Rules of Entry Applicable to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020 (the “Exhibition”)

Rules of Entry Applicable to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020 (the “Exhibition”). Rules are correct at time of print, final rules in relation to the exhibition can be found at

The following rules are designed to ensure that the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is conducted as fairly and as efficiently as possible and are subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of BT. Infringement of any of the rules listed below may lead to exclusion, at any time, of individuals or schools from present and/or future participation in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

  1. General rules

1.1     The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is organised and sponsored by BT Communications Ireland Limited (“BT”) whose decision on all matters relating to the Exhibition will be final.

1.2.    A non–refundable entry fee of €20/£18 per student is required. Entries and all associated paperwork must be submitted on-line.  Postal entries will not be considered.

A project will not be considered for judging unless payment has been made in full.

1.3.    The closing date for receipt of on–line entries is by midnight on Tuesday 24th of September 2019 for students and by 5pm on Wednesday 25th of September 2019 for teachers. Under no circumstances will late entries be accepted.

1.4.    Second Level students aged between 12 –19 years on 31st October 2019, resident in any part of Ireland, are eligible to enter.

1.5.    Students can only win the title BT Young Scientist(s) & Technologist(s) of the Year once. Previous winners of the title are not eligible to re–enter the competition in subsequent years.

1.6.    Projects that have been entered in other competitions can be accepted as entries to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, provided that this information is stated in the relevant area on the entry form and provided there is no 3rd party restriction on entry.

1.7.    Submission of an entry will not ensure the acceptance of a project for the Exhibition. A panel of screening judges will select the projects to go forward to the RDS and their decisions are final.

1.8.    Students educated at home in the Republic of Ireland, i.e. not attending a registered school or college, are eligible to enter, provided that they are registered with the National Education Welfare Board (Republic of Ireland) and supply a copy of the registration certificate with their entry form.  Students from Northern Ireland in similar circumstances should telephone 0800 917 1297 for guidance.

1.9.    Entries can be made in the following three age groups:

  • Junior •  Intermediate           •  Senior

Age group is determined by the year in which the student(s) is studying at the time of the Exhibition (January 2020) and as specified in page 12 of the Factfile.

1.10.  Students attending Primary Schools or Third Level Colleges are NOT eligible to enter.

1.11.  Projects can be submitted in one of the following four categories by 25th September 2019:-

  1. Biological & Ecological Sciences
  2. Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences
  3. Social & Behavioural Sciences
  4. Technology

1.12.  Notwithstanding the classification a student(s) assigns to its project, the judges will have the right to decide its appropriate classification.

1.13. Plagiarism is prohibited. Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s work as a student’s own without appropriate attribution. Whether done deliberately or inadvertently it is unacceptable and applies not just to text, but to graphics, tables, formulae or any representation of ideas in print, electronic or any other media in addition to computer software and algorithms, which could be implied as being the work of the student. As part of the application students are required to sign a declaration that the project is wholly their own work except where this is clear acknowledgment and appropriate reference to the work of others. To maintain the integrity of the competition, where the judges suspect plagiarism they are entitled to exclude a project at any stage of the competition and the student(s), the student(s)’s parents, and/or the student(s)’s school may be notified.

Individual/group projects

Projects must be submitted as either an Individual or Group Project.

1.14.  A student may only enter one project into the competition, whether they are entering as an individual or as part of a group.

1.15.  Individual projects may be submitted in any one of the four categories specified at 1.11 above (see also Factfile page 15 section ‘What category to enter’) and once submitted cannot be re–classified as a Group Project. In addition, if a student enters an individual project which fails to qualify they are not eligible to transfer to a qualified group project at any time.

1.16.  Group Projects may be submitted in any one of the four categories specified at 1.11 above. Groups will consist of either two or three members, where possible in the same age group (Junior, Intermediate or Senior), who must be from the same school. Once a project has been accepted as a Group Project and has qualified to compete in the RDS, it cannot be re–classified as an Individual Project.  In cases where groups are constructed from students who are not in the same age group, the age category in which the project is entered must align with the age group of the oldest student.

1.17.  Each group must appoint a group leader who will direct the work and later act as a spokesperson. All group members must be in attendance at the Exhibition and fully participate in judging interviews.

1.18.  All members of a group should be fully involved, share the work and be familiar with everything that is presented in the report book and poster. The final work should reflect the co–ordinated efforts of all group members.

1.19.  In exceptional circumstances groups may wish to decrease or increase the number of people participating in their accepted Group Project team. Any such proposed changes need to be submitted in writing to BT before the 1st December 2019 detailing the proposed change(s) and the exceptional circumstances necessitating them. Failure to do so will lead to the proposed changes being rejected and the project being judged in the original grouping in which it was entered. BT’s decision as to whether such changes are acceptable will be final.

1.20. Students whose projects involve studies of live animals must ensure that such studies are carried out in accordance with the statutory regulations. Copies of the regulations are available from the Department of Health, Custom House, Dublin 1. Visit also visit BT reserves the right at its sole discretion to exclude any such projects from the Exhibition.

1.21. The nature of a project will determine the equipment used in the project. The merit of a project will lie in the use made of scientific apparatus and in an exhibitor’s understanding of its functions, not in the equipment itself.

1.22. Before a project involving potentially dangerous, pathogenic, toxigenic or allergenic organisms (animals/insects, plants or microorganisms) is undertaken/entered, a competent expert must be consulted to advise on health and safety issues. The potential use of any such organisms must be clearly identified on the Project Details Form, and the advice of the competent expert who has been consulted made available for review by BT on request. BT reserves the right at its sole discretion, to exclude any such projects from the Exhibition.

1.23. Projects involving the use of chemicals must list those to be used as part of the exhibit in the RDS in the Project Details form. BT reserves the right at its sole discretion, to exclude any such projects from the Exhibition.

1.24. It is expected that all or the majority of the work for a project will be conducted either in the school, home or the outside environment. Understandably, some projects may involve visiting distant locations. Students may seek advice or information about their project from sources beyond their school, such as on the ‘web’ or from government organisations, or from universities, institutes of technology or other experts. However, the majority of students’ work should be conducted under the supervision of their relevant teachers, with, where appropriate, suitable levels of involvement by parents, guardians or other responsible adults. Where experimental /research work is conducted by the students themselves, or on their behalf, in a laboratory that is external to their school (e.g. in a local university, a hospital or an industry) then that work should be clearly identified and acknowledged within the project report book and presentation. In addition, it is a requirement that a cover letter from the external facility, describing the extent of the assistance provided and the work done by the students within that facility or undertaken on behalf of the student(s), will be included in the project report book.

1.25.  A student may be part of only one project. If a student having entered a project has not qualified they cannot be added to a qualified group project at any time.


  1. Qualified projects

Applicable only to projects qualifying to exhibit at the RDS

2.1.    Some students who have had their project accepted for exhibition may find themselves unable to complete it. It is very important that the organisers are immediately notified of this. Failure to notify BT of a withdrawal in good time results in empty stands at the RDS and causes disappointment with both other students and the visiting public. If a project has to be withdrawn the organisers must be notified immediately by e–mail at

N.B. Schools failing to notify the organisers of a withdrawal in writing, a minimum of two weeks in advance of the Exhibition, will be liable to a charge  of €100 to cover administration costs.

2.2.    Project content and material remains the property of the exhibitors but may be used by BT for exhibition or publication.
If students have a project with elements that have commercial potential, it is recommended that they consider patent protection. Please see the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition website and Factfile for further information on patents, as this process has been updated for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020.

2.3.    Projects shown at previous BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibitions will not be accepted unless the project has undergone significant further development. Projects that represent a continuation of previously entered work in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition should have a significant amount of new material. Previously presented data must be clearly indicated as such in the report books and in the display.

2.4.    The Overall BT Young Scientist(s) of the Year may not represent any other country or organisation in respect of this science/technology project until the following year’s prizewinner(s) are announced. The BT Young Scientist(s) may not represent themselves as BT Young Scientists at any time without the prior written consent of BT.

2.5.    The Overall BT Young Scientist(s) of the Year will be the only project that will be eligible to be entered by the National Organiser for Ireland in the EU Young Scientist competition each year.

2.6.    The judges reserve the right to withhold awards in the event of projects not reaching a satisfactory standard.

2.7.    If a project has not adhered to all the rules and regulations of this competition, the judges have the right to withhold awards or exclude the project at any stage during the judging process.

2.8.    The judges’ decision in all matters relating to the award of prizes will be final. BT and other sponsors will have no input into the judges’ decisions.


  1. Display of exhibits at the RDS

Refers only to projects that qualify to participate at the RDS

3.1.    BT provides exhibition stands of uniform size and design. Exhibits must be within the limits of the stand dimension. Back display panel is 1189mm wide by 841mm high and the worktop is 1200mm wide by 600mm deep. Projects not conforming to this regulation size may be disqualified.

3.2.    Exhibitors will be responsible for transporting their projects to and from the Exhibition hall within the time allocated and to supply all ancillary apparatus and mountings used for their display of their projects.

3.3.    Exhibitors will be required to assemble their own projects in the RDS Main Hall within the time allocated.

3.4.    BT will NOT accept responsibility for damage to, or loss of, exhibits or personal belongings. Exhibitors are advised to remove valuable equipment from unattended stands.

3.5.    Exhibits MUST be safely designed and constructed and MUST NOT use as part of the display, any dangerous equipment or open flames, any toxic, flammable, explosive or irritant chemicals, or any pathogenic, toxigenic or allergenic organism (animals/insects, plant or microorganisms). Live mammals, birds, amphibians or reptiles MAY NOT be presented in exhibits.

3.6.    Exhibitors are asked to refrain from using brand names of firms/sponsors in their display or in the title of their project.  Reference to brands or firms must be confined to report books.

3.7.    Exhibiting students must be present at their stands during all rounds of judging of projects at the RDS.

3.8.    Exhibiting students must remain at their stands during the Exhibition to speak with the visiting public about their projects. They must not leave the RDS before 5.30 p.m. on any day of the Exhibition without prior arrangement with the Young Scientist organisers.

3.9.    BT will NOT be responsible for any expenses incurred by the exhibitors in traveling to or from the Exhibition, or during their stay outside those offered in the Accommodation Grant Scheme.

3.10.  Each exhibitor should write his/her name on all equipment, charts and report books.

3.11.  BT will provide wireless Internet access only if specified on the Entry Form by closing date Wednesday 25th of September 2019. All usage costs for the duration of the week of the Exhibition may be charged to the student or school.


  1. Grant scheme

4.1.    The Accommodation Grant Scheme (the ‘Grant Scheme’) means the availability, subject to compliance with the rules contained herein and those generally applicable to the Exhibition, of grants of €150/£135 payable to a school in respect of each individual pupil project entry and grants of €300/£270 payable to a school in respect of each group project entry, subject always to a maximum aggregate grant payment under the Grant Scheme per school of €1,500/£1,350 (and subject to section 4.8 below). If the Fund is exceeded, the above payments will be made on a pro rata basis.

4.2.    In order to be eligible for any grant under the Grant Scheme, a school must be located (i) in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland, and (ii) more than 70 kilometres from the RDS Showgrounds in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 (measured in accordance with the service on

4.3.    An application for a grant under the Grant Scheme from a school in respect of a project must be submitted by the teacher on behalf of the school (in the on-line Teacher Assessment Area) at the same time as submission of the application for entry of that project. In accordance with the general rules for submission of projects, application for all project entries must be received by BT on or before Wednesday 25th of September 2019. Late applications for grants will not be processed (save at the absolute discretion of BT). It is important therefore that all grant applications be returned by Wednesday 25th of September 2019.

4.4.    The Grant Scheme only applies to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020.

4.5.    Eligibility of a school for consideration for any grant in respect of a project under this Grant Scheme is conditional upon that project entry application from that school for the Exhibition having successfully progressed through the Exhibition screening process and having qualified to take part in the finals of the Exhibition.

4.6.    Any grant(s) paid to a school hereunder must be used entirely by the school to fund in whole or in part the travel and/or accommodation expenses only of those pupils in respect of whose project(s) the grant(s) was paid.

4.7.    BT shall endeavour to pay grants awarded to schools in accordance with and subject to these rules on or before 20th January 2020 but BT shall have no liability for failure to pay any such grant on or before such date. In the event that a school has not received a grant payment, which it has been awarded by BT under these rules by such date, it should contact the BT Young Scientist Organisers’ Office during the Exhibition or email a request for payment of same to:

4.8.    Notwithstanding anything else stated herein, the Grant Scheme is subject always to a total limit on the amount of grants payable under the Grant Scheme of €75,000 (the ‘Fund’) and the Fund will be allocated on a pro rata basis to qualifying applicants of the scheme.

4.9.    In the event that a project, in respect of which BT has either paid a grant to a school hereunder, or, confirmed to a school that a grant shall be paid to it hereunder, does not subsequently participate as an entrant in the Exhibition for any reason whatsoever or howsoever arising, the grant shall be reimbursed by the school to BT within thirty (30) days of BT requesting reimbursement of same where the grant has already been paid, and the grant shall be deemed not payable where a grant has not yet been paid.

4.10.  BT’s decision on eligibility of a school or a project entry for a grant hereunder is final.


  1. BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamps

5.1.    If a project is to be included in these programmes then the student must indicate this by ticking the opt in box on the project details form. Failure to do this will mean exclusion of the projects for consideration from the Business Bootcamp programmes.


  1. Prize money

6.1.    Prize money will be paid by cheque to an individual or to the team leader and posted to the home address listed on BT’s database. BT shall endeavour to pay prize money in accordance with and subject to these rules on or before 30th March 2020 but BT shall have no liability for failure to pay prize money on or before such date.


  1. Not used


  1. Print photography and film

8.1.    The BT will use your personal information only as set out in our privacy notice which you can find here  If you have any further questions or comments concerning your privacy, wish to access your personal data held about you, delete, or update information we hold about you, the relevant details are here

8.2      The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition will commission a photographer to take photographs of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. BT retains the right to use any photograph taken of participants in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in accordance with our privacy notice.

8.3.    Such photographs may be used on the BTYSTE website and for BT marketing purposes in accordance with our privacy notice.

N.B. BT is under no obligation to make use of any photographs taken.

8.4.    BT also retains the right to publish information in regards to all projects entered into the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in accordance with our privacy notice.

8.5.    As media partner of the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, RTÉ will be at the event interviewing and filming footage for use on its broadcast channels, online, in social media and for marketing purposes. All successful candidates must complete an RTÉ release form prior to the event, with parental consent required in respect of minors under the age of 18.


  1. Intellectual property rights

9.1.    BT may pass contact details of all qualified projects to The Patents Office. The Patents Office will mail individuals directly in relation to Intellectual Property Rights.


  1. European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS)

10.1   The host country for EUCYS will pay the travel and accommodation expenses of contestants.

10.2 The host country for EUCYS will pay travel and accommodation expenses of one adult escorting person per country. For the Irish delegation this will be the Irish National Organiser, who is the head of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.  Any others that wish to travel to EUCYS will travel solely and fully at their own expense and this cannot be subsidised in anyway by BT.

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