Rules and Guidelines

The Rules and Guidelines for the 2017 NYCSEF competition will available for download shortly.

2016 NYCSEF Rules and Guidelines [PDF file]

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 (pg 8-10) [PDF]

Vertebrate Animals Rules (pg 11-13) [PDF]

Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Rules (pg 14-17) [PDF]

Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices (pg 18-20) [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 Changes for 2015-2016

  • Students may only participate in one ISEF-affiliated fair. NYCSEF is the ISEF affiliated fair for the NYC region, participants do not advance to state and national fairs from NYCSEF but rather advance directly to ISEF if they qualify. Enrollment and participation in other ISEF-affiliated fairs may lead to disqualification from NYCSEF and ineligibility to compete at ISEF.  If a student from the NYC region prefers to participate in an ISEF-affiliated fair other than NYCSEF, students may request an exemption by contacting the NYCSEF fair director at
  • Human Participants Form (4): Format Revisions have been made in an effort to help students and IRB members properly complete the form.
  • NYCSEF has a growing issue of space availability at our fair locations. Historically, we have charged our SRC (Scientific Review Committee) to determine only if projects qualify and asked our judges to assess quality at the fair. This year, the NYCSEF SRC will be asked to make an initial assessment for competition-readiness (see NYCSEF Rubric) and therefore will decide if a project may compete in the preliminary round of NYCSEF.

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 (Tent.)
  4. 31Mar2017 NYCSEF Awards Ceremony @ The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  5. 07May2017 International Science & Engineering Fair Week in Los Angeles, CA

Get the complete schedule

See what NYCSEF is all about


 Heart of NYCSEF

 Inspiration from our Judges

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News + Notes

Congrats to the 2016 Team NYC! Visit the Fair Info tab for more information.



City University of New York (CUNY) website