Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations | Student Science

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Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations

Please address any questions regarding Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations to: Display and Safety Committee at


Display and Safety Authority
Display Regulations
Display Content for Research Institution and/or Continuation Projects 
Maximum Size of Project
Position of Project
Forms Required to be Visible and Vertically Displayed 
Forms Required at Project but not Displayed
Completed Informed Consent Forms not to be Displayed
Photograph/Image Display Requirements
Handouts Allowed at Project 
Items/Materials Not Allowed at Project
Other Display Regulations
Safety Regulations
Not Allowed at Project or Booth
Electrical Regulations at Intel ISEF
Laser RequirementsOther Safety Regulations

Display and Safety Authority

The Intel ISEF Display and Safety Committee is the final authority on display and safety issues for projects approved by the SRC to compete in the Intel ISEF. Occasionally, the Intel ISEF Display and Safety Committee may require students to make revisions to conform to display and safety regulations. The Regulations that follow have been divided into two main categories to separate those that deal specifically with display regulations and those that pertain to safety regulations.

Display Regulations

The following regulations must be adhered to when a finalist exhibits a project at Intel ISEF.


Maximum Size of Project

Depth (front to back): 30 inches or 76 centimeters
Width (side to side): 48 inches or 122 centimeters
Height (floor to top): 108 inches or 274 centimeters

Please be aware when ordering posters that the mechanism that supports the poster should conform to the maximum size limitations stated above.

  1. All project materials and support mechanisms must fit within the project dimensions (including table covers).
  2. Fair-provided tables at the Intel ISEF will not exceed a height of 36 inches (91 centimeters).
  3. If a table is used it becomes part of the project and must not exceed the allowed dimensions.
  4. Nothing can be attached to the rear curtain.
  5. All demnostrations must be done within the confines of the finalist's booth space. When not being demonstrated, all project components must be returned to the project and must fit within allowable dimensions as defined abov
  6. Projects can be continued under the table BUT this area is not to be used for storage.

Position of Project

The fair provided table or freestanding display must be parallel to, and positioned at, the back curtain of the booth. Projects may NOT lean against the back curtain.

Display Content for Research Institution Projects

The display must reflect only the work conducted by the finalist. Minimal reference to mentor’s or other researcher’s work must only reflect background information or be used to clarify differences between finalist’s and others’ work. If Box 3 is checked YES on the official Intel ISEF Abstract and Certification, Regulated Research Institution/Industrial Setting Form 1C must be vertically displayed.

Display Content for Continuation Projects

The display board should summarize ONLY the CURRENT year’s work. The Title may include the duration of the project (for example, "Year Two of an Ongoing Study"). Minimum reference to the conclusions of previous years' work may be shown without any specific data being displayed. If Box 4 is checked YES on the official Intel ISEF Abstract and Certification, Continuation Form 7 must be vertically displayed, summarizing clear differences between current and previous years’ work.

Forms Required to be Visible and Vertically Displayed

The placement of the required forms may include the front edge of the table, the display board, or in a free-standing acryclic frame placed on the table top. 

Forms required at all projects: 

  1. An original Official Abstract and Certification as approved and stamped/embossed by the Intel ISEF Scientific Review Committee
    • Upon SRC approval, the stamped/embossed Official Abstract and Certification will be provided. 
      • The abstract must be the official Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Abstract and embossed/stamped by the Intel ISEF Scientific Review Committee
      • No other format or version of your approved Abstract & Certification will be allowed for any pupose at the Intel ISEF. Abstract handouts to judges and to the public are limited to UNALTERED photocopies of the official abstract and certification. 
    • The term "abstract" may NOT be used as a title or reference for any information on a finalist's display or materials at the project except as part of displaying the official stamped/embossed abstract. 
      • It is the recommendation of the Display & Safety Committee to NOT include the word "abstract" nor the abstract itself when preparing backboards or posters prior to the fair. 
  2. Intel ISEF Set-up Approval Form (received on-site at the Fair)
    • This form documents the project as approved by the Scientific Review Committee and is used to document the Display & Safety Committee's review and final approval. 
    • This form must be signed by the Finalist and the Display and Safety Committee member at the time of inspection. 

Additional forms required (only when applicable):

  1. Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form(1C)
    • If work was conducted in a regulated research institution, industrial setting or any work site other than home, school or field at any time during the current Intel ISEF project year, the Regulated Research Institutional / Industrial Setting Form (1C) must be completed and vertically displayed at the project booth. 
    •  The information provided by the mentor on Form 1C may be referenced to confirm that the information provided on the project board is that of the finalist. Only minimal reference to mentor’s or another researcher’s work is allowable and must only reflect background information or be used to clarify differences between finalist’s and others’ work. 
  2. Continuation/Research Progression Projects Form (7) 
    • If a study is a continuation/research progression, the Continuation/Research Progression Projects Form (7) must be completed and vertically displayed at the project booth.
    • The display board and abstract must reflect only the current year’s work. The project title displayed in the finalist’s booth may mention years of continuing research (for example, “Year Two of an Ongoing Study”).
    • Reference to past work on the display board must be limited to summative past conclusory data and its comparison to the current year data set. No raw data from previous years may be publicly displayed; however, it may be included in the student research notebooks and/or logbooks if properly labeled.

Forms Required at Project but not Displayed

  1. Forms, excluding those listed above, that were required for the Scientific Review Committee Approval should not be vertically displayed, but must be available in the booth in case asked for by a judge or other Intel ISEF offiicial. Thse forms include, but are not limited to, Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1), Student Checklist (1A), Research Plan and Approval Form (1B), and a photograph/video release form.
  2. A photograph/video release form signed by the subject is required for visual images of humans (other than the finalist) displayed as part of the project. 

Forms NOT to be at the Project Display Booth or in the Exhibit Hall

Completed informed consent/assent forms for a human participant study are NOT to be displayed and should NOT be present at the project display. The Finalist may include a sample (incomplete) form in their logbook or research notebook but under NO CIRCUMSTANCE should the completed informed consent/assent forms for a human participant be in the Exhibit Hall.

Photograph/Image Display Requirements

Any photograph/visual image/chart/table and/or graph is allowed if:

  • It is not deemed offensive or inappropriate (which includes images/photographs showing invertebrate or vertebrate animals/humans in surgical, necrotizing or dissection situations) by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public. 
  • It has a credit line of origin (“Photograph taken by...”or “Image taken from...” or “Graph/Chart/Table taken from…”). If all images, etc. being displayed were taken or created by the finalist or are from the same source, one credit line prominently and vertically displayed on the backboard/poster or tabletop is sufficient. All images MUST BE properly cited. This includes photographs and/or visual depictions of the finalist or photographs and/or visual depictions of others for which a signed photo/ideo release form is in a notebook or logbook at the project booth. These signed consent forms must be available upon request during set-up and the inspection process, but may not be displayed. 
  • Sample release text: “I consent to the use of visual images (photos, videos, etc.) involving my participation/my child’s participation in this research.”

Finalists using any presentation or demonstration outside of a project board must be prepared to show the entire presentation to the Display and Safety Inspectors before the project is approved. All aforementioned rules apply to this presentation and the presentation may not be altered in any way after the fi nal Display & Safety inspection. Examples of presentations that require approval include, but are not limited to PowerPoint, Prezi, Keynote, YouTube, software program/simulation and other images and/or graphics displayed on a computer screen or other non-print delivery method.

Items/Materials Not Allowed on Display or at Project Booth

  1. Any information on the project display or items that are acknowledgments, self-promotions or external endorsements are not allowed in the project booth. This includes:
    • The use of logos including known commercial brands, institutional crests or trademarks, flags unless integral to the project and approved by the SRC via inclusion in the Official Abstract and Certification.
    • Personalized graphic/logo that is developed to indicate a commercial purpose or viability of an established or proposed business associated with the project, unless student-created in which it can be displayed on the board only once.
    • Any reference to an institution or mentor that supported your research except as provided in the official Intel ISEF paperwork, most notably Form 1C.
    • Any reference to patent status of the project.
    • Any items intended for distribution such as disks, CDs, flash drives, brochures, booklets, endorsements, give-away items, business cards, or printed materials designed to be distributed to judges or the public. Once again, handouts to judges and to the public are limited to UNALTERED photocopies of the offi cial abstract and certification.
  2. Any awards or medals, except for past or present Intel ISEF medals that may be worn by the finalist.
  3. Postal addresses, World Wide Web, email and/or social media addresses, QR codes, telephone and/or fax numbers of a project or fi nalist. Note: The only personal information that is permissible to include on the display is information that is also included on the Official Abstract and Certification (Finalist Name, School, City, State, Country). Information regarding finalist’s age and grade are not permitted.
  4. Active Internet or email connections as part of displaying or operating the project at the Intel ISEF.
  5. Any changes, modifications, or additions to projects including any attempt to uncover, replenish or return removed language or items after the approval by the Display & Safety Committee and the Scientific Review Committee has been received is prohibited.
    • Display & Safety inspections will include recording photographic evidence of the approved Project Display and Project booth.
    • Finalists who do not adhere to this signed agreement on the Intel ISEF Project Set-up Approval Form regarding this regulation will fail to qualify for competition.

Safety Regulations

The following regulations must be adhered to when a Finalist exhibits a project at the Intel ISEF.

Items/Materials Not Allowed at Project or Booth

  1. Living organisms, including plants
  2. Glass
  3. Soil, sand, rock, cement and/or waste samples, even if permanently encased in a slab of acrylic
  4. Taxidermy specimens or parts
  5. Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
  6. Human or animal food 
  7. Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
  8. Plant materials (living, dead, or preserved) that are in their raw, unprocessed, or non-manufactured state 
  9. All chemicals including water. Absolutely no liquids can be utilized in the Project Display. 
  10. All hazardous substances or devices (Example: poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, grease/oil and sublimating solids such as dry ice)
  11. Items that may have contained or been in contact with hazardous chemicals (Exception: Item may be permitted if professionally cleaned and document for such cleaning is available). Filters (including microbial) may not be displayed unless the Display & Safety Committee can reasonably determine that the device was cleaned or was never used (please include receipts in your notebooks and/or logbooks). 
  12. Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)
  13. Flames and highly flammable materials 
  14. Batteries with open-top cells or wet cells
  15. Drones or any flight-capable apparatus unless the propulsion power source is removed
  16. 3D Printers unless the power source is removed
  17. Inadequately insulated apparatus capable of producing dangerous temperatures are not permitted
  18. Any apparatus with belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points that are not appropriately shielded
  19. Any display items that are deemed distracting (i.e. sounds, lights, odors, etc.)
  20. Personal items or packaging materials stored underneath the booth
  21. Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Scientific Review Committee, the Display and Safety Committee, or Society for Science & the Public (Example: large vacuum tubes or dangerous ray-generating devices, empty tanks that previously contained combustible liquids or gases, pressurized tanks, etc.)

Electrical Regulations at Intel ISEF

  1. Electrical power supplied to the project is 120 or 220 Volt, AC, single phase, 60 cycle. No multi-phase will be available or shall be used. Maximum circuit amperage/wattage available is determined by the electrical circuit capacities of the exhibit hall and may be adjusted on-site by the Display and Safety Committee. For all electrical regulations, “120 Volt AC” or “220 Volt AC” is intended to encompass the corresponding range of voltage as supplied by the facility in which the Intel ISEF is being held. 
  2. Electrical devices must be protectively enclosed. Any enclosure must be non-combustible. All external non-current carrying metal parts must be grounded.
  3. Energized wiring, switches, and metal parts must have adequate insulation and over-current safety devices (such as fuses) and must be inaccessible to anyone other than the finalist. Exposed electrical equipment or metal that possibly may be energized must be shielded with a non-conducting material or with a grounded metal box to prevent accidental contact.
  4. Decorative lighting or illumination is discouraged. If used, lighting must be as low a voltage as possible and must be LED lighting that does not generate heat. Light bulbs are prohibited. 
  5. When student is not at exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off. (Exception: during pre-judging audio visual displays may be available.) 
  6. An insulating grommet is required at the point where any wire or cable enters any enclosure.
  7. No exposed live circuits over 36 volts are allowed.
  8. There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of quickly disconnecting from the 120 or 220 Volt power source.

Laser Requirements

Any Class 1 or Class 2 lasers, along with only Class 3A or 3R lasers, are allowed to be used provided a finalist avoids indiscriminate exposure to other finalists, judges, or visitors (except if passed through magnifying optics such as microscopes and telescopes, in which case they may not be used). No other lasers may be used or displayed. 

  1. Lasers must be labeled by the manufacturer so that power output can be inspected. Lasers without labels will NOT be permitted.
  2. LEDs that consume over 1 watt, unless they are in a commercial light bulb/fixture or otherwise shielded, will not be allowed.
  3. Handheld lasers are NOT permitted.
  4. Lasers will be confiscated with no warning if not used in a safe manner. 

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