The following sections cover details for the respective forms. In general, all students will fill in a Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) form. All Junior and Senior Division students will need to fill in a number of ISEF forms including and abstract. Elementary division students are encouraged to include an abstract and the ISEF abstract form is recommended.

General Info

All students will fill out the information pages in the online registration form. This includes information about the student and their project. Junior and Senior division students will also fill out the ISEF forms.

Student Info

The Student Info page provides the general information about a student including their grade. This information can easily be supplied before a project is started and even before a topic is chosen.

The student's name will be repeated on all subsequent pages. Any changes will be reflected on all pages. This allows the online pages to more closely match the ISEF forms. The name should be capitalized as desired, i.e. John Middle Doe, as this will be used on the acceptance certificate and any awards. Do not capialize then entire name or make it all lower case.

The grade determines what division the project will compete in. The contact information is required in case we need to contact you about the application. It is also required for some awards.

The tabs and associated pages may change when you change the grade field. Only necessary application pages will be presented. For Junior and Senior division applications, additional form pages will be displayed when selections are made from Form 1. Elementary division applications will not show these options.

The U.S. Citizen check box is also required since some awards are available only to U.S. Citizens.

Project Info

The Project Info page includes the project title, category and the hypothesis. These can be changed at any time until registration closes. This means you can provide a working title and select a working category but change them once you have completed the project.

The hypothesis is optional but it can help in precertification approval for Junior and Senior division projects since it provides additional insight into the desired area of research.

MSEF Forms

The MSEF (Mercer Science and Engineering Fair) Elementary Application Form is only used by Elementary division students. It can be found on our Blank Forms page. However, we recommend that you create an online application and provide the information as part of this process. When that is completed you will be able to print a filled in MSEF Elementary Application Form that only needs the student and parent signatures. Bring this form to the fair when you set up the project.

Junior and Senior division students use ISEF forms that are also found on our Blank Forms page. These need to be uploaded to this website as part of the online registration process.

These additional MSEF forms are also used by ALL students and should be brought to the fair when they check in.

  • MSEF Check in letter
  • MSEF Check out letter - bring when you pick up your project at the end of the fair
  • MSEF Research Plan
  • MSEF Abstract

The check in letter is used to record final approval of your project. It will be signed by a safety review member at the fair and should be left with your project. The check out letter should be brought by the person picking up your project. Photo ID is also acceptable at that time.

The MSEF Research Plan and MSEF Abstract forms contain your detailed research plan and abstract that you entered in your online application. The forms are available on the status page of your online application after the information has been entered. These forms should also be left in front of your project when you check in.

We are no longer using the ISEF Abstract form.

MSEF Research Plan

The MSEF Research Plan form provides judges with a standard view of a project's research plan. It should be printed and left in front of a project along with the MSEF Abstract when the project is set up.

The MSEF Research Plan is optional for Elementary and Junior division projects although it is highly recommended.

The research plan should be as detailed as possible. It should include a description of the set up, experimental procedures and clean up procedures to be used by the student. The research plan should be written before the project is started and is required for precertification.

MSEF Abstract

We no longer using the ISEF Abstract form. All projects should use the MSEF Abstract form that is available in the online application once the abstract has been entered. It is simply a matter of clicking the MSEF Abstract link and printing the displayed form.

The abstract should be written AFTER the project is completed and the data is analyzed. It should summarize the hypothesis, procedure, data and results. It should be short and concise.

It is used by judges to get a feel for a project so it is important to write a good abstract.

ISEF Forms

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) forms are required for all Junior and Senior division projects. You may use the blank ISEF forms can be found at the but we recommend using the ones on our Blank Forms page. Our version allows you complete the forms using a computer and then automatically upload their contents to create an online application thereby saving time.

Digital copies of all ISEF forms required for a project need to be uploaded to the website to complete the online registration process. You no longer need to mail in printed copies of these forms.

The basic set of ISEF forms required for all Junior and Senior division projects can be found on our Blank Forms page. These include Form 1, 1A and 1B that must be completed for all projects.

Some projects require additional forms. For example, Form 4 is required if human subjects are involved in an experiment. Use the ISEF Rules Wizard to determine what forms are required for your project. You should do this before your start your experiments and all forms, with one exception, need to be filled and signed BEFORE your experiment starts.

The ISEF forms are Adobe PDF that works with the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. See the Filling In Forms section for details on using the ISEF forms.

The online registration process will be complete once the project has been finished, the ISEF forms have been completely filled in, the online application has been completed so the data reflects the contents of the actual forms and a copy of the forms have been uploaded to the website.

The following sections detail the contents of the forms and their online application fields. In general, these map one-to-one although the terminology may be slightly different.

Only submit the forms that are required for your project. Do not submit blank forms. For example, a project that does not involve human subjects will not require the human subjects form.

Research Plan

The Research Plan outlines what will be done in a project including why the project is being done, how experiments will be done, what safety precautions will be taken, etc. The form allows you to paste in your research plan but it can accept only text, no images.

If you need to provide this level of detail you will need to email us a PDF file. You can obtain a free printer driver for Windows to create a PDF file at PDF Creator.

Junior and Senior division students may submit a more detailed version of their research plan with their printed paperwork. Projects that require precertification must supply a research plan that has sufficient detail for approval. This is typically where projects are rejected and require resubmission so include as much relevant information as possible.


  • A research plan is not a research paper and it does not need to include references unless these are related to the research plan.
  • A research plan MUST include any safety related information as well as any disposal procedures when necessary. This is usually the case for biological projects that detail with microorganisms, tissues, etc.
  • A research plan does not replace the need for proper completion of related ISEF forms

Consent Form

The Informed Consent Form may be required based upon the approval noted on Form 4. If the form is required then a COPY will be presented to all parties involved in an experiment for their signatures.

Not all projects that deal with human subjects will require this form. Additional information may be supplied as required by an IRB but this form must be the basis of any consent.

See the ISEF Rules on Human Subjects and the ISEF Risk Assessment Guide for more details.

Form 1

Form 1: Adult And Student Checklist is required for all Junior and Senior division projects.

This form specifies any additional ISEF forms that may be required for project approval. Some ISEF forms, such as Form 1, 1A and 1B, are required with all projects. These cannot be unchecked. Likewise, if a project is requires additional forms then these must be explicitly checked. This will cause the related tabs to be added to the left making those forms available.

Use the Intel ISEF Rules Wizard (see Fair Info on the right column) to determine which forms are required. Other than Form 7 (Continuation), selection of any but the default forms will cause the application to require precertification.

The form includes checkboxes to indicate whether particular types of items will be involved in the project. These normally require additional approvals and forms.

All information on this form and all other ISEF forms will be saved even if they related checkbox is unchecked and the form is hidden. You should be submitting any forms that are selected in the online registration process.

As on the other ISEF forms, names, dates and signatures are required. The online registration only requires that you enter the names and dates. The signatures will be checked when the printed applications are received. For Junior division applications, this will be at the fair. For Senior division applications, these will be mailed in by the posted due date.

Form 1A

Form 1A: Student Checklist contains the following information:

  • Estimated Project Dates (1)
  • Actual Project Dates (2)
  • Experimentation site information (1)

(1) done before the project starts
(2) done after the project ends


Form 1B

Form 1B: Project Approval is filled in before a project starts and indicates the approvals required for the project. This includes SRC or IRB approval information if these are required. In general, projects that require precertification will need these fields filled in before precertification approval is given.

Form 1C

Form 1C: Regulated Research is filled in AFTER the project is completed. The information supplied by the supervising adult should be copied to this form.

This form is required if you perform any of your experiments at a regulated research institution.

Form 2

Form 2: Qualified Scientist is required for a number of different kinds of projects. The information must be supplied before experimentation begins.

A qualified scientist is an experienced adult whole will oversee your project.

Form 3

Form 3: Risk Assessment is required for projects using hazardous chemicals, activities or devices. It must be completed before experimentation.

The risk assessment outlines the risks and precautions to be taken during experimentation so the project can be completed safetly.

See the ISEF Rules for hazardous materials and the ISEF Risk Assessment Guide for more details.

Form 4

Form 4: Human Subjects is required if a project involves humans. This will indicate whether additional oversight is required and whether the Consent Form is required.

See the ISEF Rules on Human Subjects and the ISEF Risk Assessment Guide for more details.

Form 5A

Form 5A: Vertebrate Animal Form is required for all research involving vertebrate animals that is conducted in a Non-Regulated Research Site. SRC approval is required before experimentation.

See the ISEF Rules for Vertabrate Animals for more details.

Form 5B

Form 5B: Vertebrate Animal Form is required for all research involving vertebrate animals that is conducted in a Regulated Research Site. IACUC approval is required before experimentation.

See the ISEF Rules for Vertabrate Animals for more details.

Form 6A

Form 6A: Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessment Form is required for research involving microorganisms, rDNA, fresh/frozen tissue, blood and body fluids. SRC/IACUC/IBC approval is required before experimentation.

See ISEF Rules about Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents for more details.

Form 6B

Form 6b: Human and Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form is required for projects using fresh/frozen tissue, primary cell cultures, blood, blood products and body fluids. If the research involves living organisms, please ensure that the proper human or animal forms are completed.

All projects using any tissue listed above, must also complete Form 6A.

See ISEF Rules about Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents for more details.

Form 7

Form 7: Continuation Projects Form is used for projects that are a continuation in the same field of study as a previous project. This form must be accompanied by the previous year’s abstract and Research Plan when the application is submitted. Only the summary information is posted in the online application.

Continuations allow students to refer to prior year's work. It does not affect how the current project is judged and it does not add or detract from the project.