Students: many projects could easily fit into more than one ISEF category. We recommend that you review the entire
listing of the new categories before choosing the category that most accurately describes your project.
Additional category and subcategory information from ISEF can be found
Judges - We have 21 different project categories. We will do our best to match your category selection to the projects in that category.
There are cases where an exact preference match is not possible. To help deal with this, we have created project category overviews.
You may be placed in one of these project category overviews if a complete match cannot be found.
If you have any concerns, please contact us.
Behavioral Sciences (BEHV)
This is ISEF category BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (Code: BEHA)
Life Sciences (LIFE)
This includes the ISEF categories ANIMAL SCIENCES (Code: ANIM), BIOMEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (Code: BMED), BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (Code: ENBM),
EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Code: EAEV), PLANT SCIENCES (Code: PLNT) and Translational Medical Science (Code: TMED)
Micro Life Sciences (MLFE)
This includes the ISEF categories BIOCHEMISTRY (Code: BCHM), CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (Code: CELL) and MICROBIOLOGY (Code: MCRO)
Physics and Chemistry (PHCM)
This includes the ISEF categories CHEMISTRY (Code: CHEM), ENERGY: SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS & DESIGN (Code: EGSD), ENGINEERING MECHANICS (Code: ENMC),
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (Code: ENEV), MATERIALS SCIENCE (Code: MATS) and PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY (Code: PHYS)
Computer and Math (CMAT)
This includes the ISEF categories COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY AND BIOINFORMATICS (Code: CBIO), EMBEDDED SYSTEMS (Code: EBED), MATHEMATICS (Code: MATH),
ROBOTICS AND INTELLIGENT MACHINES (Code: ROBO) and SYSTEMS SOFTWARE (Code: SOFT)
ANIMAL SCIENCES (Code: ANIM)
This category includes all aspects of animals and animal life, animal life cycles, and animal interactions with one another
or with their environment. Examples of investigations included in this category would involve the study of the structure,
physiology, development, and classification of animals, animal ecology, animal husbandry, entomology, ichthyology,
ornithology, and herpetology, as well as the study of animals at the cellular and molecular level which would include
cytology, histology, and cellular physiology.
BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (Code: BEHA)
The science or study of the thought processes and behavior of humans and other animals in their interactions with the
environment studied through observational and experimental methods.
BIOCHEMISTRY (Code: BCHM)
The study of the chemical basis of processes occurring in living organisms, including the processes by which these
substances enter into, or are formed in, the organisms and react with each other and the environment.
BIOMEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (Code: BMED)
the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or epidemiology of disease and other damage to the human body or mental systems.
Includes studies of normal functioning and may investigate internal as well as external factors such as feedback
mechanisms, stress or environmental impact on human health and disease.
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (Code: ENBM)
Projects that involve the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare
purposes including diagnosis, monitoring and therapy. Prominent biomedical engineering applications include the
development of biocompatible prostheses, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices ranging from clinical
equipment to micro-implants, common imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs, regenerative tissue growth,
pharmaceutical drugs and therapeutic biologicals.
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (Code: CELL)
This is an interdisciplinary field that studies the structure, function, intracellular pathways, and formation of cells. Studies
involve understanding life and cellular processes specifically at the molecular level.
CHEMISTRY (Code: CHEM)
Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical
COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY AND BIOINFORMATICS (Code: CBIO)
Studies that primarily focus on the discipline and techniques of computer science and mathematics as they relate to
biological systems. This includes the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods,
mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavior, and social systems.
EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Code: EAEV)
Studies of the environment and its effect on organisms/systems, including investigations of biological processes such as
growth and life span, as well as studies of Earth systems and their evolution.
EMBEDDED SYSTEMS (Code: EBED)
Studies involving electrical systems in which information is conveyed via signals and waveforms for purposes of
enhancing communications, control and/or sensing.
ENERGY: SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS & DESIGN (Code: EGSD)
Studies/processes involving the production and/or storage of energy.
ENGINEERING MECHANICS (Code: ENMC)
Studies that focus on the science and engineering that involve movement or structure. The movement can be by the
apparatus or the movement can affect the apparatus.
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (Code: ENEV)
Studies that engineer or develop processes and infrastructure to solve environmental problems in the supply of water, the
disposal of waste, or the control of pollution.
MATERIALS SCIENCE (Code: MATS)
The study of the characteristics and uses of various materials with improvements to their design which may add to their
advanced engineering performance.
MATHEMATICS (Code: MATH)
The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The
deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures.
MICROBIOLOGY (Code: MCRO)
The study of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prokaryotes, and simple eukaryotes as well as
antimicrobial and antibiotic substances.
PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY (Code: PHYS)
Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two. Astronomy is the study of anything in the
universe beyond the Earth.
PLANT SCIENCES (Code: PLNT)
Studies of plants and how they live, including structure, physiology, development, and classification. Includes plant
cultivation, development, ecology, genetics and plant breeding, pathology, physiology, systematics and evolution.
ROBOTICS AND INTELLIGENT MACHINES (Code: ROBO)
Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention.
SYSTEMS SOFTWARE (Code: SOFT)
The study or development of software, information processes or methodologies to demonstrate, analyze, or control a
Translational Medical Science (Code: TMED)
Projects that aim to improve human health and longevity by translating novel discoveries in the biomedical sciences into
effective activities and tools for clinical and public health use. Bi-directional in concept, projects can be those developed
through basic research moving toward clinical testing (bench-to-bedside) or projects that provide feedback about the
applications of new treatments and how they can be improved (beside-to-bench).