The ISEF forms constitute written documentation of what will occur, or in some cases, has already occurred, in a research project. They are designed to provide the information that is needed to review the project to ensure compliance with the ISEF rules and with laws and regulations that apply to the project. The forms should be filled out and signed before any research takes place. (Only Forms 1C, 5B, 7, and the abstract are done after the research.) The dates of the signatures reflect when the approval or consent is given. Use MM/DD/YY format for all dates.
Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1)
The checklist is provided so that the adult sponsor can review what information (and therefore which forms) must be provided. The date signed is the date that the sponsor first reviews the project plan before the experiment begins.
Student Checklist (1A)
On this page, the student outlines what the project is about. Items that especially need to be clear are the following:
#6: Any project conducted in a similar area of research as previous projects should be considered a continuation. If the project is a continuation, explain on Form 7 as completely as possible how the project will differ from previous experimentation because ONLY a new and different research project is allowed. The current year project must demonstrate significant progress.
#7: Explain when the actual experimental procedure (not the background literature review) will begin and end because ONLY a 12-month project that occurred within the last 18 months before this ISEF is allowed.
#8: Explain where the experimental research will be done: research institution, school, field, home. Universities, research facilities, and industrial settings will require additional documentation on Form 1C to explain what was done at each facility. (Note: Pathogens may NOT be cultured at home.)
#10: Attach a Research Plan and Project Summary, as outlined in the Research Plan and Summary Instructions, which describes the project in detail and answers all applicable questions.
Approval Form (1B)
These statements attest that each of these people (or committees) approves or consents to this project. The dates should be signed as described below and are before experimentation unless otherwise indicated:
|a) Student||Date they attest that they understand the possible risks, that they have read and will follow the rules, and that they will abide by the ethics statement.|
|b) Parent/Guardian||Date they consent to their child doing this project.|
|c) SRC Approval BEFORE||Date that the committee reviews this project BEFORE the experimentation. Projects that must be preapproved are research in these areas: human participants, vertebrate animals, and PHBA’s (potentially hazardous pathogenic agents) including microorganisms, recombinant DNA, and human or animal tissue.|
|d) SRC Approval AFTER||This applies only to projects that needed preapproval by the SRC but were done at a research institution and were preapproved by that institution instead of the affiliated fair SRC. The date signed indicates when the SRC approved this project after it was completed. All documentation from the research institution showing approval of the project must be attached.|
|e) Final SRC Approval||All projects must be reviewed by the SRC after the experimentation is complete and shortly BEFORE competition in the affiliated fair. The date signed shows the date that SRC gives final approval to this project.|
Regulated Research Institution (1C)
This form is completed by the supervising adult, explains what the student researcher actually did and is signed after the project is completed. This form is only needed if the research was done at a research institution (university lab, for example) or in an industrial setting, but is not completed for work done at a high school.
Qualified Scientist (2)
On this page, the scientist explains what will be done to oversee this project. The qualified scientist (QS) and, if needed, the designated supervisor (DS), will sign with the date that they approve this project (before experimentation takes place).
Risk Assessment Form (3)
Required for projects using hazardous chemicals, activities or devices, and some PHBA’s including protists, composting, coliform test kits, decomposition of vertebrate organisms and microbial fuel cells and must be completed and signed by the DS or QS prior to student experimentation.
Human Participant Form (4)
This page, along with the research plan, is submitted by the student researcher to explain to the IRB how the safety and well being of the test subjects and the confidentiality of results will be ensured. The IRB reviews the project, checks the risk level and determines if written documentation of assent/consent/permission is required. All questions must be answered and boxes checked. Each IRB member signs with the date they approve this project. This review and the date signed must be BEFORE any experimentation takes place.
When required by the IRB, a written informed assent/consent/parental permission form is used to explain to the research participant and their parent/guardian the risks and benefits associated with participation. (See Human Informed Consent Form.) Questionnaires, sample tests, etc. MUST be given to the IRB and to the parent/guardian. If the participant wishes to participate and when required, the parent/guardian also agrees, they each sign the Informed Consent Form with the date that they approve. (Before experimentation begins).
Vertebrate Animal Form (5A)
This form is filled out by the student researcher when the experiment is conducted in a Non-Regulated Research Site such as home or school and describes the housing and care for the animals. The SRC reviews this document and determines the level of supervision required for the study and signs and dates BEFORE experimentation begins. The bottom of the form is filled out by the veterinarian and/or designated supervisor and is signed and dated when they approve this project with these housing conditions. (Before experimentation begins.)
If there was any illness, unexpected weight loss or death of an animal during the experimentation, the cause must be investigated and a letter from the Qualified Scientist, Designated Supervisor, or a veterinarian which documents the situation and the results of the investigation must be attached.
Vertebrate Animal Form (5B)
This form is filled out by the Qualified Scientist when the research is conducted at a Regulated Research Institution and describes the study. A copy of the IACUC approval (not a letter from the Qualified Scientist or Principal Investigator) must be attached.
If there was any weight loss or death of an animal during the experimentation, the cause must be investigated and a letter from the Qualified Scientist, Designated Supervisor, or a veterinarian which documents the situation and the results of the investigation must be attached.
Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (6A)
This form is filled out by the student researcher and is required for all research involving microorganisms, rDNA and fresh/frozen tissue (including primary cell lines, human and other primate established cell lines and tissue cultures), blood, blood products, and body fluids. SRC/IACUC/IBC/RAC approval required BEFORE experimentation. The qualified scientist will sign and date. The SRC will choose one or more statements that describe the approval process for the study and will add the date that approval occurred.
Human & Vertebrate Animal Tissue (6B)
This form is filled out by the student researcher and explains the source of the tissue. The Qualified Scientist or Designated Supervisor signs and dates to document the source and handling of this tissue (before experimentation).
Continuation Projects Form (7)
If the current project is in a similar area of research as any previous project of the student or any team member, it is considered a continuation. Explain as completely as possible how the project is different from previous experimentation because ONLY a new and different research project is allowed. The date signed is the date the student researcher is certifying that this information is correct.
The abstract is a summary of the study and is written after experimentation. ISEF finalists must use the on-line system. Regional and local fairs may use this PDF version of the ISEF abstract.