Frequently Asked Questions

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 Public (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 will the COVID-19 Pandemic impact the 2021 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 2021 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 2021 application and COVID-19 related updated, click here.

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

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


Eligibility

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

Any student who is enrolled in and enrolled in their final year of secondary school in the US and its territories may apply. Also, students who are US citizens living abroad may qualify.  Please read the Rules and Entry Instructions for more information. Share this digital flyer with eligible students!

Can students who have completed team research enter Regeneron STS?

No. Applicants must complete individual research projects to enter Regeneron STS; research conducted as part of a pre-collegiate student team project is not eligible for Regeneron STS. This includes any research or portion of research regardless of whether it has or will be submitted to any competition. To remain eligible and collect Regeneron STS awards, the following statements must remain true about the submitted research project until June 1, 2021:

  • 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 2020 and May 2021 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 vs. 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.


Application Requirements and Deadline

When is the application due?

The Regeneron STS 2021 application will open June 1, 2020 and close on November 12, 2020 at 8pm 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.

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 2021, 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.

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 are entries judged?

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, and promise as a scientist.

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.