Rules and Guidelines

New Rules and Guidelines for the 2015 NYCSEF competition are available for download.

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 2015 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 – Changes and Modifications for 2014-2015

The following are the major changes and modifications to the rules and guidelines for the 2015 NYCSEF. It is recommended that students and associated adults review the appropriate rules and guidelines as it relates to the specific research project.

  • For ALL PROJECTS – All applications must be submitted online. Hardcopies of all necessary forms (including two copies of the research paper) must be postmarked by December 17, 2014.   Late submissions will NOT be accepted.
  •  Vertebrate Animals
    • In Part 3 of the Research Plan / Project Summary, students working on vertebrate animals must state the Pain Category for their 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 Deadlines

  1. 17Dec2014 NYCSEF Project Application Due Date
  2. 01Mar2015 NYCSEF Preliminary Round @ The City College of New York
  3. 24Mar2015  NYCSEF Finals Round @ The American Museum of Natural History
  4. 27Mar2015 NYCSEF Awards Ceremony @ The Kaye Playhouse Theatre-Hunter College
  5. 10May2015 International Science & Engineering Fair Week in Pittsburgh,PA

Get the complete schedule

News + Notes

Congratulations to those that participated at the Finals Round! For results, visit the Fair Info page.

City University of New York (CUNY) website