Top 40 high school scientists selected as finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition - Society for Science Skip to content

Top 40 high school scientists selected as finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition

photo headshot grid of the 2023 STS Finalists
Congratulations to the 2023 STS Finalists! Society for Science

Today, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Society for Science (the Society) announced the top 40 finalists in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The competition, now in its 82nd year, celebrates and rewards young scientists focused on a wide range of scientific topics from the space race to the AIDS epidemic to climate change. Many past winners continue to pursue innovation for the good of society and the planet, with program alumni receiving some of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 22 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, as well as becoming the founders of many important science-based companies, such as Regeneron.  

The 2023 finalists’ research projects showcase their breadth of knowledge, their commitment to addressing issues important to modern society, and their passion for STEM. Multiple students chose to explore research topics on climate change; for instance, one studied the environmental potential of human-made materials such as cement to help reduce emissions, and another evaluated the correlation between air pollution and COVID-19 cases. Some students invented health monitoring devices, like a color-changing sensor to help detect the presence of illicit drugs in drinks; others explored topics related to space, including a new method to test for the existence of large populations of black holes. Other finalists dove into social and political issues, including an examination of media coverage about violent crimes to understand its impact on societal perceptions, and an evaluation of linguistic features in writing to predict suicide risk. 

“Congratulations to an exceptional group of Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 finalists,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, and a 1976 Science Talent Search finalist and top winner. “Inspiring and equipping the brightest minds to take on the world’s most pressing issues is one of the most important ways we can ensure the scientific advancements necessary to better our society. We know the future is bright for these young scientists and are excited to see the positive impact they will make.” 

The finalists were chosen based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientific leaders. Finalists were selected by a national jury of professional scientists from a pool of 300 scholars, who were announced earlier this month. The scholars were chosen from a pool of over 1,900 highly-qualified entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and extensive application process.  

“We are thrilled to welcome this inspiring and highly talented class of Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO, Society for Science and Executive Publisher, Science News. “I am certain these extraordinary students will be following in the footsteps of our many accomplished alumni who are the forefront of breakthrough discoveries. The 2023 finalists will be using their leadership, intellect, creativity and STEM skills to solve our world’s most intractable challenges.” 

Finalists will participate in a week-long competition in March 2023, during which they will undergo a rigorous judging process that goes beyond their own research to encompass other scientific disciplines and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. They will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and share their research during a virtual “Public Day” event on March 12. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on March 14, streamed live from Washington, D.C. 

In total, more than $3 million in awards will be distributed throughout the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. Finalists may use their award prize money solely for educational purposes and can choose for those funds to be released directly to their college or university. The top 300 scholars, each of whom receive $2,000, may use their awards as they see fit; each of their schools are also awarded $2,000 to support math and science programs, a critical investment toward their future in STEM, and our country’s future as a hub of innovation and progress.  

Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 Fast Facts 

  • The Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 finalists represent 34 schools across 14 states. They are competing for more than $1.8 million, with a top prize of $250,000. 
  • Forty finalists were selected from 300 scholars and 1,949 entrants based on the originality and creativity of their scientific research, as well as their achievement and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom.  
  • Finalist projects cover disciplines of science including animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computational biology and bioinformatics, computer science, engineering, environmental science, genomics, mathematics, medicine and health, neuroscience, physics, plant science, and space science.  

Rachel Myers