General Contest Information
How to Get Involved
Just like scientists working in industry, universities and research institutions, students are required to submit a project outline describing their proposed research to a scientific evaluation committee. Students whose projects are approved may receive funding to help pay for printing of their posters. For approved projects, the proposal evaluation committee will attempt to suggest potential mentors from the local biotechnology community who may be able to provide students with access to research materials, expert advice and some of the supplies and equipment required to carry out their projects. Students are then expected to initiate contact and make arrangements to meet with their prospective mentor.
How Student Research Proposals Are Evaluated
Many submissions are rejected immediately because they propose the use of animals in contravention of the SBCC regulations. Please see the section on “Regulations about research involving animals ” on the FAQ page in the General Information section of this website.
The research proposals will be evaluated by the Evaluation Committee based on the following criteria:
- Clarity and Soundness of Objective (20%) – A clearly defined objective that is sound, logical and “realistic to accomplish”.
- Design and Feasibility of Experiment (50%) – The design of experiment(s) to find an answer(s) for the questions posed. Are these experiments feasible? Could these experiments provide results that would lead to answer(s) for the questions?
- Relevance of Proposal (10%) – Any relevance in this research proposal within the broad definition of biotechnology?
- Skill Level Requirement (10%) – The difficulty level of carrying out the proposed experiments.
- Presentation of Proposal (10%) – How clearly and well presented is this proposal?
Proposals may be accepted outright or on condition that certain amendments and/or guarantees be made.
How Projects are Judged
At the exhibition, an expert panel of judges selects the winning projects, using judging criteria as outlined below. Students are not only evaluated on the quality of their research, their lab journal and the display, but are also questioned on their scientific knowledge as well as potential commercial applications of their research.
Project Judging Criteria
Originality and Scientific Merit – 30%
In this section the judges will evaluate the projects overall relevance to the life sciences, as well as the degree of originality and creativity demonstrated by the students. Critical to this will be an assessment of the extent to which the ideas have been generated by the students. Judges must also assess the level of science represented by the project, (e.g. grade level, university level, etc.)
- Relevance to biotechnology (“life sciences”) – 10%
- Originality and innovation – 15%
- Level of science – 5%
Project Execution – 30%
Judges should evaluate the project’s experimental design, protocols, data collection and analysis. The students’ command of techniques and skills must be assessed along with the validity of their conclusions.
- Experimental design and protocols -10%
- Results: Data collection and analysis -10%
- Command of techniques and skills - 5%
- Validity of conclusions - 5%
Communication (Poster and Oral Presentation) -40%
- Project display
- Oral Presentation and Lab Journal
Judges should evaluate the display as a summary of the project and its conclusions. They should also evaluate the display in terms of its layout and clarity in illustrating the scientific techniques involved in the research.
Project Summary -5%
Clarity and layout -5%
The judges will assess the students’ oral presentation in terms of the level of scientific knowledge demonstrated and their ability to explain and defend their conclusions.
Demonstration of scientific knowledge -10%
Ability to explain and defend conclusions -10%
The judges should evaluate the lab journal for its completeness and its representation as a chronological record of the research progress.
Lab journal -10%