Affiliation Guidelines

New affiliations

Before affiliating with ISEF or Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, fairs must have been in operation for at least one year in which they had a functioning Scientific Review Committee to review and approve student research. This requirement is to help ensure that new fairs are an effective and sustainable educational activity before becoming affiliated.  Fairs may appeal this one-year qualification in cases in which the leadership of the fair has experience or training associated with an affiliate fair.

General requirements

  • The fair must serve a geographic territory that is not covered by another affiliate fair, except in cases of state or national fairs.
  • The fair must operate under the ISEF Rules and Guidelines and ensure that students and teachers are aware of these requirements as they begin research projects. New fairs should have at least one year’s experience with these Rules.
  • The Fair Director agrees to hold the Affiliated Fair and pay associated fees by the given deadlines. Click on ISEF Fees below for details.

Fairs will be granted affiliation status based on meeting the requirements as well as the overall benefit the fair offers to the students and schools in the proposed territory. For a more detailed list of requirements, please click on Affiliation Requirements below.


New fairs should incorporate an identifiable region such as a county, state, or other geographic entity. Territory must be listed with as much detail as possible and should specify any areas or populations within the defined area that are excluded. These territories as defined may not overlap with the territory of an existing ISEF or Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge-affiliated fair, except in the case of a state or national fair.