Frequently Asked Questions

About Regeneron STS

What is the Regeneron Science Talent Search?

(Regeneron STS) is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science competition for high school seniors, providing an important forum for original research that is recognized and reviewed by a national jury of professional scientists. Alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and have earned many of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including thirteen Nobel Prizes. Annually, over 1,800 high school seniors from around the country accept the challenge of conducting independent science, math or engineering research and completing an entry for the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition recognizes 300 student scholars and their schools each year and invites 40 student finalists to Washington, D.C. to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, and meet with notable scientists and government leaders. Each year, Regeneron STS scholars and finalists compete for $3.1 million in awards.

Who runs the Regeneron Science Talent Search?

Society for Science (the Society) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. The Society has run the Science Talent Search for almost 8 decades, including the application process, judging, finalist week in Washington DC, processing of awards, and alumni management. The Society works actively with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the generous title sponsor for the program beginning in 2016.

How can I learn more about the Regeneron Science Talent Search?

Sign up to receive updates about our application launches, winner announcements, and more!

Why should entrants apply to Regeneron STS?

  • The application is a great exercise in scientific writing and thinking through the “why” of a research project!
  • Entrants can win awards of up to $250,000!
  • Top 40 finalists always say that the real prize of Regeneron STS is the community. The experience of meeting like-minded individuals during a special week together in Washington, DC, while learning from top scientists and attending field trips, is truly life changing. Don’t believe us? Watch our latest highlights video or this blog post with reasons to apply! 

Eligibility

Who can enter the Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS)?

Any student who is living in and attending their last year of secondary school in the US and its territories may apply, regardless of citizenship. Students who are US citizens living abroad may also qualify. Students attending American schools abroad, but who are not US citizens, are not eligible. Please read the Regeneron STS Rules and Entry Instructions document for more information. 

Can students who have completed team research enter Regeneron STS?

  • No; only independent, individual research is eligible. Even if students performed different parts of the experiment with another high school student, or if one student was the primary investigator, this is still considered team research. Students may not “split” a team project and enter it in Regeneron STS as individuals. Students also may not within the time between submission to the Regeneron STS in November 2022 and June 2023 combine individual research submitted to Regeneron STS and present it as team research in competition, publications, or any forum.
  • Research conducted alongside adult researchers in a research institution is permitted, but clarity and adequate acknowledgement of an individual’s role and independence versus work being done by the collective laboratory throughout the application is vital. Consideration should be given to the extent to which the research qualifies as independent research, given the student and adult responsibilities. 

Can students who have worked with scientist mentors or college students enter Regeneron STS?

Yes; these students are eligible to enter Regeneron STS, but in terms of judging, students should consider if the work is substantially their own. Judges understand that sometimes scientists cannot allow students to choose their own topic or sometimes the main part of a procedure is already known. Students should consider what portions of the research they can take credit for and if they believe it shows their potential as a scientist. Student researchers will also need to obtain permission from their mentors before submitting their research to Regeneron STS.

Can homeschooled students enter Regeneron STS?

Yes. Homeschooled students should contact the Society to have their school added to the high school lookup function, just as other new schools are added. They will also need to provide a document indicating what courses they have completed and their success in those courses, and submit that as a school transcript. Homeschool programs are not eligible to receive school awards, but may designate a non-profit or local school district to receive the award funds.

Can parents/guardians/other close relatives mentor students?

Yes; Entrants may be mentored by their parent(s)/guardian(s) or individuals employed by or previously mentored by family. However, both students and recommenders must disclose any prior familial or personal relationship within the application. 

Are entrants allowed to submit research that was completed through a paid program?

Entrants may perform their STS research in any sort of environment, including paid and unpaid research programs. However, entrants AND mentors must disclose participation in paid programs. This is a safeguard for the protection of students. No research program should guarantee placement in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Any individual who is aware of fraudulent or suspicious research programs should email sts@societyforscience.org.

I have an idea for a project. Can I submit my idea to Regeneron STS?

A project must have data and results in order to draft a research paper. You are asked to discuss your results both in the paper and in the essays within the application. If you have not yet built your device and/or collected data, then this project is not eligible for Regeneron STS. Note that literature reviews are also not permitted for entry to Regeneron STS. 

May entrants submit published research?

Yes, students may submit published research papers representing their work to Regeneron STS. We only recommend this in cases where the entrant is the first or sole author, otherwise it is difficult to determine student contribution. Note that it is certainly not required to submit published work and most entrants submit work that is not yet published.

What are the Regeneron STS official rules? Are they similar to ISEF?

You can find the Regeneron STS rules here. Entrants and educators should review them each year; they are similar to ISEF rules but there are many significant differences. When entrants open applications, task 3 will guide them through a series of questions that will determine the type of paperwork they need to submit to demonstrate permissions needed.

How can students get started on a research project?

There are so many great ways to get involved with research, and successful entrants approach research from all angles. You can learn a few basics in this Pathways to Science article, explore our Research at Home page, or find many other great internet resources on this topic. 


Application Requirements and Deadline

When is the application due?

The Regeneron STS 2023 application will open on June 1, 2022 and will close on November 9, 2022, at 8 PM ET. To view a PDF containing this year’s application questions click here. Please note this document is intended for informational purposes only; entries are only accepted through the online application system. To learn more about the specific troubleshooting issues with the application process, visit the application FAQ page.

All recommendations are also due on November 9, 2022, at 8 PM ET, no exceptions. The Technical Support Deadline is November 8, 2022, at 8 PM ET; the Society guarantees resolution of all issues reported by this time, and strongly encourages entrants to submit by then. 

What does the application process entail?

The application consists of essay questions, questions about your project, a maximum 20-page original scientific paper, recommendations, transcripts and optional test scores. You can learn more about these requirements in the Regeneron STS Rules and Entry Instructions document. You may review a PDF containing the Application Questions 2023, but must complete an application through our online system. We do not accept hard copies or any version sent to us outside of the system.

Entrants will submit a written report of their research, request recommendations from teachers and mentors, share transcripts via their counselors

What is required of students prior to entering Regeneron STS?

Students perform independent science research at school, at a research institution, in the field, or at home. Frequently this research spans a year or more, but some students have completed research in as short as 6 months. They write a research report that would model a journal article explaining their experiments and conclusions. Entrants may submit research projects performed in any year of school, over any length of time.

I have a troubleshooting question about my application. What should I do?

Check out our Application FAQ page. If you do not find the answer to your question, please email our team at sts@societyforscience.org.


Judging and Awards

How will the COVID-19 Pandemic impact the 2023 Regeneron STS application cycle?

The Society recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted high school grading systems, opportunities for students to take tests, and opportunities for students to pursue activities and research. While the application open and deadline date will remain as planned, the application and evaluation processes will be adjusted to consider these factors. The Regeneron STS 2023 application includes questions for high school counselors to share how individual schools adapted, and encourages students to let us know about changes to other activities within their application responses. Test scores are not required (Regeneron STS has been test-optional for many years). The Society will train evaluators to consider the many changes high school students have faced this year in our review process.

The Society also recognizes that lack of laboratory access might change the type of research students are able to submit to this year’s competition. We hope to reassure entrants that every year we receive entries representing 23 scientific disciplines, and that every year students perform high quality research in the home environment. As another option, per Regeneron STS rules, students may submit research completed during any year of high school (as long as it meets other requirements), and are encouraged to think about submitting older projects. For more information on the Regeneron STS 2023 application and COVID-19 related updated, click here.

How are entries judged?

Regeneron STS utilizes a holistic review process to identify future leaders in STEM. All components of the application package are considered in this review. Entries are reviewed by three or more PhD scientists, mathematicians, or engineers in the subject area of the entry. Scholars and finalists are selected by the judges, using all available entry evidence, with greatest weight given to the Research Report. Judges are looking for students exhibiting exceptional research skills, a commitment to academics and their extracurricular pursuits, innovative thinking, promise as a scientist, and evidence of leadership in their communities. Regeneron STS does not share rubrics. Entrants waive their right to review or challenge results.

What Regeneron STS Awards are given?

All Regeneron STS entrants receive a t-shirt, laptop sticker and a one-year subscription to Science News magazine as recognition of their completion of the rigorous application, and to support and encourage their interests in scientific disciplines.

Three hundred scholars are awarded $2,000; with an additional $2,000 going to their high schools to support STEM education. The top 300 scholars will also receive an invitation to apply to Regeneron’s summer internship program. All 40 finalists win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC for the Regeneron Science Talent Institute where they explain their research to some of the country’s top scientists and compete for the top 10 awards. The top award is $250,000.

What is Finals Week Judging like for the top 40 Finalists?

Top 40 finalists are invited to travel to Washington, DC where they participate in a once in a lifetime week of fun, learning and judging. Finalists undergo two types of judging–project judging, relating to their research, and panel judging, designed to evaluate the depth and breadth of their knowledge. From these interviews and the application package, the top 10 winners are named and all 40 finalists are celebrated in a black tie awards gala.