TL;DR Extracurriculars: ISEF

Written by Erin Kang | Wednesday, September 8

What exactly is Regeneron ISEF?

The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, otherwise known as ISEF, is the most prestigious international high school science fair for aspiring young scientists. Students who qualify for ISEF congregate in a different city each year in May to display their fruits of labor. They are given the opportunity to compete for awards and scholarships with approximately $75,000 on the line.

Regeneron ISEF has 21 different categories that students can compete in. The projects completed within each category may not be more than 12 months of continuous research. The categories are:

To find in-depth information about each category, click the link below:

ISEF Categories

Once at Regeneron, participants will spend about a week setting up and presenting their project to the judges. Every judge is extremely qualified in their respective fields and each project will be judged at least four times during the course of the fair. However, presenting your research to people all over the world isn’t the only thing ISEF has to offer. ISEF qualifiers are able to take part in a considerable number of activities. Some activities from past ISEF competitions include checking out museums, going horseback riding, and attending parties with peers. 

How do I get involved?

In order to ensure that students across the globe are able to pursue their interests in STEM through innovation, ISEF hosts a web of competitions from the regional to national level. To qualify for Regeneron ISEF, you must compete in a high school science fair that is affiliated with ISEF.

You can find all ISEF-affiliated competitions in your area using the link below.

 In the case that your area does not have an ISEF-affiliated science fair, you can advocate for the creation of one. Reaching out to one of your science teachers or contacting the school district regarding your hopes of starting an ISEF-affiliated science fair is a great first step to take. Keep in mind there are several general requirements that must be met in order to become a new affiliation.

General Requirements:


Why should I join?

Competing in ISEF and ISEF-affiliated science fairs gives you the opportunity to explore and delve into your passions in STEM. Moreover, you have the chance to gain experience presenting your original work to a panel of judges who are genuinely interested in learning about your innovation. Who knows? You might be the one to walk away with $75,000 and a whole lot of respect from the scientific community. Regardless of whether you win the top award or not, you are surrounded by people and friends who love STEM as much as you do, and that right there is what makes it all worth it.

With that, I leave you with the ISEF 2019 highlights.


About the Author

Erin Kang is a senior at James S. Rickards High School and is a part of the Sciteens team. Her hobbies include baking, listening to music, and playing the violin. If you have any questions or future article recommendations, feel free to contact her at