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Science Fair Awards

More than $1 million in cash, scholarships, and trips are awarded each year. Those awards fall into several different categories.

Category Awards

Awards are distributed based on the number of entries in each category. Multiple second, third and fourth place awards may be awarded. Only one first place will be awarded in each category.

Senior Division (Grades 9–12)

  • $300 – First Place
  • $150 – Second Place
  • $75 – Third Place

Intermediate Division (Grades 7–8)

  • $150 – First Place
  • $75 – Second Place
  • $35 – Third Place

Junior Division (Grades 6)

  • $75 – First Place
  • $50 – Second Place
  • $30 – Third Place

Note: Teams will split the award money equally among team members.

Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge (JIC)

Senior Division – Grades 9–12

Each student researcher entering an exhibit may apply for participation in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Senior division student researchers will be chosen from the applicants and will win a chance to compete in the virtual Regeneron ISEF event.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge (JIC) – Grades 6–8

Category Award winners (top 10%) are nominated to advance to Broadcom MASTERS competition, a program of Society for Science.

Sponsor Awards

Companies which sponsor Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair may award a $50 prize to a student of their choosing.  Sponsors use their own criteria to select projects. Some look for projects from their special field of interest.

Affiliate Sponsor Awards

These are awarded at Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair because of its affiliation with ISEF.

Affiliate Sponsor Organizations:

  • American Psychological Association
  • Association for Women Geoscientists
  • Broadcom Coding with Commitment 
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Lemelson Early Inventor Prize
  • NASA Earth System Science Award
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Geographic, That’s Geography! Award
  • Office of Naval Research – U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps
  • Regeneron Biomedical Science Award
  • Ricoh USA, Inc. Sustainable Development Award (RSDA)
  • Society for In Vitro Biology
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • U.S. Metric Association
  • U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize
  • United States Air Force
  • Yale Science and Engineering Association

Merit Awards

Category Judges select the students that exhibit excellence in Creativity, Literature Review, Presentation, or Scientific Method. Students will receive a certificate of excellence that signifies his or her outstanding performance in one of these areas.

PRSEF 2023 Scholarship Descriptions

Carlow University will award up to three students with the Whalen Scholarship, valued at $8,000 ($2,000 per year for a maximum of four years). Eligible students must meet the necessary criteria for admission and enroll at Carlow full-time upon graduation from high school in one of the following majors:

Biology (including concentrations in human biology, cardiovascular perfusion, and a pathway for environmental science), Chemistry, Data Analytics, Computer Science, Behavioral Neuroscience with Intraoperative Neuromonitoring, and Health Sciences.* Carlow has a strong program in the sciences and has developed several partnerships for advanced study, including an early acceptance program to LECOM. The Whalen Scholarship can be combined with other merit and/or need-based aid not to exceed the cost of tuition.

* Please note that our Health Sciences program is a 3-year degree. For this particular program, the scholarship is valued at $6,000 ($2,000 per year for a maximum of three years).

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will award scholarships to outstanding high school juniors or seniors. Recipients must meet the academic requirements for admission and enroll full-time at IUP in one of the following programs: Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Geoscience, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology or Safety Sciences. IUP will award up to two (2) scholarships for $4000/year renewable for up to four years (total scholarship award valued at ~$16,000). To qualify for this scholarship the recipient must have a high school cumulative GPA of 3.5, be admitted and enroll full-time at IUP in the Fall semester following high school graduation and maintain a 3.25 grade point average in one of the above listed majors.

Mount Aloysius College will award up to six science fair scholarships of $10,000 ($2,500 per year for four consecutive years). Recipients must meet all academic criteria for admissions and maintain a 3.0 GPA at the college. Recipients must enroll in a science related major as a full-time student the semester following their high school graduation.

Point Park University has two annual $5,000 scholarships (total of $20,000 over four years, each) to offer students of our choosing as a result of their participation in PRSEF.

Slippery Rock University will award up to 10 undergraduate scholarships valued at $8,000 ($2,000 per academic year for four years) for individuals majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics, Geography, Geology and the Environment, Computer Science, Physics, and Psychology at Slippery Rock University. Students must have at least a 3.9 cumulative weighted high school GPA to be eligible for the SRU Merit Scholarship and be entering the senior year of high school. Students should apply for admission by December 1 in their senior year. Recipients will be required to maintain a 2.5 GPA, complete 24 new credits per academic year and be enrolled at Slippery Rock University full-time, following the approved curriculum, in one of the majors listed above. The total financial aid, including this scholarship, may not exceed the total cost of attendance determined by the Office of Financial Aid each year.

Thiel College is awarding four $2,000 scholarships (total of $8,000 over four years, each) that are renewable for the 4 years they’re attending Thiel College.

The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will award up to six (6) $1500 scholarships in addition to any other Pitt-Bradford merit awards for which a student is eligible. Students must meet admissions and scholarship criteria. Awards are renewable annually for a total of 4 academic years. Students must be enrolled full time, have a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher and maintain the housing status that the scholarship was based on. Enrollment at the Bradford Campus is required. Awards are not transferable to any other Pitt Campus.

Washington & Jefferson College will award up to four scholarships valued at $8,000 ($2,000 per year, renewable for a maximum of 4 years). Recipients of this award must meet the Office of Admissions’ academic requirements for admissions. Scholarships will renew annually, provided the recipient maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0, maintains full-time enrollment, and lives on campus. W&J has strong programs in the sciences and pre-health professions. Scholarship winners are not required to choose a specific major upon entry to the college. They are encouraged to explore their passions through research experiences and internships before declaring a major.

Contact Us

Email questions or comments to or call the Science Fair office at 412.237.1534.