Reasons for Failing to Qualify at ISEF

1. Human, vertebrate animal, or PHBA studies that did not have preapproval

  • Need IRB preapproval for human participant studies
  • Need SRC or IACUC preapproval for vertebrate animal studies
  • Need SRC or IBC preapproval for PHBA studies

2. Prohibited Vertebrate Animal Studies

  • Studies done at home/school/field that should have been done at a regulated research institution
  • Studies that caused more than momentary pain or suffering or that were designed to kill
  • Induced toxicity studies
  • Predator/vertebrate prey experiments
  • Studies where student performed euthanasia on a vertebrate animal
  • Studies with an animal death in any group or subgroup due to the experimental procedures
  • Studies where animals have a weight loss greater than or equal to 15%
  • Studies where there was an inappropriate restriction of water or food
  • Studies treated as embryonic studies that were actually vertebrate studies

3.  Prohibited Studies using Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (PHBA’s)

  • Microorganisms were cultured at home
  • BSL-2 studies (including opening plates or containers of unknown microorganisms) done in a BSL-1 lab
  • Studies using human and other primate estalished cell lines without SRC pre-review and approval

4.  Prohibited Human Participant Studies

  • Studies where the IRB required written documentation of consents which were not obtained
  • Studies where the student used surveys/questionnaires without IRB pre-review and approval

5.  Eligibility Problems

  • Student worked with a partner or team but competed as an individual, or vice versa
  • Project was more than 1 year in length or was too old
  • More than three students on a team

6.  Scientific Misconduct

  • Plagiarism
  • Student presented mentor’s research as his/her own
  • Falsification of data

7. Other problems that may result in an FTQ

  • Continuation study which was merely a repeat of a previous project conducted by the student
  • Student removed or added items to the project display which he/she had been previously told to change