BioEngineering High School Competition


Please see below for frequently-asked questions about BioEHSC™. If a question you have has not been answered below, please do not hesitate to contact the BioEHSC™ committee at, and our competition chairs will reply within 24 hours.

The BioEHSC™ Committee

Who organizes BioEHSC™?

BioEHSC™ is hosted by the Bioengineering Honor Society at UC Berkeley (BioEHS), an ASUC-sponsored student group affiliated with the Department of Bioengineering. BioEHS consists of bioengineers with high professional or academic achievement and exemplary character, and strives to improve bioengineering awareness and education both within UC Berkeley and in the community beyond.

At the UC Berkeley campus, the Bioengineering Honors Society is known for its alumni network and academic prestige. The Bioengineering high school competition, sponsored by BioEHS, is the only biotech-specific high school outreach program and competition in the nation.

How can I contact the BioEHSC™ committee?

The BioEHSC™ committee’s email address is Our senior competition chair, Jason Zhang, and junior competition chair, Reet Mishra, check the email daily and will reply within 24 hours of a sent email.

Team Registration and Changes

Who can participate in this competition?

All high school students are welcome to participate in BioEHSC™. Students must form teams of four or five from their high school and complete the project requirements in order to qualify for the competition.

How many teams can I register for my high school?

High schools may register up to two teams before the deadline. High schools that wish to send more than two teams can fill out a waiting list form to send more if space is available. Faculty sponsors can email the senior and junior competition chair at for more details in regards to the waiting list form if your school wishes to send more than two teams!

Can I participate in multiple projects?

Competitors may participate in more than one project, albeit the workload can potentially become overwhelming. Contestants who participate in multiple teams do not have to pay the registration fee of $38 more than once.

If my team cancels, what is the policy regarding competition fee refunds?

If your team chooses to cancel their participation in the competition, we will refund your registration fee up to the end of the first week of the competition. In order to cancel your team’s participation, please email your request to and fill out the form that is sent to you.

How do we switch a team member on our team?

If your team wishes to substitute a team member, your team is responsible for reimbursing the following member. To request a change in team member, please notify the senior and junior competition chair immediately at, and fill out the form that is sent to you in response. Unless due to extenuating circumstances, we will only accept team member substitutions until the end of the second week of the competition.

Coaches and Chaperones

Does our coach or chaperone have to stay for the entire competition?

Coaches and chaperones serve as the primary emergency contact for competitors, so they are expected to stay as long as a competitor under their charge is at the competition. Coaches and chaperones do not have to stay at the competition building constantly, but, in an emergency, we need them to be 1) easily contacted and 2) quick to arrive at the competition.

NOTE: Because the competition symposium is virtual this year, there is no need for the coach/chaperone to be physically in a set location. We highly recommend (but not require) coaches attend the virtual symposium, in order to support their team(s) and act as another point of contact in the event of a technical problem.

Can multiple teams share the same coach or chaperone?

A coach or chaperone may sponsor multiple teams as long as it is in compliance with your school policies.

Competition Research Period

I just registered my team. When can I start?

Teams may start brainstorming potential projects as soon as they submit registration fees. Mentor(s) will be in contact with your team as soon as possible when the registration fees are received.

I am having trouble contacting our mentor, what do I do?

If you are having difficulty contacting your mentor, let us know immediately at The accessibility and quality of the mentorship provided is taken seriously. When you contact us, attempt to re-contact your mentor and cc on the email. If the mentor does not respond, the committee will contact the mentor. If deemed necessary, we will re-assign you a new mentor or refer your team to a member of the mentor adversarial panel, a collection of experienced undergraduates and graduate students.

How can I access articles or periodicals that are subscription-access only?

Many prestige journals operate on a subscription basis, or delayed open access meaning that only old articles can be accessed freely on journal websites. We suggest searching for articles that are open access. PLOS (Public Library of Science) runs a suite of open-access journals; PLOS ONE contains a staggering breadth of scientific publications. Many other open access sources of information include websites run by the CDC. You may also visit for a listing of peer reviewed, open access journals. In addition, you can ask your mentor to access scientific literature by sending them the link to the article you wish to read. As a UC Berkeley student, they will have access to all journals that UC Berkeley is subscribed to.

Competition Day

When and where is the competition scheduled?

The competition will be held fully online this year due to the ongoing pandemic. As April 10th draws closer, an email with the relevant online conference links will be sent to you.

Does our team have to be present for the entire competition?

All teams are expected to be present for the entire duration of the competition. However, if a team member or an entire team must leave, they may do so as long as they notify their coach/chaperone and the junior or senior competition chair. If teams are aware of a conflict that may cause them to arrive late to the competition or that may cause them to leave the competition early, please notify us at