Regeneron STS: What It Is and Why to Participate

September 1, 2020
By AdmissionSight

Regeneron STS: What It Is and Why to Participate

Attention all science enthusiasts! The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is an acclaimed science competition that gives high school students an opportunity to showcase their abilities and put their skills to the test, all while collaborating and meeting other students with similar interests.

Participants come from around the country participate in Regeneron STS to celebrate and explore what the subject of science has to offer. If you have an interest in pursuing a science-related field in college, the AdmissionSight team highly recommends the Regeneron STS.

students practice singing

While joining after school science clubs, taking honors science classes, and receiving excellent grades in the subject can do wonders for your college application, there’s something special about major programs and competitions like Regeneron STS. This is a league above what students normally encounter, and this is a great way to improve your application and prove your aptitude in the field of science. In the following guide, we’ll explain more about Regeneron STS, why you should consider participating, and method for success.

What is the Regeneron STS?

Regeneron STS is the country’s most prestigious and longest-running science competition solely for high school seniors. For decades, this program has provided a critical forum in which original research is conducted. A national jury comprised of professional scientists is in charge of reviewing and recognizing the resulting research.

The esteem of the program isn’t just derived from its offering. Alumni from Regeneron STS have made some excellent and historic contributions to the field of science. Several of the world’s most esteemed math and science honors have been given to those who participated in the event, including 13 Nobel Prize winners.

a male student performing in a middle of a stage while his classmates are looking at him

Each year, over 1,800 seniors from high schools around the country undergo the challenge of producing and conducting unique engineering, math, or science research and completing a full entry for the prestigious Regeneron STS. 300 student scholars are recognized during the competition, along with their associated schools.

Approximately 40 high school seniors are chosen as finalists and are brought to Washington, D.C. in order to take part in the final judging. Here, the finalists will put their work on display for the public and will have a chance to meet notable government leaders and scientists. Every year, finalists and scholars in that participate in Regeneron STScompete for a total of $3.1 million in awards.

Who hosts Regeneron STS?

The Society for Science and the Public, aka the Society, is a not-for-profit organization based in the District of Columbia. This organization has hosted Regeneron STS for nearly 80 years. Everything from the application processing, judging, process of awards, alumni management, and the finalist week is taken care of by this group. The Society works in tandem with a prominent company known as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As the generous sponsor of the program ever since 2016, it’s where Regeneron STS earns its title.

How will COVID influence the 2021 Regeneron STS application process?

There’s no denying that the current state of affairs regarding the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted college-related competitions and events. Society has recognized this impact on grading systems in high schools, opportunities students have to take standardized exams, and the chances students have to pursue research and activities outside of school. Since the application for Regeneron STS takes many of these factors into consideration, the Society realized some exceptions need to be made given the current circumstances.

Currently, the application timeline (i.e. the opening and deadline) will remain the same, but the application requirements and evaluation process will undergo some changes to reflect these major factors.

The application for Regeneron STS 2021 contains questions to encourage students to talk about what kind of changes and adaptations had to be made in order to deal with the impact of the virus and resulting shutdowns. In a similar gesture, standardized test scores aren’t required on the exam. Those evaluating applications for the Society will be trained to take into account the many changes that students have had to undergo.

Regeneron STS will also recognize the general lack of access to laboratories that impacted the type of research students were able to complete and submit to the competition this year. Entrants can find solace in the fact that year after year, there are countless entries to Regeneron STS that represent over 20 different scientific disciplines. Furthermore, it’s proven year after year that students can conduct high-quality research even within the home environment.

Another important option to keep in mind is that students are permitted to submit a research project completed during any of their high school years and are actively encouraged to submit older projects if it makes sense. Of course, all other Renergon STS rules still apply and must be met. If you’d like to read more information about Regeneron STS 2021 and how it’s impacted by the current pandemic, click here.

How can I learn more about Regeneron STS?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when reading about Regeneron STS. Not only is the event competitive and challenging, but the sheer number of requirements, deadlines, and rules that participants have to worry about adds an extra level of stress. A great way to stay up-to-date on all of the competition information is to sign-up for the official newsletter to receive constant updates regarding, winner announcements, application launches, and much more.

Who’s eligible to participate in Regeneron STS?

One of the greatest features of Regeneron STS is its openness and inclusivity. While many competitions or events have stringent requirements, that drastically limit the number of students able to apply, Regeneron STS encourages all eligible high schoolers to give it a shot. In general, any student enrolled in their last year of high school in any of the 50 states, Washington DC, or US territories can apply. If you’re a US citizen currently living abroad, you’re also included in this category. For more detailed information regarding requirements, you can read the official Rules and Entry Instructions and browse this digital flyer for quick information.

Can students who completed team research participate in Regeneron STS?

Unfortunately, applicants who completed team research are not allowed to participate. In order to be considered eligible, research projects for Regeneron STS must be conducted individually. Research that is completed as part of a student team project in your high school doesn’t count. This steadfast rule includes any research or component of research whether it has or might end up getting submitted to a competition. In order to remain qualified for Regeneron STS and its associated awards, the following criteria must be met.

  • Participants aren’t allowed to split a project amongst various students and enter it into the competition as individuals. Students are also not permitted to take individual submissions to Regeneron STS and combine them to present in other publications, competitions, or other forums as a team project.
  • It’s okay to conduct research alongside professional or adult researchers within an institution. However, it’s vital to distinguish between work being done collectively and work that’s being done individually. Given the adult and student responsibilities, it’s important to take into account the extent to which the research can be considered independent.

Can students who worked with college students or science mentors enter Regeneron STS?

Yes, students are allowed to work with science mentors or college students and enter Regeneron STS. When it comes to judging, however, it’s critical that students consider whether or not the work can be counted as their own. Judges are aware that there are times when scientists simply can’t let students choose their topic or sometimes the primary part of the process is already known.

It’s up to participants to decide if the research is an accurate representation of their own work, ideas, and dedication. When working with a mentor, students will have to get permission from these individuals before submitting any research to Regeneron STS.

Can homeschooled students participate in Regeneron STS?

Homeschooled students are permitted and actively encouraged to participate in Regeneron STS. It’s important for these students to get into contact with the Society to figure out the best way to move forward. Generally speaking, these individuals will have to provide documentation proving the courses they’ve completed and their associated success.

A school transcript will also have to be submitted. Unfortunately, homeschool programs can’t receive any school awards, but the winnings can be designated to a local school district or non-profit.

When are applications due?

Although the specific date fluctuates each year, the application for Regeneron STS 2021 opened on June 1, 2020. Don’t worry if you haven’t applied yet since the application is open until November 12, 2020, at 8 pm. In general, Regeneron applications will open up at the beginning of June and close sometime in mid-November. It’s always important to visit the official site for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding these application deadlines. Each year, the Regeneron STS applications are published with different questions to get applicants thinking about their participation in the program. These questions are also used by advisors to determine which students should get admitted. Keep in mind that entries will only be accepted when submitted through the official online application system. If you have additional questions about the application process for Regeneron STS or you experience some hiccups, you can visit the related FAQ page here.

What’s included in the application process?

The Regeneron STS application process isn’t as simple as submitting a document with your name and academic performance. In fact, there are various components of the application that resemble a standard college application. For example, the application will require answers essay questions, a description of your project, a longer scientific paper, test scores, transcripts, recommendations, and more.

Preparing for this application is actually decent practice for putting together a successful college application because of the similar documents required. It’s worth bearing in mind that Regeneron STS doesn’t accept any hard copies of these documents. In other words, every submission has to happen within the confines of the online system. Participants are advised to communicate with their teachers and advisors well in advance of the application deadline in order to ensure that they get all required documents in a timely manner.

What should students complete before participating in Regeneron STS?

Unlike other competitions where the actual work takes place during the event, students complete all of the experimentation and research before submitting their project to Regeneron STS. It’s one of the ways in which this competition is so unique and exciting. In order to participate in Regeneron STS, students need to conduct scientific research in an independent fashion at a school, in the field, at a research institution, or in their own home.

Typically, this research can take up to a year or even more, depending on the subject being explored and the depth of the project overall. However, there are some students who still get all of their research completed in as little as six months. After conducting the research, participants will have to write a professional research report similar to a journal article that explains their experiments, methods, and conclusions.

students posing for the camera with a thumbs up

How will entries be judged?

All participant entries into Regeneron STS are reviewed and judged by at least three – sometimes more – PhD engineers, mathematicians, or scientists. The organization attempts to pair experts in a particular area of study with an experiment in that subject matter. Finalists and scholars are chosen by these judges by using all of the available entry requirements.

The greatest amount of weight is given to what’s known as the Research Report – making it important that students spend a great deal of time perfecting this piece. Judges are on the lookout for participants that exhibit a commitment to both their academic goals and extracurricular pursuits, unparalleled research skills, promising scientific development, and innovative thinking.

What kind of awards are offered?

Every participant in Regeneron STS will receive a laptop sticker, a t-shirt, and a one-year membership to the esteemed Science News magazine to recognize the completion of the difficult application as well as to affirm support for the students’ continuous pursuit of scientific research and excellence. While these awards are provided to all participants, there are more special prizes given to those who perform well in Regeneron STS.

theater actors performing onstage

Each year, 300 scholars are provided with a $2,000 award. For each of these prizes, another $2,000 is provided to the participant’s school in order to foster STEM education. The top 300 performing scholars are also invited to apply to a summer internship offered by Regeneron. Each of the 40 finalists will win a vacation to Washington D.C. with all expenses paid in order to attend the Regeneron Science Talent Institute.

Here, participants are able to explain their unique research to some of the nation’s leading scientists. There are 10 awards provided to the highest performers with the ultimate winner receiving the grand prize of $250,000.

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The transition from high school to college is one of the most challenging and exciting moves students will make. With decades of experience dealing with admission processes at some of the best colleges in the country, the AdmissionSight team has learned what it takes to help students increase their chances of getting into some of these schools.

Participating in extracurricular programs, acing standardized tests, and taking part in academic competitions, like Regeneron STS, are just a few ways high school students can drastically increase their chances of gaining admittance to the school of their dreams. If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer and how they can help, please feel free to reach out today for a free consultation. It’s our goal to help students achieve their academic and professional goals, and our services do just that.


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