Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at Georgetown University

2020 will mark the 58th year for the Junior Science and Humanities Regional Symposium at Georgetown University! The 2020 Regional Symposium will take place on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, 2020. 

Registration and light breakfast starts at 8:00am both days in the Healey Family Student Center Great Room. (map) (transportation)

2020 Regional JSHS Dates and Deadlines

  • December 31, 2019 – 2018 JSHS Regional Symposium registration opens – High School students and faculty – Register here
  • by 11:59M EST on Friday, January 10, 2020 – Deadline for Research Paper Submission (including Supervising Scientist Form)
  • by Monday, February 3, 2020 – Authors of Research Paper submissions notified of their status
  • by Friday, February 7, 2020 – Final date for students to accept invitation to provide oral presentation 
  • by Friday, February 28, 2020 – Final date for registration to attend JSHS Regional Symposium (all presenters, all teachers, all attendees!)
  • March 12-13, 2020 – Regional JSHS at Georgetown University

During the March 2020 Symposium, participants will have the chance to visit laboratories on campus, hear from keynote speakers, learn about research projects conducted by their peers, and attend seminars.

JSHS 2020 Keynote Speakers:

David A. F. Haaga, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at American University, where his research focuses on trichotillomania, cigarette smoking cessation, and cognitive behavior therapy more generally. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1988 from the University of Southern California. He served as Associate Editor of Cognitive Therapy and Research and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and was formerly Editor of Behavior Therapy. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and was named American University Scholar-Teacher of the Year in 2019. In regular life, he shares with his wife Candice an empty nest vacated by two adult daughters, and he has been a distance runner for 40+ years.

Treatment of Trichotillomania: Dr. Haaga first became interested in studying trichotillomania, or compulsive hair-pulling, by way of his clinical supervision experiences in a psychotherapy training clinic. His research on the topic has been supported by the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors and by NIMH. He has published on a stepped care model of treatment, as well as the Comprehensive Behavioral (ComB) model of treating trichotillomania. He is currently conducting a multisite randomized trial of the effectiveness of ComB treatment for hair pullers.

Diana Andriola, Ph.D. is a cognitive neuroscientist and science communicator. She completed her B.A. in Deaf Studies at California State University Northridge with a focus on sign language linguistics, then received her Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Her doctoral research shed new light on the abstract linguistic mechanisms that support reading development, namely phonological awareness. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy neuro-imaging, she examined how the brain processes spoken and signed language phonological awareness in relation to the early reading skills of deaf and hearing children. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Andriola engaged in science outreach and communication endeavors during her doctoral program. Some of favorite projects included serving as the lead coordinator of Neuroscience Day for Gallaudet University’s Bison Brainiacs Program, which provides Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing high school students hands-on learning in the sciences in American Sign Language from Deaf scientists and doctoral students.

After receiving her doctorate, she began working at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke within the Office of Neuroscience Communication and Engagement (ONCE). In her role at ONCE, she coordinates innovative neuroscience education, communication, and outreach efforts ranging from websites, apps, video games, trainings, to public events and presentations. Dr. Andriola currently serves on the organizing committee for ComSciCon 2020, an annual national workshop aimed at training graduate students in science communication. She is committed to creating and promoting opportunities for those underrepresented in the sciences to see themselves in science and learn about diverse training paths and careers in STEM.

You Don’t Look Like a Scientist: The Many Aspects of Diversity in STEM: Dr. Andriola will discuss how her journey as a non-traditional, first-generation student impacted her development as a scientist, the role of scientists as communicators, and the important interface between the sciences and the humanities. She will also discuss diverse career opportunities in STEM, especially those outside the lab and classroom.

Christian Wolf, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry and Chemistry Professor and Director of Medicinal Chemistry Shared Resource Center at Georgetown University. He earned his doctorate in Organic Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, Germany with a dissertation on Synthesis, Enantioseparation and Investigation of the Conformational Stability of Axially Chiral Biphenyls. At Georgetown, Dr. Wolf has been recognized as a Distinguished Georgetown University Investigator, President’s Distinguished Scholars-Teachers, and with Georgetown University Patent Awards in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017. His research interests are in Synthetic Methodology; Chiral Recognition and Chemosensing Stereoselective; Dynamic Stereochemistry of Chiral Compounds; Transition Metal Catalysis; Medicinal Chemistry; and Chiral Chromatography, Dynamic Chromatography.

A Career in Chemistry: Having Impact and Fun with Chemical Discoveries: Dr. Wolf will discuss his fascination for the chemical sciences and how he has become who he is today by sharing my professional development and experiences as a college student, industrial scientist, and university professor.

JSHS 2020 Judges:

Thursday – Oral Presentation Semi-Finals (Reiss Classrooms)

  • Philip Sheridan Buffum, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Orlando Stewart, Chemistry, Ph.D. Student
  • Kathryn Sanchez, Biology, Ph.D. Student
  • Blythe Shepherd, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Human Science
  • Mansa Gurjar, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow, Biology
  • Mahendran Velauthapillai, Ph.D., Professor & McBride Family Endowed Chair, Department of Computer Science
  • Bill Rebeck, Ph.D., Professor, Neuroscience
  • Cameron McKay, Neuroscience, Ph.D. Student
  • Christian Wagner, SJ, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor, Science, Technology & International Affairs
  • Michelle Bertke, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor, Chemistry
  • Tixieanna Dissmore, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Tumor Biology

Friday – Oral Presentation Finals

  • Bill Rebeck, Ph.D., Professor, Neuroscience
  • Micah Sherr, Ph.D., Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Orlando Stewart, Chemistry PhD Student
  • Kathryn Sanchez, Biology, PhD Student

JSHS @ GU 2020 Seminars: 

You will sign up for two seminars on the morning of Friday, March 13.

JSHS @ GU 2020 Lab Tours:

You will be assigned three lab tours for the afternoon of Thursday, March 13. Students who are presenting posters from 11:30am-1:00pm will then have a private tour of Georgetown’s Maker Hub.

Please expand the areas below for information about submitting a research paper and registering for the Symposium. 

All Washington, DC area high school students are invited to submit a research paper for consideration in the competition. The papers will be judged by a panel of Georgetown University faculty.

The top five oral presenters will be invited to attend the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. The top two oral presenters will be invited to present papers at the National Symposium and the third, fourth, and fifth place students will present posters.

Three tuition scholarships will be awarded at our regional symposium. Students judged to have given the first, second, and third best oral presentations on March 13 will receive undergraduate tuition scholarships equal to $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000, respectively. Scholarships are payable upon college martriculation. 

The closing date for paper submissions is Friday, January 10, 2020. All papers must be received by 11:59PM EST on this date, with no exceptions. Submit a research paper through the registration system.

Find detailed information about the required format for the research paper and submission procedures. View the rubric with which papers will be judged by Georgetown faculty reviewers.

Necessary materials for a complete research paper submission:

  • Contact Information for Mentor or Supervising Scientist: If the student conducted any substantial research in a scientist’s laboratory or under the guidance of a mentor, the mentor or supervising scientist is required to fill out the Supervising Scientist Form by the paper submission deadline (Friday, January 10, 2020). The student is responsible for asking the Supervising Scientist to fill out the form. 
  • Completed Research Paper, following required format.


  • Paper dimensions: 36” x 48”
  • Sections: Abstract, Introduction or Background, Methods or Methods and Materials, Results, Conclusions, Acknowledgements. Note that every section listed here should be included, but you may include more sections on your poster if necessary.
  • ​Select a font that is easily read from 3 feet. To test font size, zoom your powerpoint or PDF to 100% and stand 3 feet from  the screen. If the font can is legible from the screen, it will be legible on the poster.  In general, the title should be at least 60 pts, body and headings 30 pts, and text no smaller than 18 pts.
  • The template below is merely a guideline. There are no limitations of design or color in posters.

JSHS Poster Template:

Poster Tips:

  • Your poster should be understandable to a broad audience, not only people in your field. Be sure to include enough background to make your research as accessible as possible.
  • Judges will have a chance to review your posters before you present it. Be sure that you include enough information that the study can be generally understood without your explanation.
  • Make use of figures, graphs, and tables to make your poster visually appealing.
  • Avoid a text-heavy or crowded poster.
  • Images can become distorted when they are blown up on posters. Make sure to use high-resolution images and zoom in to check their appearance.

All students and teachers are asked to register through the JSHS CVENT system by Friday, February 28, 2020. (Registration does remain open until the event.)

DC: All DC Schools are welcome to participate in DC JSHS.
Maryland: High schools “inside the beltway” participate in DC JSHS (not the MD JSHS).
Virginia: Starting in 2019, schools in the counties of Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington will participate in DC JSHS only (not VA JSHS). 

If you are a student interested in attending but unsure of whether your school participates in the Washington DC JSHS, please email sciencefair@georgetown.edu.  

Learn more about STEM opportunities through the Army Educational Outreach Program.

2020 JSHS Information Please direct questions to sciencefair@georgetown.edu.

The Metro stations most convenient for the JSHS Regional Symposium are the Rossyln station and the Dupont Circle station at 20th & Q Streets, NW. Metrobus route G2 connects to the Metro subway at the Dupont Circle Metro station and stops at the Front Gates of Georgetown’s campus at 37th & O Streets NW. 

Additionally, Georgetown University offers free shuttle services for students, faculty, staff, and visitors traveling to and from the university campus and the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle Metro stations. Find more information on shuttle schedules and locations.

Most activities will take place in the Healey Family Student Center and Reiss Science Building. Pick-up and drop-off are at the Main Gates, located at 37th & O Streets NW.

Check out this map of campus before you arrive. Signs will point you in the right direction as well. 

Please direct questions to sciencefair@georgetown.edu

Parking at Georgetown University is very limited. Read more information. Teachers and school administrators are eligible for free parking. Contact sciencefair@georgetown.edu if you have not already received information about this benefit. 

As off-campus (street) parking is hard to find in the Georgetown area, the use of public transportation is strongly encouraged when visiting the university.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

8:00 am: Registration and Light Breakfast in Healey Family Student Center Great Room
9:00 am: Opening Remarks in Healey Family Student Center Great Room

9:05 am: Morning Keynote by David Hagga, PhD, American University
9:50 am: Break and move to Reiss Building classrooms for student research presentations – Read student oral presenters’ bios and presentation titles here!

10:00 am: Student Research Presentations in Reiss Classrooms (112, 262, 103)

11:15 am: End of presentations; Students and teachers pick up Pinstripes boxed lunch in Healey Family Student Center Great Room.
11:30 am (until 1:00pm): Student Poster Presentations with judging in Healey Family Student Center Herman Room – Read student poster presenters’ bios and poster titles here!

~12:00pm Announcement of finalists and dismissal for lab tours

12:15 pm: Lab tours depart Healey Family Student Center Great Room
12:30-1:00pm: On-Campus Lab Tour #1
1:00pm-1:15pm: Move to On-Campus Lab Tour #2
1:15pm-1:45pm: On-Campus Lab Tour #2
1:45pm-2:00pm: Move to On-Campus Lab Tour #3
2:00pm-2:30pm: On-Campus Lab Tour #3
2:30pm: On-Campus Lab Tour groups return to Healey Family Student Center Great Room for dismissal

On-Campus Labs tours are assigned here.

Friday, March 13, 2020

8:30 am: Registration and Light Breakfast in Healey Family Student Center Great Room
9:00 am: Welcome Back and Announcements
9:05 am: Morning Keynote by Diana Andriola, PhD, National Institutes of Health
9:50 am: Break and move to Seminar #1 locations in Reiss classrooms – read more about Seminar options here!
10:05am: Beginning of Seminar #1
10:40 am: End of Seminar #1; Move to Seminar #2 locations in Reiss classrooms
10:45 am: Beginning of Seminar #2
11:20 am: End of Seminar #2; Pick up lunch in Healey Family Student Center Great Room
11:30 am: Return to Healey Family Student Center Great Room for lunch

12:00pm: Student Research Presentations by five student finalists
1:15 pm: Break
1:30 pm Afternoon Keynote: Christian Wolf, Ph.D., Georgetown University
2:15 pm: Recognition and Awards, Healey Family Student Center Great Room
2:30 pm: End of Regional Symposium

Sponsors of the 2020 58th anual Junior Science and Humanities Regional Symposium at Georgetown University include: 

  • U.S. Department of Army Research Office, Durham, N.C. 
  • U.S. Office of Naval Research 
  • U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Bolling Air Force Base 
  • National Science Teaching Association