Competition for Young Bio-Medical Scientists (CYBMS)
Guidelines (2016-2017)

The Competition for Young Biomedical Scientists (CYBMS), sponsored by the Association of Chinese American Physicians (ACAP), is a nationwide research/scientific competition in Biomedical field for middle and high school students. The CYBMS is open to students conducting research in the following fields: biology, microbiology, immunology, physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, toxicology, and other medical specialties. Participants are asked to submit their research results to CYBMS committee to compete for prizes.
These rules and regulations were developed to provide the guidelines for submission of application documents, compliance with relevant governmental rules and laws to protect the rights and welfare of the student, researcher and human subjects, to protect the health and well-being of vertebrate animal subjects, to address environmental concerns, and to support safe laboratory practices. It also provides the timeline and detail information regarding the selection of finalists.
Students and sponsoring teachers/researcher should take the time to review these guidelines PRIOR to submit the application, and be aware of the application deadline, and/or event dates. Any questions or concerns should be directed to ACAP staff by emailing to
Registration for Competition and Submission of Application Documents
1) All eligible participants must register for the competition on line at Once registration is completed and successful, an Email confirmation will be sent to the participant.
2) After registration, participants can download required forms (see appendix 1-3 for examples) and need to fill them out carefully.
3) Before emailing the documents, please be sure that all forms must bear required signature and be dated.
Required forms and documents include:
a) Student's CV
b) Student, School and Research Project information form (appendix 1 as example).
c) Abstract submission form (appendix 2 as example).
d) Mentor's information and Approval form (a one-page abstract, 500?word maximum) (appendix 3 as example).
e) Research paper.
5) All completed forms and documents with signature should be emailed to before the deadline (see below). Mailed copy or hand-delivery is not acceptable.
Important Dates and Deadlines
1) Application deadline: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Midnight (or by 11:59 PM)
2) Award announcement: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
3) Award ceremony: ACAP scientific gala at Sheraton Hotel Flushing, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354, on May 21, 2017.
Rules and Regulations
CYBMS adopts the Rules and Regulations stipulated by the major local and nationwide scientific competitions including New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) and the Intel ISEF (see references).
Ethics Statement
Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Such practices include plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher's work as one's own and fabrication of data. Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for CYBMS.
Eligibility / Limitations
a) Any student in 6 to 12 grade or equivalent, enrolled in a public, private, who has not reached the age of 21 on, or before, May 1 of the event year is eligible to participate in CYBMS.
b) Eligible students must hold grade B or higher in their scholastic performance.
c) Each student may enter only one project summarizing data collection or research findings.
d) A research project may be a part of a larger study done by professional scientists, but the project presented by the student may only be their portion of the complete study.
General Requirements
a) All students applying to CYBMS must adhere to all the rules and guidelines as set forth in this document.
b) All projects must adhere to the Ethics Statement above and local, state, county, and US Federal laws, regulations, and permitting conditions.
c) Introduction or disposal of non?native species, pathogens, toxic chemicals or foreign substances into the environment is prohibited. See
d) Before experimentation begins, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Scientific Review Committee (SRC) must review and approve most projects involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, and potentially hazardous biological agents.
e) Every student must complete the CYBMS online registration or application and submit required documents by Email (See Section 1 and appendix 1-3). The school teacher and the Adult Sponsor should review and approve the application.
f) A qualified scientist or Mentor is required for all studies involving potentially hazardous biological agents, DEA?controlled substances, more than minimal risk in human subjects and for all vertebrate animal studies.
g) All original signed forms, certifications, and permits must be available for review by the ACAP CYBMS Scientific Review Committee.
Student Research Abstract and Paper Requirement
A student research paper must be submitted by email, in addition to the abstract and other documents, in order to complete the CYBMS application. The paper should include:
The abstract is a non?critical, informative summary of the significant content and conclusions of the paper. The abstract should not exceed 500 words and should be written in the past tense. The abstract does not include any references to tables or figures in the paper or cited literature and does not include detailed descriptions of systems, equipment, or processes.
The introduction provides a brief, historical background and description of the work discussed in the paper. The purpose of the investigation is clearly stated and placed in the context of the field of study and contains properly cited references. This section describes the nature and significance of the research project and provides definitions of new or unusual terms, or those having special meaning related to the project.
Materials and Methods
The materials and methods should be written in paragraph form. Step listings will not be accepted. It should be detailed enough to allow any reader to repeat the experimentation if necessary. However, it is not necessary to include every single step. This section does not contain any results; describes any apparatus that was specifically constructed or modified for use in the study; could include a flowchart or diagram for clarification of a complex procedure or apparatus.
The results section summarizes the data in narrative form with tables, graphs, and figures. Tables, graphs, and figures should be integrated into text with verbal elaboration and used to make data coherent, encourage comparison, indicate relationships, and simplify complicated information. This section: contains tables, graphs, and figures that are clearly labeled with concise captions; does not contain ALL of the raw data collected but should highlight the data relevant to the study; does not contain any guesses, conclusions, or interpretations based on the data.
Discussion and Conclusions
The discussion section provides an interpretation of results and how it relates to the original hypothesis and project rationale. This section: offers possible explanations of the findings; provides recommendations for further study and for improving experimentation.
References / Literature Cited
Students should indicate the sources of the information and include in?text citations using PubMed format for citations. References should contain at least five major references from scientifically and academically accepted sources; not include encyclopedias or Internet search engines.
The Sponsoring Science/Research Teacher
The Sponsoring Science/Research Teacher is responsible for overseeing the student(s) participation in all aspects of the research project, from the planning phase through the competition phase. The Sponsoring Science/Research Teacher must be an adult or instructor from the applicant's school. The Sponsoring Science / Research Teacher is required to review all paperwork submitted to CYBMS by his/her student(s) and sign the Signature Page acknowledging that he/she reviewed the submitted project application. Information concerning student's application status will also be communicated to the Sponsoring Science/Research Teacher.
The Mentor
A Mentor is a qualified scientist who must have a solid background in science and should possess an earned doctoral/professional degree in the area that directly relates to the student's area of research. However, a master's degree with equivalent experience and/or expertise in the student's area of research is acceptable when approved by a Scientific Review Committee (SRC). The Mentor must be thoroughly familiar with the local, state, and federal regulations that govern the student's area of research.
The mentor may be a teacher, parent, university professor, or scientist in whose lab the student is working and should have close contact with the student during the course of the project. If a student has been mentored by a Mentor in another city, state or country, the student should have worked locally with a designated supervisor who has been trained in the techniques the student uses. The Mentor is responsible for ensuring the student's research is eligible for entry in this competition. The Mentor is responsible for working with the student to evaluate any possible risks involved in order to ensure the health and safety of the student conducting the research and the humans or animals involved in the study. The Mentor must have made sure that: a) experimentation is done within local, state, and federal laws and the CYBMS rules and guidelines; b) that forms are completed by other adults involved in approving or supervising any part of the experiment; and c) that criteria for the Qualified Scientist adhere to those set forth below. The Mentor must be familiar with the regulations that govern potentially dangerous research as they apply to a specific student project. These may include chemical and equipment usage, experimental techniques, research involving human or vertebrate animals, and cell cultures, microorganisms, or animal tissues. The issues must have been discussed with the student when completing the project. Some experiments involve procedures or materials that are regulated by state and federal laws or may not be appropriate for pre?college students. If not thoroughly familiar with the regulations, the Mentor should have helped the student enlist the aid of another Qualified Scientist.
The Mentor and the sponsoring school Science/Research Teacher may be the same person, if that person is qualified as outlined above.
The CYBMS Scientific Review Committee
The CYBMS Scientific Review Committee (CSRC) is a group of qualified individuals that is responsible for evaluation of student research, certifications, research results, and compliance with the rules and pertinent laws and regulations. Qualified individuals may be scientists in the biomedical field, physicians, and teachers. The member of CSRC is appointed by ACAP annually. A member will be disqualified if he/she has personal (i.e, relatives) or financial relationship with any participants.
The members of CSRC also serve the judges for the competition.
Evaluation of Student's Research and Selection of Awardees
Evaluation Criteria
Students will be evaluated in two main categories:
(a) Scientific Achievement/Accomplishment (How well did the student(s) successfully meet the technical and scientific requirements for his/her project?)
(b) Merit / Individual Accomplishment (How well did the student(s) carry out the project according to his/her ability?).
The CSRC will measure the creative ability, scientific thought and goals, thoroughness, understanding, and clarity of the students when referring to the research project they are presenting. Those include, but not limited to:
(a) How much does this project build upon or add to current knowledge in this area, topic, or field?
(b) How logical was the experimental design?
(c) Did the research methods directly address the research problem?
(d) How thorough was the analysis of available data?
(e) How much initiative did the student have in carrying out the research project?
(f) How creative were the student's solutions to the research problem?
(g) What was the overall comprehension of the topic and supporting information?
(h) Was the student able to discuss the project clearly?
Selection of Awardees
Each member of the CSRC will anonymously score each student's research result. The final score is the average of the scores provided by each committee member. The selection and rank of awardees is based upon the final score of each student received.
a) Gold prize (the First Prize): One recipient, $2,000 scholarship (half of scholarship, or $1000, goes to the High School where student is enrolled).
b) Silver prize (the Second Prize): One recipient, $1000 scholarship (half of scholarship, or $500, goes to the High School where student is enrolled).
c) Bronze Prize (the Third Prize): One recipient, $500 scholarship (half of scholarship, or $250, goes to the High School where student is enrolled).
d) Honorable Mention: Five recipients, $100 scholarship each (half of scholarship, or $50, goes to the High School where student is enrolled).
e) Junior Prize for Middle School Participants: One recipient, $1,000 scholarship (half of scholarship, or $500, goes to the Middle School where student is enrolled).
Announcement of Awardee and the Award Ceremony
The finalists or awardees will be announced and posted in the ACAP website on April 15, 2017, and the notification will be sent to the student and the school by email. Award ceremony will be held at the ACAP annual scientific gala at Sheraton Hotel Flushing, 135-20 39th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354, on May 21, 2017.
Legal Statement
ACAP is the sole authority to interpret this guideline and reserves right to modify or change its content, terms and conditions, and all relevant information without prior notice. This guideline is subject to change annually.
1. New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF) and the Intel ISEF Rules and Guidelines.
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