Information for Students

Getting Your Project to Fair


Check the Important Dates and Deadlines page to ensure your project paperwork meets all GNOSEF deadlines!



The Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF) is an affiliate of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). As such, GNOSEF must ensure that projects meet all ISEF guidelines and regulations. Please review the ISEF Roles and Responsibilities and ISEF Rules and Guidelines so that you and your teacher/mentor are aware of everyone’s expected responsibilities as they relate to student work. This will help to ensure obtaining the proper documentation and signatures that might be required. Please remember that there are some GNOSEF guidelines that are a bit more restrictive than ISEF guidelines.

Getting Started

Next STEPS in Student Research is a good place to start when you are ready to develop your topic. It leads you through a series of questions to help you design your project and lead you through identifying the needs and constraints that might arise. All projects should address risks and identify the safety protocols that you will need to address those. No project paperwork should indicate no risk! Projects dealing with human subjects must address risk factors and any local or federal restrictions that might apply. Vertebrate animal projects need to address animal care and housing.

Writing Your Research Plan and Completing Your Paperwork

A well-written and complete Research Plan will help you avoid paperwork issues when the GNOSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC)or your school’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews your ISEF paperwork. GNOSEF has developed a Research Plan Template that you can complete as you develop you project. Be sure to completely address all of the ISEF Research Plan components especially any that pertain to the special sections from project that require prior approval. Please be concise. A research plan is not a research paper that you create later when your project is completed that might explain your background research and conclusion. In the research plan you will provide the answers and information to address the specific items on the ISEF Guidebook pg 33 which is the back of the Form 1A. If your project protocols change after you have submitted your paperwork for approval, you will need to include a research summary describing those changes when you resubmit your paperwork for registration in January.

Use the ISEF Rules and Guidelines and the ISEF Rules Wizard to determine which forms you will need to complete for your project. Complete forms for your particular project and obtain all necessary signatures and other required documents. Give the completed packet of forms and research plan to your teacher/mentor. If your project is selected by your school for competition in GNOSEF, they will send it to GNOSEF for you.

Does your project require prior approval?

Some projects require GNOSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) prior approval before students can begin their experimentation. Most projects involving human participants, vertebrate animals, and potentially hazardous biological agents require a review by the GNOSEF SRC. Projects involving human participants must first be reviewed by the school/institution IRB prior to submitting to GNOSEF for prior approval. GNOSEF Guidelines are slightly more stringent than ISEF guidelines such as any project involving firearms must also receive prior approval with additional GNOSEF documentation. Review the ISEF Prior Approval Checklist with your teacher/mentor to determine if you must get a Prior Approval before beginning your project.

  • Use the ISEF Rules and Guidelines and the ISEF Rules Wizard to determine which forms you will need to complete for your project.
  • Have your teacher submit a single completed pdf file of all forms and your research plan to the school’s Box account.
  • Respond to any changes or revisions requested by the SRC review team so that your file can be approved.
  • After your school fair, if your project is entered into GNOSEF, have your teacher submit your updated file for final approval for competition.


GNOSEF Materials & Equipment Request

Through the generosity of several sponsors and a partnership with the STEM Library Lab, the GNOSEF is able to offer a limited number materials & equipment requests (up to $200/teacher) to students to help fund materials and/or equipment to complete their research. You will need to submit the completed ISEF forms required for your project and a detailed research plan with a materials to your teacher/science fair coordinator. If your request is approved, your teacher will receive instructions to access the approved materials.


Registering a Project for GNOSEF

To compete at GNOSEF, your project must be designated by your school to compete. If your project did not require Prior Approval from the GNOSEF SRC, follow the same guidelines above for submitting your final paperwork in a single pdf file for the January registration deadline. If you have received Prior Approval, resubmit your forms with any needed research summary to identify changes to your original protocols made since the first approval was given by the GNOSEF SRC.

Project Display Restrictions

24 inches (60 cm) deep, front to back
48 inches (122 cm) wide, side to side
108 inches (274 cm) high, floor to top
Tables are 36 inches high; thus, projects can only be 72 inches high. (108″– 36″ = 72″)

Projects that exceed the above cannot be displayed at GNOSEF.


All components of the display must fit in the designated space in front of the display board. No components can be under or in front of the tables. Please use the GNOSEF Safety and Display Guidelines to review your project for any Safety or Display issues that might present issues when registering for the fair or during Safety and Display Check at the GNOSEF. All issues found will need to be corrected before any project is approved for competition.

The sites below may assist you and your teacher/mentor with getting your project ready for GNOSEF competition: