The assessment process and timeline are given below:

Sep. 16 – Oct. 31: Inter-division review to remove unqualified teams, external referee, Intra-division review to choose teams for divisional presentations, Divisional presentations.

December. 13-14 : Final presentation at the presence of International Committee.

The National Final includes oral defense of the Research Report in English and will be reviewed by an international committee.

Selection Criteria

The S. T. Yau High School Science Award strives to provide a fair and encouraging environment for all participants. Depending upon the level of competition, projects will be evaluated by regional, national or international panels. All panelists are asked to evaluate each project with professionalism and scholarship according to the following criteria.

 Disciplinary relevance

Research topics must be related to the discipline of biology, which can be either empirical results obtained through experiments or purely theoretical analysis (for example, results of bioinformatic analysis). The main factor considered during evaluation is what specific problem is to be solved by this research.

Originality of research topics and research methods

The proposed problem to be solved must be clear and specific. Subjects for investigation could be either original problems or existing conjectures. A participating team is responsible for adequate literature review on the background or originality of its problems. A problem known to the learned community in general, but unknown to the participating teams do not constitute originality. Reports that provide only research ideas will not be considered for an award.

Accuracy of concepts and validity of conclusions

Concepts mentioned in the report must be presented accurately. The interpretation of data obtained through the research (both from experiments and theoretical calculations) must be robust, but it does not necessarily preclude alternative interpretations.

Truthfulness of research process

The submitted research reports must be completed by the participating student(s) under the guidance of the team instructor(s). No researcher (including graduate students) from any university or research institution shall complete any part of the research on behalf of the participating student(s). In case any part of the research process cannot be completed without external assistance, such as the operation of certain experiment equipment or tests, the names of the persons who have offered assistance and the nature of said assistance must be clearly specified in the report.

Contribution and potential to future Biology development :

A project carries high merits if the results will induce other or further advance in Biology sciences or if the methodology has potential for application in wider or other applications.

Compliance with academic norms

The research report should be written in accordance with academic norms and include at least the following sections: 1) title; 2) abstract; 3) introduction to research background and existing research; 4) research materials and approaches; 5) conclusion; 6) discussions; 7) bibliography; 8) acknowledgement of contributions of each member of the team. The research report must clearly distinguish original contents from existing materials that only provide background information. Any existing research not contributed by a member of the team must be clearly referenced.

If applicable, scholarship and clarity of spoken presentation

An oral presentation should demonstrate the background of the problem, key background materials, and above all, the teams’ original contributions.

If applicable, demonstration of teamwork

In oral presentation, it is expected that every participating student will speak on behalf of the team in an organized manner.

Academic ethics and integrity