Rules and Guidelines

The NYCSEF Application and Rules and Guidelines are available for download.  Only students who follow the proper rules and guidelines and submit ALL necessary materials will be eligible to have their application reviewed by the NYCSEF Scientific Review Committee and be considered for competition in any of the NYCSEF events.

For students conducting summer research, we have broken out those guidelines that detailed research involving human participants, vertebrate animals, potential hazardous biological agents or hazardous chemicals, activities or devices in order to facilitate local IRB and SRC reviews. If you have any questions regarding safety or whether your proposed project meets eligibility requirements for 2017 NYCSEF competition, please contact us before you begin experimentation.

Rules about research involving:

Human Participants Rules (pg 8-11) [PDF]

Vertebrate Animal Rules (pg 12-14) [PDF]

Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Rules (pg 15-18) [PDF]

Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices Rules (pg 19-21) [PDF]

The following rules and guidelines were developed to ensure the safety and well-being of pre-college students involved in research and promote the practice of safe and ethical experimentation. These rules and guidelines are derived from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and follow federal regulations governing research.

IMPORTANT – Application Updates for 2016-2017

The following are the notable modifications for the 2017 NYCSEF.  It is recommended that students and associated adults review the appropriate rules and guidelines as it relates to the specific research project.

  • New Category: Research in Development – In an effort to encourage the efforts of students new to research, the NYCSEF Scientific Review Committee will invite a limited number of NYCSEF applicants whose projects show great promise but are not competition-ready to join the fair under this new category.  Students may NOT apply to the Research in Development category. Upon review of the projects, the SRC will contact the teachers who sponsored project(s) that the committee deemed 1) not competition-ready and 2) promising for future competition, and 3) in need of further development and will ask the teacher to nominate students to present their work in this category (Only a few projects from each school will be represented in this category.)  As a RD category participant, all attending students will participate in all aspects of the fair; however when meeting with judges their projects will not evaluated for the competition. RD Judges will provide supportive feedback to help the student further develop his/her/their research so that he/she/they may successfully complete in next year’s fair.  In addition, all attendees will be matched with a NYCSEF mentor to receive in person and online mentorship with their project development and application.
  • The Research Plan/Project Summary (Part 1) of the former application has been revised to “Project Summary.”  In this section, students should now summarize their research and are no longer asked to present a plan of what they expect to achieve when the conduct their experiment.  This is now a summary, not a future plan.
  • Revision to NYCSEF rules regarding tissue studies of vertebrate animals: Studies including tissue collected from vertebrates must adhere to all vertebrate rules and guidelines as described on page 5, Line1 and pages 12-14. Specifically tissues collected from any of the prohibited areas (e.g. studies that induce toxicity, conditioning with aversive stimuli, vertebrate predator-prey studies, mother-infant separation, induced helplessness, studies of pain, etc.) will fail to qualify for NYCSEF.
  • For projects using human participants: An Expedited Review is not an accepted form of IRB for entry into the NYCSEF competition. For incomplete or invalid Human Participants Forms – students will be required to submit a letter from each person associated with the project’s IRB, stating that they have reviewed the project.

For questions about IRB, the American Association for Public Opinion Research has a webpage with  IRB FAQs for Survey Researchers.  Please note that some rules on this site are different from NYCSEF.  Check the NYCSEF rules and guidelines for official requirements.

NOTE: Some of the rules and regulations that govern competition for the NYCSEF events differ from those used for Intel ISEF. Questions about the NYCSEF rules and guidelines should be forwarded to NYCSEF staff.

Have a question about NYCSEF Rules and Guidelines? You may be able to find the answer on our FAQs page.

Upcoming Dates & Deadlines

  1. 14Dec2016 NYCSEF Project Application Due Date
  2. 05Mar2017 NYCSEF Preliminary Round @ The City College of New York.
  3. 28Mar2017 NYCSEF Finals Round @ The American Museum of Natural History
  4. 31Mar2017 NYCSEF Awards Ceremony @ The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  5. 14May2017 International Science & Engineering Fair Week May, 14-19 in Los Angeles, CA

Get the complete schedule

For NYCSEF 2017 Awards Announcement


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News + Notes

Welcome back Team NYC!!! Great job representing NYC at Intel ISEF.


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