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Frequently Asked Questions

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) is a national program that promotes and fosters research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines at the high school level. There are forty-eight regional symposia serving high school students throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Schools of Europe and the Pacific Rim. A distinguishing feature of the JSHS program is the opportunity given to young high school scientists to present original scientific research in a public forum. The JSHS program is jointly sponsored by the research offices of the United States Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force in cooperation with leading research universities throughout the nation. The Department of Defense generously provides funding for the national JSHS and the JSHS scholarships. The JSHS program is administered through the National Science Teaching Association and endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The JSHS regional and national programs are held during the academic year and reach more than 10,000 high school students and teachers annually.

The Tennessee JSHS, one of forty-eight regional JSHS programs, is administered by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is based in the Office of Research and Engagement. In addition to the Office of Research and Engagement, other supporters include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences, the Tickle College of Engineering, UT-ORNL Science Alliance, and UT-Battelle, manager of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory through contract with the Department of Energy. Students must compete in a regional JSHS in order to become eligible for the national JSHS.

The next annual Tennessee JSHS will be held March 5 – 6, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza in Knoxville, TN. Students selected to participate will be given the opportunity to present original research in written and oral form to a panel of UT Knoxville faculty scientists who will serve as judges. All participants will also have an opportunity to visit research laboratories at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and select laboratories at UT, to learn about cutting-edge research from professional scientists.

Tennessee high school students (grades 9 – 12) enrolled in a public, private, or home school interested in STEM studies can participate either as a presenter or as a student delegate. The Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium will be March 5- 6, 2020, at the Crowne Plaza, Knoxville. Up to five (5) high school students and one teacher from each high school may participate.

You can find the TJSHS rules at this link: TJSHS Rules

While literary review or library research is a part of the research process, secondary research alone is not appropriate for the TJSHS. The written and oral reports should present the results of original research carried out by the student.

All students who wish to present a research project as a poster presenter must submit an electronic version of their abstract only and Statement of Outside Assistance. Students who apply to present in the oral session and whose research submission is not accepted for oral presentation but completed a full research paper and it meets all paper format guidelines will automatically be invited to present in the poster session.

The TJSHS will provide lodging and meals during the conference for no more than five students and the teacher mentor/chaperone from each high school selected to attend. In addition, the TJSHS will provide round trip mileage reimbursement from the school to Knoxville, Tennessee, for one vehicle from each school selected to attend on a need basis. Unfortunately, our budget cannot support reimbursement for airfare.

Limited funds are available for substitutes to cover the classrooms of teacher/chaperones selected to attend TJSHS and are not guaranteed, but are given are given based on need. Invoices from the school must be submitted to the University of TN-TJSHS and mailed to 1534 White Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996-1529. Requests/Invoices will be honored and paid based on needs.

In accordance with the terms of our grant funding and fiscal policy, we require that claims for reimbursement of round trip mileage to attend the TJSHS 2020 event and reimbursement for substitute teachers (if applicable) be submitted for payment to the TJSHS office within six weeks of the end of the program. For the 2020 program, reimbursement requests must be submitted no later than April 17, 2020; reimbursement requests received after this date will not be paid.

Complete financial support information.

Students with the top research papers and abstracts will be asked to present their research orally in front of a panel of judges and their peers at the TJSHS. Only the students who are invited to give oral presentations will compete for the first-, second-, and third-place scholarships.

A total of $4,500 in undergraduate tuition scholarships will be awarded to the top three oral presentation finalists:

  • $2,000 first place
  • $1,500 second place
  • $1,000 third place

The scholarships can be used at any school of the student’s choice and will be payable upon matriculation. Only US citizens and permanent residents of the US and its territories are eligible to receive the scholarship awards.

Students who are not chosen to present their research orally will still have the opportunity to present their research in a poster presentation to their peers and the UT faculty judges. The student with the best poster will receive an honorable mention.

The top five student presenters, top three oral presentation and top two poster presentation winners, will receive an all expense-paid trip to attend and compete at the national JSHS, where the top two TJSHS winners will be able to compete in the national competition for additional scholarships.

In addition to student awards, the TJSHS will recognize one teacher for his or her contributions to the teaching and promotion of scientific research to high school students. This teacher will be recognized at the TJSHS with a $500 award sponsored by the National Science Teaching Association.

The top two finalists from the regional TJSHS become eligible to compete for the following national JSHS scholarships. A total of $192,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships is presented to the top three finalists in the National Symposium research paper oral competition in each of the subject categories.

  • Each of the 1st Place finalists receives $12,000
  • Each of the 2nd Place finalists receives $8,000
  • Each of the 3rd Place finalists receives $4,000

The next three finalsts from the regional TJSHS will compete in the poster competition for category awards. A cash award in the amount of $350 will be presented to the top finalists in the National Symposium research poster competition in each of the subject categories.

  • Each of the 1st Place finalists in the poster competition receives $350