Competition FAQs

This list of frequently asked questions should help you get all the information you need about The Big Bang Competition, eligibility, how to enter and the judging process.

If you have any further questions about the competition, please contact

What makes The Competition different to the others that are already out there?

Do I have to attend a regional Fair to gain a place in the competition finals?

What are the prizes?

When will the winners be announced?

Is my activity or project suitable for the competition?

When is the deadline for online entries?

My computer crashed before I finished my online entry. What do I do?

I submitted an online entry, but didn't receive a confirmation email

I was unable to upload my supporting materials

I attended a regional Fair and didn't gain a place in the Competition Finals. Can I enter via the online route as well?

How will the entries be judged?

Who are the judges?

Am I eligible to enter?

The Big Bang Competition is a national, over-arching and inclusive competition that covers all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths. Other science and engineering competitions tend to be specific to one scheme or subject areas. The Big Bang Competition welcomes almost all entries from other competitions - it's deliberately broad in the subjects it covers and in its entry criteria, to ensure that as many people as possible can take part.

No. There are two ways of gaining a place in The Big Bang Competition Finals; you can either enter via a Big Bang Near Me Fair (which will take place throughout the UK March-October 2017) or through entering online (the form will be available from 24 April 2017). You don't have to attend a regional Fair to gain a place in the finals. If you attended a regional Fair and weren't awarded a place in the finals, you can try again by working on your project and re-entering it online.

Each Competition winner (excluding special prizes), individual or team, will win a cash prize, a trophy and framed certificate. The winners in each category also have the opportunity to compete for the title of 'GSK UK Young Scientist of the Year' and 'UK Young Engineer(s) of the Year', as well experience prizes. Some winners also gain opportunities to represent the UK at other fairs and events. Runners-up will receive a cash prize, medals and framed certificate. For the special prizes, winners usually receive a cash prize, a trophy and an experience prize.

The winners of the 2017-18 Competition will be announced at the National Awards Ceremony at The Big Bang Fair on Thursday 15 March 2018.

The 2017-18 Competition is for projects carried out between 1 July 2016 and 30 October 2017, in any area of science, technology, engineering or maths. If you're still unclear, contact our Competition team

The 2017-18 Competition entry deadline is 30 October 2017. Unfortunately we cannot accept entries submitted after this time for the 2018 Finals.

Make sure that you have all of your information ready before you start the online form. When you press "save", your information is safe, but if you lose connection before this point we may not have received your information and you will have to complete the form again.

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Check that your supporting materials are in the accepted format (jpeg, pdf or PPT). If you still have problems uploading it, please contact us on

Yes, you can have a second try at gaining a place in the finals by entering online, even if you attended a Fair and didn't gain a place. You can also improve your project between the regional and the online heats.

Projects at selected regional Fairs will be judged in person and those who enter via the online entry form will be assessed by a panel of experts. The projects deemed the best from each route will be offered a place in the Competition Finals at The Big Bang Fair in March 2018. Once at The Big Bang Fair, all entrants will be judged a number of times at their display stands and the winners will be announced at The Big Bang National Awards Ceremony. Please read our Judging Criteria page for more details.

The judges are all experts from the world of science, technology, engineering and maths. In the Competition Finals a shortlist of ten projects will be asked to take part in a further stage of judging, involving a panel of celebrity judges.

The Big Bang Competition is for UK residents in full-time education or training (year groups 7-13 and Scottish/NI equivalent). All team members must meet these eligibility criteria. Please read the Rules and Eligibility to check if you're eligible. If you're still unclear, please contact our Competition team.