Grievance Policy

Each year, the Society for Science & the Public (the Society) affiliates approximately 420  regional, state and country fairs, from which winners are selected to attend ISEF. Each affiliated fair may send a pre-determined number of projects to ISEF (as factored by participation and high school population).

The Society outlines the rules and standards by which a Society-affiliated fair should operate and the leadership of a fair signs an Affiliation Agreement each year to attest to their intent to adhere to these guidelines.  The Society strives to enforce full compliance of this agreement.   Simultaneously, the Society recognizes and supports each fair’s autonomous management of their fair with their more complete understanding and knowledge of their affiliated fair territory and audience.

Through our processes and support of the fair network, the Society wants each participant to have an encouraging and uplifting science research competition experience. However, we are aware that this might not always be the case.  To provide more consistent service, record-keeping and open dialogue with our affiliated fairs about concerns reported from the operations of their fairs, we have provided an online form that provides an avenue for a complaint to be filed.

The goal of this form is to provide a standardized method for the Society staff to hear about any issues and to collaboratively work together with the reporting individual and the affiliated fair to review and potentially resolve any issues.  This process is intended to foster communication and is not intended for anonymous accusations or charges of wrong-doing.  If anonymous information is received, no action will be taken.

Please review the notes below about the extent of the actions the Society can take and the circumstances under which the Grievance Form should be completed.

Grievance Form Completion Guidelines:

  • Many affiliated fairs have their own, individual grievance policies.  It is recommended that before you complete this form, all affiliated fair grievance policy processes are completed.
  • Although we will review and record all documented grievances, the Society’s role is that of mediator and is not in a position to reverse any decisions or to take immediate disciplinary or punitive actions against the fair, the Fair Director, or any other involved fair personnel.
  • The Society does not award ISEF participation directly and is not able to grant a student entrance into ISEF, regardless of perceived unequal or unfair judging.
  • When completing this form, please provide complete answers to each question or indicate that it is not applicable.
  • This process is intended to foster communication and is not intended for anonymous reports.

Submit Your Response Here