Rules of Entry Applicable to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2024 (the “Exhibition”). Rules are correct at time of print, final rules in relation to the exhibition can be found at www.btyoungscientist.com/rules
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.
- 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. A project will not be considered for judging unless payment has been made in full.
1.3 Postal entries will not be considered.
1.4 The closing date for receipt of completed on–line entries is by 5pm on Monday 2nd October 2023 including teachers assessment. Under no circumstances will late entries be accepted.
1.5 Second Level students aged between 12–19 years on 31st October 2023, resident in any part of Ireland, are eligible to enter.
1.6 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.
1.7 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.
1.8 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 for the Exhibition and their decisions are final. The Exhibition will take place in person in from 10th to the 13th of January 2024 and to take part, candidates must accept and comply with the Exhibition Rules which will be made available on notification of acceptance.
1.9 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.
1.10 Entries can be made in the following three age groups:
Age group is determined by the year in which the student(s) is studying at the time of the Exhibition (January 2024) and as specified in page 11 of the Factfile.
1.11 Students attending Primary Schools or Third Level Colleges are NOT eligible to enter.
1.12 Projects can be submitted in one of the following five categories by 2nd October 2023: –
- Biological & Ecological Sciences
- Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Sciences
- Social & Behavioural Sciences
- Health & Wellbeing
1.13 Notwithstanding the classification a student(s) assigns to its project, the judges will have the right to decide its appropriate classification.
1.14 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 judge’s 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.
Projects must be submitted as either an Individual or Group Project
1.15 A student may only participate in and enter one project into the competition, whether they are entering as an individual or as part of a group.
1.16 Individual projects may be submitted in any one of the five categories specified at 1.12 above (see also Factfile page 10 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.
1.17 Group Projects may be submitted in any one of the five categories specified at 1.12 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.
1.18 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 the judging interviews.
1.19 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.
1.20 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 by email to BT (BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com) before the 1st December 2023 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. The total group size cannot exceed three students.
1.21 Students whose projects involve studies of live animals must ensure that such studies are carried out in accordance with the statutory regulations. Further information can be found here https://www.hpra.ie/homepage/veterinary/scientific-animal-protection or https://www.hpra.ie/docs/default-source/default-document-library/directive-2010-63-eu-1.pdf?sfvrsn=0
BT reserves the right at its sole discretion to exclude any such projects from the Exhibition.
1.22 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.
1.23 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.
1.24 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.
1.25 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. However, we understand that some projects may require 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.
1.26 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.
- Qualified projects
Applicable only to projects qualifying to exhibit at the Exhibition.
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. If a project has to be withdrawn the organisers must be notified immediately by e–mail to BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com
Schools failing to notify the organisers of a withdrawal in writing, a minimum of four 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 and will be exhibited at the Exhibition. 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.
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 judges reserve the right to withhold awards in the event of projects not reaching a satisfactory standard.
2.5 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.
2.6 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.
- Display of exhibits at the RDS
Refers only to projects that qualify to participate at the Exhibition
The 2024 YSTE will take place in person at the RDS and Exhibitors should be prepared to be physically present between 10th – 13th January (inclusive). If exceptional circumstances require changes to be made to these arrangements Exhibitors will be notified as soon as possible and amended Exhibition rules may be issued accordingly.
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 the 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 Exhibition venue before 5.30 p.m. on any day of the Exhibition without prior arrangement with the 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. Students should bring two copies of their report book with them, as judges will take one copy during the first round of judging, and it will not be returned until Saturday morning.
3.11 BT will provide wireless Internet access only.
3.12 Students will be required to submit a short video (no longer than 3 minutes) summarising their project. This video will be used by the judges in initial reviews and will also be available in non-downloadable format on the YSTE exhibition platform as part of the public exhibition. Consent to use of personal data for this propose will sought on the consent form.
- 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 www.aaireland.ie/routes).
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 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 Monday 2nd October 2023. 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 Monday 2nd October 2023.
4.4 The Grant Scheme only applies to the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2024.
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 19th January 2024 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 by email a request for payment to: BTYSTE@btyoungscientist.com
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.
- BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp
5.1 If a project is to be considered for inclusion in this programme 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.
- Prize money
6.1 Prize money will be paid by bank transfer to the successful individual or to the team leader BT will request bank account details with 7 days of the event finishing. BT shall endeavour to pay prize money in accordance with and subject to these rules on or before 30th March 2024 but BT shall have no liability for failure to pay prize money on or before such date. All bank details will be deleted once payments have been made.
(Content, Photography and Film)
7.1. BT will comply with its obligations as a data processor in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. BT will use your personal information only as set out in our privacy notice which you can find here www.btyoungscientist. com/privacy. 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 https://btyoungscientist.com/privacy/
7.2 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.
7.3 Such content 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 content provided.
7.4 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.
7.5 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.
- Intellectual property rights
8.1 If your project comprises of functional or technical elements it may qualify for patent protection. In order to be granted a patent, an invention must be:
- Something that can be made and used in industry including agriculture
- Have an inventive step – an invention is considered as involving an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in that area of technology, having regard to the state of the art.
8.2 All intellectual property rights either pre-existing or created in relation to or as part of the Exhibition shall remain the absolute property of that party or its licensors.
- European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS)
9.1 The host country for EUCYS will pay the travel and accommodation expenses of qualified contestants.
9.2 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.
- Other International Competitions
Rule: Prize winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) may be asked to represent the the exhibition at another science fair, including internationals ones as part of their prize. The following rule outlines the process and conditions for winning a prize to represent BTYSTE at another science fair.
- Eligibility: Only specific winners at BTYSTE, as determined by the judging panel, will be considered for representing the exhibition at another science fair. The winners may include individual students or student teams.
- Expenses: BTYSTE will notify the winners about the expenses that will be covered. These may include transportation costs, accommodation, meals, and other necessary expenses directly related to participating in the selected science fair. The specific details and arrangements will be communicated to the winners within one month of being awarded the relevant prize and is based on the grant that has been received by the company making the award.
- Accompanying Adults: Whenever possible, a representative of BTYSTE will accompany the students to the selected science fair. The representative will provide support, guidance, and assistance to the winners during their participation, ensuring a smooth experience and representing BTYSTE effectively.
- Commitment: Prize winners selected to represent BTYSTE at another science fair must commit to attending the fair and actively participating in all required activities, including presenting their project, engaging with other participants, and representing BTYSTE in a professional and respectful manner.
- Compliance: Winners must comply with any additional rules, regulations, and requirements set by the selected science fair, as well as any instructions provided by the BTYSTE organising committee and accompanying representative.
- Discretion: BTYSTE reserves the right to make final decisions regarding, travel arrangements, expense coverage, and accompanying representatives, taking into consideration the availability of resources and any unforeseen circumstances.
By participating in the BTYSTE and expressing interest in representing the exhibition at another science fair, winners agree to comply with these rules and any additional terms and conditions set forth by BTYSTE.
- Overall winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BT Young Scientists & Technologists)
11.1 BT overall winner(s) of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 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) & Technologist(s) of the Year may not represent themselves as BT Young Scientists & Technologists at any time without the prior written consent of BT.
11.2 The Overall BT Young Scientist(s) & Technologist(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.
To Note: BT will and requires that participants will at all times comply with HSE Guidelines as may be issued from time to time during the Covid-19 pandemic and reserves the right to make changes at any time to the rules as may be necessary to ensure such compliance.