The New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF), is an ISEF-affiliated regional fair and as such is governed by the ISEF rules and guidelines outlined for pre-college research. These rules and regulations were developed to provide guidelines for acceptable areas of pre-college research for students by protecting the rights and welfare of the student researcher and human subjects, protecting the health and well-being of vertebrate animal subjects, addressing environmental concerns, and supporting safe laboratory practices.

PLEASE NOTE: Project/Student Registration, submission of the Project Summary and Official Abstract MUST BE COMPLETED ONLINE.

In some cases, the NYCSEF rules and guidelines may differ from those stated by the ISEF competition, particularly those pertaining to student project displays for NYCSEF events. Complete rules and guidelines for the ISEF can be found here. Students and sponsoring teachers are encouraged to take the time to review these guidelines PRIOR to the start of any research project, the NYCSEF application deadline, and/or event dates.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to NYCSEF staff or the NYCSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) by emailing NYCSEF@cuny.edu.







Please READ the NYCSEF Rules & Application Forms, especially eligibility, before completing your registration!


Make sure to check out our NYCSEF Application Guide!

All application materials must be postmarked by 12/13/19 and mailed to NYCSEF at:

City University of New York
16 Court Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11241


Below is a breakdown of the rules & forms:

Required Forms for ALL Projects
  • ABSTRACT | To be completed AFTER experimentation
  • APPROVAL FORM (1B) | Approval is required for each student, including team members
  • CHECKLIST FOR ADULT SPONSOR (1) | The Adult Sponsor may be a teacher, parent, professor, and /or other professional scientist in whose lad the student is working. The person must have a solid background in science and should have close contact with the student(s during the course of the project.  The Adult Sponsor is responsible for ensuring the student’s research is eligible for entry into NYCSEF.
  • SIGNATURE PAGE | Acknowledgement of participation from student, parent/guardian, teacher and principal
  • STUDENT CHECKLIST (1A) | Basic student checklist
  • STUDENT & PROJECT INFORMATION | Template for student information and project outline and information. MUST BE COMPLETED ONLINE
  • TEAM INFORMATION | FOR TEAMS PROJECTS – Template for team member information. MUST BE COMPLETED ONLINE
  • PROJECT SUMMARY | The project summary is a succinct detailing of the rationale, research question(s), methodology, and risk assessment of your research project and should be completed after experimental research. Be sure to specifically and explicitly explain what aspects of the rationale, methodology and analysis were completed/contributed by YOU the student. There are 4 parts to the project summary.
  • RESEARCH PAPER | Two (2) copies of a research paper is required for submission with your application, refer to page 4 of the NYCSEF Guidelines for more information.


Required Forms

Supplemental Forms that MAY be required for your project
  • REGULATED RESEARCH INSTITUTIONAL/INDUSTRIAL FORM (1C) | Required for any research conducted at a regulated research institution or work site other than home, field or school. To be completed AFTER experimentation.
  • RISK ASSESSMENT FORM (3) | Required for projects using hazardous chemicals, activities or devices and microorganisms exempt from pre-approval.  To be completed BEFORE experimentation.
  • HUMAN PARTICIPANT FORM (4) | Required for all research involving human participants not at a Regulated Research Institution. If at a Regulated Research Institution, use institutional approval forms for documentation of prior review and approval. (IRB approval required before recruitment or data collection.)
  • HUMAN INFORMED CONSENT FORM | Required for research involving human participants
  • VERTBRATE ANIMAL FORM (5A) | Required for all research involving vertebrate animals that is conducted in a school/home/field research site. (SRC approval required before experimentation.)
  • VERTBRATE ANIMAL FORM (5B) | Required for all research involving vertebrate animals that is conducted in at a Regulated Research Institution. (IACUC approval required before experimentation. Form must be completed and signed after experimentation.)
  • POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS BIOLOGICAL AGENTS ASSESSMENT FORM (6A) | Required for research involving microorganisms, rDNA, fresh/frozen tissue (including primary cell lines, human and other primate established cell lines and tissue cultures), blood, blood products and body fluids. SRC/IACUC/IBC approval required before experimentation.
  • HUMAN AND VERTEBRATE ANIMAL TISSUE FORM (6B) | Required for research involving fresh/frozen tissue (including primary cell lines, human and other primate established cell lines and tissue cultures), blood, blood products and body fluids. If the research involves living organisms please ensure that the proper human or animal forms are completed. All projects using any tissue listed above must also complete Form 6A.
  • CONTINUATION/RESEARCH PROGRESSION PROJECTS FORM (7) | Required for projects that are a continuation/progression in the same field of study as a previous project. This form must be accompanied by the previous year’s abstract and Research Plan/Project Summary.

Supplemental Forms

 NYCSEF Forms/Guidelines Updates 

Expanded Ethics Statement

  • Addresses integrity, legality, respect for confidentiality and intellectual property, and stewardship of the environment.
  • Students researchers, as well as adults who have a role in their projects, are expected to maintain the highest standards.
  • New ISEF rules for Human Participants involvement in student-designed invention, prototype, computer application & Engineering/Design project – See pg. 8 of the NYCSEF Guidelines

Mathematics & Computer Science: The categories of Mathematics and Computer Science have been combined into one, see pg. 28 of the NYCSEF Guidelines for more information.

• Pg. 9, Rule 6: Students are prohibited from independently diagnosing disease, administering medication and/or performing medical procedures.
• Pg. 9, Rule 1 of Human Participant Involvement in Student-designed invention, Prototype, Computer Application & Engineering/Design Projects: IRB review and pre-approval is necessary when the student-designed invention, prototype, application, etc. is tested by human participants other than the student researcher(s) or a single adult guardian, adult sponsor/QS/DS when the testing requires an adult tester.

See p. 21 of the NYCSEF Guidelines – New Section.

  • Provides checklist for hazardous chemicals, substances, devices; human participants; vertebrate animals; PHBAs.

The Regulated Research Institution Form 3 is now a 2-page document. Refer to pages 34-35 of the NYCSEF Guidelines.

  • Pg. 14, Rule 8: insertion of antibiotic resistance markers for the clonal selection of bioengineered organisms is permitted, with the following exceptions:
    • Students are prohibited from the insertion of antibiotic resistance traits
    • Students are prohibited from designing or selecting for multiple drug resistance organisms

If you are unsure about what forms may be needed for your project, use the Application Quick Guide.


NYCSEF Student & Project Registration

Please read the NYCSEF Guidelines, especially eligibility, before completing your registration. The deadline to complete the online registration and MAIL a hard copy of your completed application is Friday, December 13, 2019 at 11:59 PM.

Upon starting your application, YOU WILL HAVE 30 DAYS TO COMPLETE IT, then your link to access your application will expire. If you’d like to set up a dummy account to view the system, please register your first name as TEST and then continue with the registration normally. You will have to start a new application using your real information when you are ready to apply and complete the application.

Online registration is in two parts:

1. Student Information
2. Project Information

At any time you may suspend your application and then resume at another time using the confirmation link sent to you via email.

Be sure to enter a correct, accessible email address; all correspondence related to your project will be sent to the email address you enter on this form.

Before you begin, please complete the  NYCSEF Quick Guide to determine which forms are required to submit with your application and please read the Top Project Submission Issues.

All NYCSEF applications MUST include copies of the following documents:

  1. NYCSEF Signature Page
  2. Adult Sponsor Checklist
  3. Student Checklist (1A)
  4. Approval Form 1B (For team projects – each member must submit one)
  5. All supplemental forms (i.e. 1C, 2, 3, 4, 5A, 5B, 6A, 6B, or 7) as needed depending on your project.
  6. Printout of your Student Information and Project Information confirmations. You will receive these documents via email after you have completed the sections in the NYCSEF Online Student & Project Registration.
  7. Two copies of your research paper.

Students must complete BOTH the online application & mail-in application forms for consideration to the fair.

All application materials must be postmarked by December 13, 2019 and mailed to NYCSEF at:

City University of New York
16 Court Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11241

Still confused about the forms? Review the NYCSEF Application Guide for more information. 


Congratulations! You have finally completed your application!