Regeneron Science Talent Search | Society for Science & the Public

Regeneron Science Talent Search

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

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The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) recognizes and empowers our nation’s most promising young scientists who are creating the ideas that could solve society’s most urgent challenges. 

Each year, approximately 1,800 students enter Regeneron STS, submitting original research in critically important scientific fields of study. Unique among high school competitions in the U.S. and globally, Regeneron STS focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the nation's most promising young scientists.

Three hundred scholars are selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking, and promise as a scientist. Each scholar and their school receives $2,000. From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, D.C. in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $1.8 million in awards. The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000.

In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search, increasing the overall awards distribution to better reward the best and brightest young minds. Through its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually, increasing the top award to $250,000 and doubling the awards for the top 300 scholars and their schools to $2,000 each to inspire more young people to engage in science.

STS alumni have gone on to receive some of the world's most esteemed academic honors, including 11 National Medals of Science, five Breakthrough Prizes, 18 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, two Fields Medals, and 13 Nobel Prizes. They found top science-based companies and invent groundbreaking new medical treatments.

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The Science Talent Search is arguably the most reputable science competition for high schoolers in the entire world.
Amber Yang, Regeneron STS 2017 finalist
Society for Science & the Public President & CEO Maya Ajmera, top winner Indrani Das, Leonard Schleifer, and George Yancopoulos on stage at Regeneron STS 2017.
Society for Science & the Public President & CEO Maya Ajmera, top winner Indrani Das, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Schleifer, and President and Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos on stage at Regeneron STS 2017.
Photo courtesy of Society for Science & the Public.

Alumni of the Science Talent Search continuously express how influential the competition was to their lives.

"Participating in science fairs really got me where I am today," says Paige Brown (Intel STS 2016).

"Those who participate in the Science Talent Search are unified by their vision to use science to improve the quality of life, regardless of how that improvement is delivered," says Peeyush Shrivastava (Intel STS 2013).

"At the time, majoring in engineering was a daring choice. My experience with the Westinghouse Science Talent search gave me the confidence to make this decision," says Carol Bauer (Westinghouse STS 1942).

"The legend was that these were the kids who would go on to do amazing things, make inventions, win Nobel Prizes," says George Yancopoulos, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron (Westinghouse STS 1976).

STS 75th Anniversary

History of the Science Talent Search

Since its start in 1942, the Science Talent Search has showcased the country's best and brightest young scientists as they present their original research. In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor of the competition.

Regeneron is led by two STS alumni, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Schleifer and President and Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos. Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for 30 years by physician-scientists, Regeneron's science-driven approach has resulted in six FDA-approved medicines and numerous product candidates, all of which are homegrown in their laboratories.

For 57 years, the Science Talent Search was known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, or simply “the Westinghouse.” At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Westinghouse executive G. Edward Pendray and director of Science Service (now Society for Science & the Public) Watson Davis began discussing ways to encourage more students to pursue science careers. They decided on a national competition. Westinghouse agreed to provide prize money and cover administrative costs and Science Service took on the task of running the competition.

Intel served as the sponsor of STS from 1998-2016, and Westinghouse from 1942-1998.

Read more about Regeneron STS in this Medium blog post from George Yancopoulos, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron, and an STS 1976 alum, and this Medium blog post from Maya Ajmera, the President & CEO of Society for Science & the Public.