ethidium bromide (for DNA work--completely prohibited for student use, but used in some DNA labs), the completion of any vertebrate work with a plan of exceeding an LD50 dose (50% lethality), the sacrifice of any vertebrate animals directly by the student (supervised or not), and the sacrifice of any vertebrate animals solely for use in the student project.