Naval High School Science Awards Program

The Naval High School Science Awards Program (NSAP) is a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps program that encourages our nation's students to develop and retain an interest in science and engineering. NSAP recognizes the accomplishments of eligible students at regional and state science and engineering fairs and the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in producing and presenting quality science and engineering projects.

Who sponsors the Naval Science Awards Program?

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors NSAP for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. ONR coordinates, executes and promotes science and technology programs of the Naval services through universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Fostering an academic interest in Naval-relevant science and engineering from high school through post-doctoral levels is of great importance to ONR.

Which science fairs are eligible?*

Regional and state science and engineering fairs at which two or more high schools are represented. Senior level projects from students in grades nine through 12 must be represented. Junior level projects from students in grades eight and below may also be represented. All regional and state fairs desiring eligibility must be registered with the program.

*Any final decision concerning the eligibility of a science and engineering fair that registers with ONR will be made by the Education Program Manager.

Who is eligible for certificates and awards?

High school students in grades nine through 12, competing as individuals, are eligible for certificates and awards. Award recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. In fairs that include middle school students in grades eight and below, these individual students' projects will be reviewed. They are eligible for separate certificates of accomplishment. No monetary awards are issued to middle school students. For further information, please see "Selection and Recognition of Naval High School Science Awards Recipients" on the NSAP website.

Submission Dates

Submission dates are established by regional science fairs, Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) regionals and ISEF.

Naval High School Science Awards Program

NSAP was established to encourage the interest of high school students in science and engineering, to reward their scientific achievements, and to encourage them to pursue careers in science or engineering.

Regional, District and State Science and Engineering Fairs

The Navy and Marine Corps participate each year in more than 425 regional, district and state science and engineering fairs in which high school students exhibit their projects. Qualified experts drawn from local Navy and Marine Corps activities serve as judges, with subsequent presentation of prizes to successful competitors.

Requests by fair directors for participation by the Navy and Marine Corps at regional/district/state must be received at ONR by January 8, in order to accommodate shipping of prizes and judging arrangements. Requests for Navy and Marine Corps participation in regional/district/state science fairs as well as questions concerning ONR's role in the JSHS and ISEF may be directed to: the Program Manager, Naval Science Awards Program.

Army, Navy and Air Force Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS)

The JSHS connects researchers and educators located in university settings, government laboratories and private research centers with talented and motivated high school students and their teachers. The JSHS encourages the analytical and creative development of our nation's youths in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Every year, more than 10,000 students participate in the 48 Regional Symposia held on university campuses across the country and in Alaska, Puerto Rico and DoD schools in Europe and the Pacific. Participants interact with and hear presentations by practicing scientists and engineers. Selected student participants make oral presentations of their experimental research.

Regional Directors of the JSHS program invite high schools within their geographic region to nominate students in grades nine through 12 who are conducting original research in one of the sciences, engineering or mathematics, and their teachers for participation. In addition, high school students who win a Naval Science Award at their regional/district/state science fair are eligible to apply to participate in a regional JSHS in their area during the next academic year for those regional/district/state fair winners who are still high school students in the next academic year. At each Regional Symposium, a total $4,500 in undergraduate, tuition scholarships, awarded at $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000 to each of three regional symposium finalists scholarship payable upon matriculation and upon meeting the JSHS scholarship conditions. Five additional students in each region are provided an all expense paid trip to attend the National Symposium. Awards at the National include: seven $12,000 undergraduate, tuition scholarships, awarded to each of the first place finalists; seven $8,000 undergraduate, tuition scholarships, awarded to each of the second place runner-up finalists; and seven $4,000 undergraduate, tuition scholarships, awarded to each of the third place runner-up finalists. Each JSHS Regional Symposium has specific application forms and individual deadlines.

Learn more about JSHS:

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)

Each year, ONR participates in ISEF, administered by the Society for Science and the Public. Nearly 1,500 high school students, representing more than 500 science, math and engineering fairs affiliated with the society, display their research projects and vie for hundreds of special awards. ONR will award one $10,000 Chief of Naval Research Scholarship to a high school student at ISEF who is a U.S. citizen. The award will come from one of the categories chosen by ONR deemed to have naval relevance.

Learn more about ISEF:


Naval science awards are limited to high school students in grades nine through 12 who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its territories at the time of their selection. The science or engineering project must be the individual's own work.

ONR Point of Contact

Anthony C. Smith
Director, Department of the Navy's HBCU/MI Program


Office of Naval Research
875 North Randolph Street
Suite W256A, Code 03R
Arlington, VA 22203-1995

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