Entry guidance

The Competition is free and open to all students aged 11 to 19 studying in the UK. Competitors can only enter one project into the Competition, either as an individual or as part of a team. Have a look at our rules and eligibility for more details.

The information below was a guide for participants in the 2020-2021 Competition. Read it if you're curious about how to structure a project for the coming cycle, but just bear in mind that the rules might change when we launch again!

Skip to: assessment criteria, project guidance documents, advice on entry formats, top tips from competitors and judges.

Assessment criteria 2020-2021

One of the first things to consider when you start your project is our assessment criteria – the different elements that our judges will use to decide whether your project is shortlisted for the Finals.

Familiarise yourself with the full criteria below:

1. Project overview

A brief summary of your project, with a clear outline of your aims, how you planned to achieve your aims, key findings and conclusions, and how your work may impact the wider community or world. 

2. Project concept

What is the aim of your project? Why did you choose this project? Who might benefit from your work? 

3. Project process

How did you set out to achieve your project aims? What background research did you do? What approaches did you consider, and what did you choose? How well did you plan and organise your work? 

4. Project outcome

What were your project outcomes? What were your results and findings? What conclusions can you make?

5. Reflections and next steps

What did you learn whilst working on your project? What did new skills did you learn? What advice would you give someone who wanted to do a STEM project in the same field?

6. Personal skills

Throughout your entry, judges will be assessing the following skills: understanding and application of scientific/engineering method, clear and concise communication, enthusiasm and passion, evidence of innovation and creativity, problem solving, teamwork and leadership or independence and self-motivation.

Read these guides

The head judges for the 2020-2021 Competition put together these handy documents to help participants approach the assessment criteria based on their chosen stream:

Download our science project guidance

Download our engineering project guidance

Investigating FTEN Genotypes 4942

Remember, the judges are interested in learning about your work and want to celebrate your achievements! Our main advice for competitors is to do their best and provide as much relevant information as possible. Good luck!

— Helena Dodd and Andy Cowan, The Big Bang Competition Head Judges 2020-2021

Advice on entry formats

Competitors can upload their project work either as a video or written submission.

If you are planning to enter a video, make sure your film is between 5 and 7 minutes long. Download our guide on how to film a video entry

If you are planning a written submission, bear these word counts in mind:

  • Project overview: 150 words max
  • Project concept: 300 words max
  • Project process: 400 words max
  • Project outcomes: 400 words max
  • Next steps and reflections: 350 words max