Background Procedures

Criteria for entry

The projects should demonstrate that the student(s) has/have undertaken some significant original work.

Examples include an experiment based practical investigation made by the students, original design of an item or process, and survey based investigations involving the first-hand collection and processing of meaningful statistics.

Projects that are not suitable include those reproducing text-book science experiments, or those exclusively quoting second-hand data or information from books and the internet. If, from the information given on the Abstract, the working party deem the proposal to be unsuitable for the competition, they reserve the right to decline the entry.


  • Each competitor may only submit one entry to the ESSS, either as an individual or as part of a team.
  • If school resources have been used to develop a project, the project has to be submitted to the ESSS before it goes to another competition.
  • The language of entry must be one of the working languages of the European Schools.
  • Projects which have previously been entered into the ESSS, or a national or international competition such as EUCYS, are not eligible for resubmission. However, a follow-up project of a previously submitted project can be submitted.
  • Participation in the ESSS does not exclude participation in subsequent competitions.
  • The overall winning project in the senior category will represent the European Schools at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) later in the year.
  • Students can only enter a project as exclusively theirs if it is carried out without any contribution from other students.
  • Projects must be genuinely extra-curricular, in that they have not formed part of the compulsory components of any European School course, nor been used to establish a student’s A or B mark.
  • There must be evidence, to the satisfaction of the selection committee, that the project is the original and individual work of the student(s), and that only reasonable levels of guidance have been given.
  • Entry forms must be completed with all relevant information. Incomplete entry forms will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of the entrant to inform the ESSS of any change of contact details.
  • The judges’ decisions are final and no appeals will be heard or correspondence entered into.
  • A full list of prize winners will be published on the ESSS website and in any other publications selected by the organisers.
  • By entering the competition, entrants agree that any document submitted to the organisers of the competition can appear on public display and be used on the internet and in printed form to promote the competition.
  • During the event, students are bound by the rules of the host school. The organisers reserve the right to send home at his or her parent’s expense any student breaking these rules.
  • By entering, entrants will be deemed to have agreed to be bound by these rules.
  • The ESSS reserves the right to revise these rules at any time. Any changes will be communicated.

The judging process

The judges come from a range of scientific backgrounds, working in both academia and industry, and will be looking for evidence of genuine scientific achievement, taking into account the ages of the entrants.

The assessment criteria and the different steps of the competition are described in Annexe 5 of the ESSS Handbook.