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National Contest for Young Scientists

National Contest for Young Scientists


Applications for the 29th edition of the National Contest for Young Scientists are open until June 28th.

The National Contest for Young Scientists has been developed by Fundação da Juventude since 1992, with the main objective of promoting the ideals of cooperation and exchange among young scientists and researchers, stimulating the emergence of young talents in Science, Technology, Research and Innovation.


This edition is organized by the Youth Foundation in collaboration with Ciência Viva - National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture.

Nationwide, this contest aims to promote the implementation of innovative scientific projects in schools, encourage qualified entrepreneurship and promote the economic use of scientific and technological knowledge.

The projects must fit into one of the following areas of study: Biology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science/Computer Science, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Bioeconomics.


Students attending 9th to 12th grade or first year of higher education in Portugal, aged between 15 and 20 years old, may participate in this competition.

Individual or group projects, with a maximum of 3 elements, are admitted to the contest.

Teacher coordinators of projects submitted to the competition have the possibility to participate in a free ACD short term training course, accredited for career progression, under article 8 of the ACD Regulation. This training will take place online at the beginning of September.


Projects must fit into one of the following areas of study: Biology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science/Computer Science, Mathematics, Chemistry and Bioeconomy.

In the Bioeconomy category, projects should be based on the use of renewable biological materials from plants, animals or micro-organisms, for application in the following areas: a) Food safety, nutrition and health; b) Production of innovative non-food materials.

Work involving radioactive substances, toxic and carcinogenic materials, experiments that involve the physical or psychological suffering or death of live animals will not be admitted to the competition. Projects involving experiments on live animals will only be accepted on non-human vertebrate and invertebrate animals, when non-invasive experimentation has been conducted.

Projects must be submitted by June 28, 2021, by filling out the online form (available soon). Consult the support guide in order to submit the application successfully

Each school may submit up to a maximum of 10 works.

When applying, students must complete the online form and attach the project according to the following indications:

  • Clearly identify the scientific area of the study;
  • Present an abstract (one A4 page) containing the most relevant aspects of the project (keywords, objectives, methodology, observations and conclusions);
  • Present a written report with a maximum of 10 A4 pages, in pdf file. (maximum 3MB);
  • The reports should be in the form of a scientific paper, with the following structure 1) introduction / literature review, 2) material and methods, 3) results, 4) discussion, 5) contributions of the work, 6) references. In point 5) Contributions of the work, the contributions of researchers, scientific institutions, coordinators or companies involved must be detailed. Additionally, they should clarify in which phase of the work each cooperation took place. Any contributions other than those of the authors should be explicitly contextualized.
  • The reports should take into account basic aspects of scientific research such as: a) put and test a hypothesis; b) use controls; c) do not fall into the temptation to extrapolate conclusions that cannot be inferred from the experiments; d) do not present knowledge acquired in the literature as if they were original discoveries.
  • They should also provide the following information in Attachments:
  • -- Video with the pitch (presentation) of the project, with a maximum duration of 5 minutes (send link);
  • -- Photographs, powerpoint, graphs, etc;
  • -- They should upload the attachments in a zipped folder (maximum 10MB);
  • Write a simple and clear description of the work to be included in the official announcement of the 15th National Science Exhibition (maximum 10 lines).


All documents that make up the work for the national competition, except the abstract, must be written in Portuguese. However, awarded projects that will participate in international competitions must subsequently submit the project translated into English.


The list of selected projects for the 15th National Science Exhibition will be published online at the end of July 2021, after the jury's evaluation.

The 15th National Science Exhibition will take place at the end of September and, according to the evolution of the pandemic, should take place in a virtual or hybrid format.

The selected candidates will have to prepare the necessary elements for the presentation of the project at the National Science Exhibition.


There are five main prizes to be awarded to the students of the selected projects:

  • 1st Prize - 1,250€ (one thousand two hundred and fifty euros)
  • 2nd Prize - 1,000€ (one thousand euros)
  • 3rd Prize - 750€ (seven hundred and fifty euros)
  • 4th Prize - 600€ (six hundred euros)
  • 5th Prize - 400€ (four hundred euros)

Special prizes will also be awarded, according to the partnerships established.

The competition also foresees the awarding of a Special Prize to the 1st Prize Coordinator, to distinguish commitment and dedication in the monitoring of the project, thus valuing experimentation and applied research in educational processes.

Honorable Mentions, non-pecuniary, may also be awarded to projects that clearly present relevant innovation and opportunity indexes.


Ciência Viva - National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture is responsible for appointing the jury whose task is to evaluate and select the projects. The jury will include professors and researchers of recognized merit in the different scientific areas involved, in addition to representatives of the Youth Foundation, Ciência Viva and the Portuguese Environment Agency.

The jury's evaluation occurs in two distinct moments:

  • Documentary evaluation of all the works submitted to the competition according to their structure and presentation, scientific content, quality of experimentation and innovation;
  • Face-to-face or virtual evaluation of the works previously selected for the 15th National Science Exhibition, according to their presentation, clarity, scientific rigor, originality and creativity.

The prizes are awarded unanimously, and there is no appeal against this decision.


The projects awarded in the National Contest for Young Scientists may participate in European and world events, according to the decision of the Youth Foundation and Ciência Viva. For 2022 the following participations are foreseen:

  • Regeneron ISEF 2022 - International Science and Engineering Fair | May 2022 | Atlanta, USA.
  • Expo-Science International | March 2022 | Luxembourg
  • Zientzia Azoka | May 2022 | Bilbao, Spain
  • EUCYS - European Union Contest For Young Scientists | September 2022 | Netherlands
  • International Week of Wildlife Research | July 2022 | Swiss Alps
  • Forum "Step into the Future" 2022 | Russia





Susana Chaves

Telf.: (+351) 223 393 530

Telm.: (+351) 967 450 612

Email: schaves@fjuventude.pt