Five hot tips for the 2024 Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge application - Society for Science Skip to content

Five hot tips for the 2024 Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge application

Finalists work together on a group challenge at Thermo Fisher JIC 2023
Finalists work together on a group challenge at Thermo Fisher JIC 2023 Society for Science

The Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge (Thermo Fisher JIC) is the nation’s premier middle school STEM competition. Each year, exceptional students from Society-affiliated fairs, representing the top 10% of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, are nominated to compete in the Thermo Fisher JIC.  The program awards approximately $100,000 to extraordinary middle schoolers whose research projects explore a multitude of science, technology, engineering and math questions. These projects range from designing a fire detection system to investigating ways to fight climate change and even engineering the best whipped cream can nozzles.

To learn more about the 2023 Thermo Fisher JIC finalists visit:

While completing the application can seem intimidating, rest assured, we’re here to help! Remember, you’ve already done the hard work by completing your research project and competing at your local fair. Below are five helpful tips to simplify the application process, bringing you one step closer to showcasing your skills at the national level!

  1. Know your Fair Password!
    When you received your nomination, you should have also received a digital nominee packet with information about the competition and a fair password that gives you access to the full application. If you do not have this information, you can email with your name, city/state and the name of the fair you competed in and the Thermo Fisher JIC team will help you out.
  1. Feeling stuck? Take breaks! You can also try answering the questions out loud first.
    The application may seem long at first, but you can always save your work and pick up where you left off.  Try completing Part 1 (Registration), Part 2 (Student Experience) and Part 5 (Personal Interests) first — these sections ask for basic information, your school experience and your extracurricular activities. You can also easily knock out the Permission Form upload. Once you have completed these sections, you are already halfway done! The project essay questions in Part 3 are written to feel like a judging interview, so try talking through the questions before writing your responses. This approach will help you get started and remind you that you already know these answers!
  1. Watch the application walkthrough videos on the Thermo Fisher JIC YouTube page and in the Resources page in the application!
    These videos describe each task in the application and are great resources if you are unsure how to answer a particular question.  Additionally, we hold live webinars throughout the spring. Open your application today to receive updates on when our next one will be!
  1. Gather your science fair safety paperwork now!
    As a part of the application, you’ll be asked about the type of research you conducted and questions regarding safety measures you took or the supervision you received. In some cases, you will be asked to upload any paperwork from your local science fair demonstrating how you conducted your research safely and received approval before beginning your research. Instead of scrambling at the last minute, consider asking your fair or teachers for the paperwork now! But, don’t worry – if you don’t have copies, you can also ask an adult, such as your teacher or science fair director, to provide a letter instead. You can find more information about science fair paperwork in the application and our video resources!
  1. Submit your application early!
    We encourage nominees to submit their applications ahead of the deadline! Doing so allows you ample time to review your submission. You can also get a teacher or parent/guardian to proofread your application. Remember, the judges want to hear from YOU, so it’s important that you are writing in your own words! Also, even after you submit your application, you can make as many changes as needed before deadline. Make sure to save each section after making edits.  You will NOT need to resubmit once you are done.

*A helpful tip: Download your application for review to confirm that all your changes were successfully updated.

Now that you have these handy tips, don’t wait—open and complete your application today! The deadline for the 2024 Thermo Fisher JIC application is June 12, 2024, at 8p.m. Eastern Time.  All nominees who submit applications will receive a t-shirt and will have the chance to win swag packages and other cool prizes like Kindles. Good luck!

For more information, visit our Nominee and Eligibility and Important Information pages. You can also email with any questions about the application or competition. Remember, you have nothing to lose by entering, so apply today!


Aparna Paul