Science Fair

Science Fair

Utica University Regional Science Fair

The 43rd Annual Utica University Regional Science Fair* (2022) 

Format: Virtual (online)

Application Deadline:  
Monday, March 21 by 11:59pm.  See application details below. Please submit early if possible! Contact us if your local fair is the weekend immediately prior to this deadline.

Deadlines and Fair Events: See virtual format and schedule/deadlines below

The Science Fair Planning Committee will hold a virtual 2022 Fair. This decision was informed by multiple entities and factors including the continued unpredictability of COVID-related concerns, and the anticipated hybrid (or completely virtual) format of the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) that will require virtual presentation materials much like last year. Our 2022 virtual Fair will follow a similar format as last year's virtual Fair.

All pertinent information will be posted to this website. Please check back frequently as we continue to provide updated information about our 2022 Fair. 

Please contact the Fair Director, Dr. Jessica Thomas, directly at (315) 792-3755 or by email at with any questions.

International Affiliation:

We are proudly affiliated with and sanctioned by the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which is supported by the Society for Science.  ISEF has been been the guiding body of science fairs since 1980.  Our rules and regulations are guided by our affiliation.


1. In accordance with the 2022 Regeneron ISEF rules, 
  • Each participant is allowed to enter only one project to our Regional Fair.
  • More rules TBA as they are released by ISEF. 
2. Public and private schools in Oneida, Herkimer, Lewis, and Otsego counties can each endorse up to ten (10) junior level (grades 7-8) projects and ten (10) senior level (grades 9-12) projects to compete in the Regional Fair.  It is strongly recommended that students place as either winners or runners-up at their school's local science fair to compete in our Regional Fair. If your school does not host a science fair or if you are homeschooled, please contact the Fair Director, at (315) 792-3755 or about eligibility.

3. Senior Level projects may include no more than one (1) student participant. Individual projects and team projects consisting of no more than two (2) students are welcome at the Junior Level.

4. Only students in the Senior Level are eligible to compete at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  Our Regional Fair supports participation of our Senior Level Grand Champion at the international level. (Note that our ISEF participant must not have reached age 20 on or before May 1 preceding ISEF per the ISEF rules.)

Rules and Regulations:

Our Regional Fair follows the International Science and Engineering (ISEF) Rules and Regulations, which can be found in the ISEF Rulebook linked below and at

ISEF Rulebook-PDF version
ISEF Rulebook-HTML version

Reviewing student research plans and completing ISEF paperwork:
  • Please have all applicants and advisors carefully read and adhere to the rules in the ISEF Rule Book and application forms.   Participants must adhere to these requirements or they could be disqualified from the Regional Fair.
  • Participants are required to complete all necessary ISEF forms and to obtain all necessary signatures (see more information below under Applications and Forms).
  • Please pay particular attention to projects that require SRC or IRB approval before experimentation begins. Projects that may require prior approval are projects that involve human participants, vertebrate animals, and potentially hazardous biological agents. Specific attention should be made to Approval Form (1B) (see forms under Applications and Forms below) that requires additional paperwork completion and signatures before experimentation begins for these projects. To determine if a project involving these subjects/reagents needs approval before experimentation, please read the relevant sections in the ISEF Rule Book under “Human Participants Rules”, “Vertebrate Rules”, or “Potentially Hazardous Biological (PHBA) Rules”. Please contact us with questions or concerns about this requirement.
  • Your local fair should maintain its own Scientific Review Committee (SRC) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the purpose of reviewing student research plans and completing ISEF paperwork.  Please contact us if your school does not have SRC/IRB resources or if you have questions or concerns about these requirements or paperwork.

Virtual Format and Schedule/Deadlines

Below is a general timeline of our 2022 virtual events including relevant deadlines to submit participant and project material. Judging will occur asynchronously. In other words, judges assigned to your project will use the required presentation materials that you submit to score your project. Judges will not meet synchronously (live) with participants for judging of regular, special, or grand prize awards. However, we are planning several synchronous, online (live!) events including opening remarks, a keynote speech, and an awards ceremony to celebrate our shared love of science and YOUR hard work and accomplishments! 

Monday, March 21 by 11:59pm
Deadline to submit applications and all required ISEF forms through our online fair management system. PLEASE SUBMIT EARLY if possible! This will give us and you time to respond to any outstanding issues and concerns. Contact us if your local fair is the weekend immediately prior to this deadline.

Friday, March 25
Application and ISEF form review completed by Fair personnel and project acceptance emails sent to participants.

Tuesday, March 29 by 12pm (noon)
Deadline to upload required presentation materials to our online fair management system. Materials will be “locked” preventing further modifications to submitted materials.

Deadline to self-nominate for Special Awards in zFairs profile.

Display and Safety inspections begin by Fair personnel. Participants will be contacted via email if there are any issues to address. Participants must resolve the issue within 24 hours of notification.

Thursday, March 31-Saturday, April 2
Asynchronous judging occurs for regular judging (1-4th prize in each category at each level), grand prizes at each level, and special awards.

Saturday, April 2, 10-11am EST
Synchronous, online (LIVE!): Keynote speech and opening remarks
We are very proud and excited to announce that our keynote speech will be given by UC alumna Dr. Jenny Lounsbury '05.  Dr. Lounsbury earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Utica College, an M.S.F.S in Forensics Science-Criminalistics from the University of New Haven, and a Ph.D. in Bioanalytical Chemistry from the University of Virginia.  Dr. Lounsbury is currently a Forensic Scientist IV at the Texas Department of Public Safety. 

The event will occur via Zoom and requires pre-registration. Zoom registrants must have a registered email account with zFairs for their Zoom event registration to be accepted. Please contact us directly if you believe the event is open to you but you do not have a zFairs account so we can process your Zoom event registration.

To register, please click on the following link. Upon registration, a Zoom joining link will be emailed to you within 24 hours of registering:

Tuesday, April 5, 5-6pm EST
Synchronous, online (LIVE!): Awards ceremony and opening remarks
During this event, we will announce our 1-4th prize recipients in each category and at each level, our special award recipients, and our Grand Prize recipients.

This event is open to Fair participants including students and their parents/guardians, school teachers and administrators, project mentors, judges, and committee members.

The event will occur via Zoom and requires pre-registration. Zoom registrants must have a registered email account with zFairs for their Zoom event registration to be accepted. Please contact us directly if you believe the event is open to you but you do not have a zFairs account so we can process your Zoom event registration.

To register, please click on the following link. Upon registration, a Zoom joining link will be emailed to you within 24 hours of registering:

Presentation Materials

Please click here to download a list of presentation materials that participants are required to submit to our online fair management system (zFairs) for judging. Detailed instructions and guidelines are given within the document.

Applications and Forms

Application/Forms Deadline:  Monday, March 21 by 11:59pm
In fairness to all participants, we will not accept applications submitted after the deadline.  Applications submitted after the deadline do not allow us time to request additional information or clarification.  Please submit applications as early as possible so that we have adequate time to request additional information or clarification and you have time to respond. 

We will continue to use our online fair management system hosted by zFairs (see registration information below). Our zFairs site will guide you through the required application, forms, and presentation materials that you will need to submit to our zFairs site to compete in our Regional Fair. We cannot accept paper copies of application materials. Please contact us for help with preparing electronic forms (see more information below.)

To register for our fair through zFairs:

1. Confirm your eligibility.

2. If eligible, create a zFairs account at
  • *Notice to all registrants: *Our communications through zFairs and our UC email to ".edu" email addresses are frequently blocked by your school's IT so please have all zFairs registrants use email addresses other than school email (e.g. gmail, yahoo, etc.). Please contact us with concerns.
  • Each student applicant (including each junior level team member) needs to create an account to apply to our fair. If a student applicant had a zFairs account with us in the past, they need to create a new account each year. Please indicate the applicant’s school and teacher in each application. It is therefore encouraged that teachers register themselves first if they have not registered with us in the past. All application materials are submitted to the applicant’s zFairs account. If your teacher does not create an account for you, please contact us at to request a zFairs account. Additional instructions are found in the zFairs website “Main” tabs.
  • Teachers: If you have an existing account with us, you can continue to use your existing account. Otherwise, you will create a new account using the link above. Teachers may use their own zFair account to register each of their student applicants for a zFairs account, or students can create accounts themselves. Additional instructions are found in the zFairs website “Main” tabs.
3. To complete your application: Read the important application information in the "Students Main" tab of your zFairs account, including how to self-nominate for special awards.

4. Upon receipt, our SRC committee will review your completed application and forms. You will then receive an email indicating if your project has been accepted to compete in our fair. Further information will follow.

All forms will be submitted in the participant's zFairs account to which teacher zFair accounts also have access.  Submission instructions, including suggestions for completing the PDF forms, are included in the "Student's Main" tab in our zFairs site.

We continue to require submission of all applicable ISEF forms (click here for forms, which are also accessible in your zFair account) for participants at both the Junior and Senior Levels. Please see the ISEF Rulebook for which forms to complete.  The ISEF Rules Wizard is a helpful tool to identify the forms required for each project and our online fair management system (zFairs) will similarly help you to identify the ISEF forms required for your project. Please contact us with questions.

Please be sure that applicants submit all forms and signatures required for their projects. If there are any questions about the required forms and signatures, please contact us as soon as possible. Under the rules fo ISEF, we must refuse any project submitted without ALL of the required forms and signatures.

Project Categories (required for registration)
Physical Science
Earth Science
Physics & Astronomy

Natural Science
Animal Science
Behavioral & Social Science
Biomedical and Health Sciences
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Environmental Sciences
Plant Sciences
Translational Medical Science

Math, Engineering, and Computer Science
Biomedical Engineering
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Electrical Engineering
Embedded Systems
Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design
Engineering Mechanics
Environmental Engineering
Materials Science
Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Systems Software

*Our Regional Fair may be subject to cancellation. We hope this is not the case. However, we must be aware in the current and dynamic times for anything unexpected to happen. 

Contact Us

Jessica H. Thomas, Ph.D.

Jessica H. Thomas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
(315) 792-3057

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