The International Rules for Pre-college Science Research: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs
is published annually to support students doing independent research safely.
They are the official rules of the ISEF and students competing at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fairs
and the Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair. Please see all forms and rules books on the Forms page.
See also the Ethics Policy for these competitions below.
The purpose of these rules is to:
- protect the rights and welfare of the student researcher
- protect the rights and welfare of the human participant
- ensure humane handling of any vertebrate animals studied
- ensure adherence to federal regulations
- ensure use of safe laboratory practices
- protect the environment
- determine eligibility for competition
For rules questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the student’s name, grade in school, and if possible, the student’s complete research plan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the ISEF Rules is available from Society for Science at
The most common error in completing ISEF forms is understanding the date requirements. The ISEF date requirements can be found at
The rules may be downloaded directly from Society for Science at
Additional Resources are available at the bottom of the following page:
Eligibility Information Any individual student or team of two to three students in grades 6-12,
currently attending any school (including home school) in Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Anoka, Chisago, Isanti,
Sherburne, and Wright counties can participate.
- A student may participate in and enter only one science project per year.
- A student may participate in and enter only one research paper per year.
- The science project and the research paper may be on the exact same work, or they may be on different work.
- Team projects and team papers must include all team members in the registration, even if not all attend the fair.
- All team project members must be in the same division, grades 6-8 or grades 9-12.
- All team research paper members must be in the same division, grades 6-8 or grades 9-12.
- All research papers must comply with ISEF and JSHS rules & guidelines.
Ethics Policy Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition.
This includes plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own and fabrication of data.
Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs, TCRSF and ISEF.
Society for Science & the Public reserves the right to revoke recognition of a project subsequently found to have been fraudulent.
Please see the Project Exhibit page and the
Research Paper page for additional rules that apply to the project exhibits and to the research paper.