Grand Award Judging at the International Science & Engineering Fair

Become a Judge at ISEF

Students finalists overwhelmingly say that the most significant interactions that they have at the fair are with the judges. Likewise, judges find their discussions with these outstanding students to be a positive and uplifting experiences. We encourage you to volunteer your time to support these young scientists and engineers and to be inspired!

Apply Now to Judge at ISEF 2020

In May 2020, more than 1,800 students representing 80 countries, regions, and territories will be in Anaheim to compete for more than $5 million in awards, scholarships, internships and prizes. These high school students are the top winners of regional, state and national science fairs from around the United States and the world.

By volunteering for only two days, you can play an important role in encouraging these students to become the future science and engineering leaders of tomorrow. Judging will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center starting on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 12 through the evening of Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

A Grand Award Judge must have one of the following qualifications:

  • Have a minimum of six years related professional experience beyond receiving their B.A., B.S., or Master’s degree, OR
  • Have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent (D.O., Ed.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., etc.), OR
  • Is a current graduate student with more than four years of doctoral-level research experience or who is within one year of doctoral dissertation defense.

Judges may include university faculty and scientists, industrial engineers and scientists, representatives of private and federal research centers and agencies, medical researchers, post-doctoral fellows, and senior graduate students. Affiliated science fair directors and elementary or secondary school teachers are generally NOT eligible to serve as ISEF judges.

Background Check

As part of the application process, all volunteers and judges will have a background screening completed through Sterling Volunteers, a third-party vendor.

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The Society is not able to support travel expenses or visa invitations for volunteer judges. We do provide reduced rates via our general housing portal.

Make your reservation today

Ethics Statement

All Grand Awards Judges should note that you will be asked to agree to an Ethics Agreement when submitting your applications. The terms of the Ethics Statement can be found below

I hereby acknowledge that by submitting this application:

  1. I agree to serve as a judge for the International Science and Engineering Fair 2020.
  2. I agree to act in a positive and ethical manner, treating each student finalist I encounter fairly and respectfully.
  3. I will keep confidential any privileged information obtained through my volunteer service. I will not use such information, nor disclose it to third parties.
  4. I agree to disclose all conflicts of interest resulting from direct competitive, collaborative or other relationships with any of the student finalists.
  5. I acknowledge that I have read and agree to abide by Society for Science & the Public’s harassment policy protecting all ISEF participants from harassment and sexual harassment by another ISEF participant or other person for any reason including, but not limited to: age, national origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, ancestry and/or veteran status and understand The Society’s responsibility to investigate claims of violation of the policy.
  6. I agree to notify my co-chairs and/or the judging chair immediately if I become aware of any circumstance that would compromise either (a) my ability to attend the event or (b) fairly evaluate finalists’ projects.

Special Award Judges

Each year more than 50 professional organizations affiliate with ISEF as Special Award Sponsors to provide awards from their respective organizations. Special Award Organizations (SAO’s) recruit their own judges to choose the winners of their awards. Please note that a judge cannot serve as both a Special Award Judge and a Grand Award Judge.