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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible to apply to Team Canada-ISEF?
- Who receives an invitation to apply?
- How many students are invited to apply for Team Canada-ISEF?
- Can I apply in French?
- Can I apply for Team Canada-ISEF with my CWSF project from last year?
- Are all projects evaluated by the Team Canada-ISEF Selection Panel?
- How good does my project have to be?
- Are Sanofi Biogenius Canada projects eligible?
- Application Process
- Should I apply to both Team Canada-ISEF and my regional science fair?
- If my region sends finalists directly to ISEF, can I compete for a place at ISEF through Team Canada AND my region or province?
- How are students selected?
- Who is on the Selection Panel?
- When will I be notified of the results?
- What are the requirements for the project report?
- Working on the Project
- If I'm Selected to the Team
ISEF 2020 - Anaheim, California, May 10-15.
Any Canadian student (citizen or Permanent Resident) in grades 9 to 12 (secondaire III, IV, V and Cégep I or II in Quebec) and who has not reached the age of 21 on May 1 is eligible to attend that year's ISEF. All individual applicants, and at least one member of a pair application to Team Canada-ISEF must have either (a) previously attended at least one Canada-Wide Science Fair or ISEF, (b) attended at least one national Sanofi Biogenius Canada event, or (c) have approval from Youth Science Canada.
All past CWSF and Team Canada-ISEF finalists who are currently in high school receive an invitation by email. Finalists whose email address has changed since the CWSF may not receive the invitation.
Approximately 1000 email invitations are sent to past CWSF and ISEF participants each year.
Youth Science Canada welcomes applications for Team Canada-ISEF in both official languages. Applicants and Candidates may submit their materials (i.e., the Research Proposal, Project Report, and PowerPoint presentation) in English or French; however, the ISEF forms provided must be completed in English.The Team Canada Screening and Selection Panels will evaluate and interview Applicants and Candidates in either English or French. At least one Team Canada-ISEF adult chaperone will be fluent in French. Please note: As a U.S.-based competition, the primary language of ISEF is English. ISEF organizers will provide translators during judging for students who prefer to present their project in another language; however, most ISEF judges speak English only.
The ISEF Rules state that projects will be judged on work carried out during a maximum and continuous 12 month period between January 2019 and May 2020. This means that a project started in January 2019 and exhibited at the CWSF in May 2019 can be continued up to December 2019, and then exhibited at ISEF in May 2020. This rule is strictly enforced by ISEF and all projects are carefully screened to ensure that the work falls within the required dates. Be sure that you can document, via your project notes, that you did your project within a twelve month period. If the project is a continuation of a previous project, in-depth documentation of the previous project will be required, and the continuation must show substantial new work.
No. Experience shows that the Selection Committee can evaluate a maximum of 30 projects in the time available. Project proposals, which must be submitted by December 15th, will be reviewed by January 15 and a short-list of candidates will be prepared. All applicants will be notified of their status by early February. Projects that are not selected to the short-list are still eligible for participation in their regional science fair and for selection to the CWSF.
Experience has shown that projects need to be of CWSF medal quality to be selected to Team Canada-ISEF. This also explains our remarkable level of success at ISEF. If your project didn't win a medal at the CWSF, but you believe you have improved it so that it is now at that level, you are welcome to apply. CWSF finalists learn a lot from participating and seeing top projects.
Yes. Youth Science Canada will accept an application from participants who have competed in Sanofi Biogenius Canada; however, only individuals and teams of two will be considered for selection.
Yes. We expect that all students who enter the Team Canada-ISEF competition will also enter their Regional Science Fair, ensuring that all unsuccessful applicants for Team Canada-ISEF have the opportunity to compete for a place at the CWSF. The decision on which students and projects represent a region at the CWSF rests solely with the Regional Science Fair Committee; Team Canada-ISEF finalists are not eligible to participate in the CWSF during the same year.
No. Students may apply for a place at ISEF through Youth Science Canada OR their Regional organization, but not both. Your region will be informed if you are selected as a short-listed Team Canada-ISEF Candidate. ISEF rules specify that you may only have one chance to be selected for ISEF.
Candidates selected to the final short-list in January are required to submit a project report and completed application forms by the deadline in March. The Selection Panel reviews the reports and conducts a 20-minute telephone interview with each short-list candidate. It is important to understand that this is a high-level competition and only 8 team members can be selected.
The Selection Panel includes academic specialists from scientific and technological fields, as well as Team Canada-ISEF alumni, who are well prepared to evaluate the projects presented. The Youth Science Canada Executive Director provides administrative support.
The Selection Panel calls all applicants by telephone the same day final selections have been made - usually between 5:00PM and 6:00PM.
The requirements are almost identical to those for the CWSF. Prepare a project summary that is concise, clear, and of the highest quality. It is a key part of the judging process and includes the following:
- no more than 5 letter-size pages - graphs, diagrams, and charts may be included in the allotted space (No raw data or raw observations.) -plus an appendix of no more than two extra pages for the references and bibliography.
- printed single-sided, single spaced and in 12 point type
- background, purpose and hypothesis (why the project was done)
- procedure (very brief outline of the significant materials and methods used)
- results and conclusions (no raw data or raw data are to be included
- acknowledgments (recognition of those who provided significant assistance in the form of guidance, materials and facilities
- one or more pages, in addition to the five pages above, may be included for your references
- a footer in 8 point type giving date, your name, project title and page number
WORKING ON THE PROJECT
Yes, as long as one of the team members has participated at the National Level, so that the team is aware of what is expected and the project meets competitive standards.
For questions on projects involving human subjects, non-human vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA, pathogens, human and animal tissue and controlled substances, please contact:
In most cases, yes. While we realize that on the selection date, you may still have work to do on the project, the Selection Panel can only base its decision on the scientific merit of the results and analysis presented in your report, presentation and interview. If your results and/or analysis are significantly incomplete, it is unlikely that your project will be selected.
IF I'M SELECTED TO THE TEAM...
Youth Science Canada and its sponsors will provide all registration, travel (from a Canadian airport), pre-approved shipping expenses (to a maximum of $200 per project - including all baggage costs for complete trip), and accommodation costs. We appoint experienced adult chaperones of both genders, including at least one who is fluently bilingual (English/French). All team members who are selected will need to ensure that they acquire Canadian passports or visas to enter the United States. It is recommended that team members bring extra funds for incidentals, such as snacks and souvenirs.
Team Canada-ISEF usually travels together by air (or by bus when ISEF is within driving distance of a Canadian city) on the Saturday to the ISEF host city. Return travel is the following Saturday. All travel is provided by Youth Science Canada and its sponsors.
No. If you are selected to Team Canada-ISEF your region will be notified and you will be ineligible for selection to the CWSF.