Rules & Regulations

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The Southern Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair Program is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) Program. Rules are set-forth by Intel ISEF that we must follow. These rules are summarized below.

Most projects require a minimum of paperwork; however, students who have a project experimenting with human participants, vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA, pathogenic agents, controlled substances, tissue research, and/or hazardous substances or devices, must complete the appropriate Intel ISEF Certification Forms. The forms must be completed prior to the onset of experimentation.

If you are a student that has a project with experimentation of human participants, your school must have an IRB Committee. If experimenting with vertebrate animals, your school must have a SRC Committee.

If you have a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) or IRB at your local school, you do NOT need to forward the Certification Forms to the Regional Science Fair's SRC/IRB Committee for prior approval. You do need to send a copy of the form to the regional office PRIOR to the start of the project research. The appropriate forms must be with the project the day of the fair for approval by regional fair's SRC/IRB Committee.

The Society for Science & the Public requires all affiliated fairs to appoint a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) of at least three people. The SRC must consist of a minimum of three persons. The SRC must include:

  1. a biomedical scientist (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., or D.O.)
  2. an educator
  3. at least one other member

Many projects will require additional expertise to properly evaluate (for instance, extended knowledge of biosafety or of human risk groups.) If animal research is involved, at least one member must be familiar with proper animal care procedures. If the SRC needs an expert as one of its members and one is not in the immediate area, then documented contact with an external expert is appropriate and encouraged.

In order to eliminate conflict of interest, the Adult Sponsor, parents, the Qualified Scientist, and the Designated Supervisor must not serve on the SRC reviewing that project. Additional members are recommended to help avoid this conflict of interest and to increase the expertise of the committee.

A Scientific Review Committee (SRC) examines projects for the following:

  1. evidence of literature search
  2. evidence of proper supervision
  3. use of accepted and appropriate research techniques
  4. completed forms, signatures and dates showing maximum of one year duration of research and appropriate preapproval dates (when needed)
  5. evidence of search for alternatives to animal use
  6. humane treatment of animals
  7. compliance with rules and laws governing human and animal research and those involving potentially hazardous biological agents
  8. documentation of substantial expansion for conintuation projects j) compliance with the ISEF ethics statement

Minnesota State University has a Scientific Review Committee/Institutional Review Board (SRC/IRB). The purpose of this committee is to check student projects for compliance with the Intel ISEF and regional fair rules.

If your school does not have a local SRC/IRB Committee, you need to forward the forms to Minnesota State University, Mankato prior to beginning your research.

The Middle School/Senior High School Division is required to follow all Intel International Science & Engineering Fair rules. Go to the Society for Science and the Public link below. (As a regional Intel ISEF affiliated fair, we have agreed upon not providing the rules & regulations online, rather, we have agreed to provide the link to the information.)