Frequently Asked Questions

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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 are to be submitted online. Note that the forms that are submitted per student (the Form 1B and the entry form) are submitted via a different page--see your Entry Status screen for the links. If you have attachments (like the IACUC approval page or the required Form 7 attachments, as examples), those should be uploaded using the Attachments page, accessible from the link at the bottom of either forms upload page.
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:
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, using the link on your Entry Status screen. 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. 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), and the sacrifice of any vertebrate animals directly by the student (supervised or not).