Tips for Forms & Projects:
The following should be completed in the order presented:
The Student Checklist (1A) should be completed in conjunction with the Research Plan. On this form, students should outline what the project is about. Items that especially need to be clear are the following:
- The school address (#3) should include the PHYSICAL address along with the mailing address if they are different. Remember, research cannot be conducted in a PO Box!
- Any project conducted in a similar area of research as previous projects should be considered a continuation (#5). If the project is a continuation, explain on Form 7 how the project will differ from previous experimentation because ONLY a new and different project is allowed. The current year's project must demonstrate significant progress.
- The Start Date (#6) must be the date that the student began his/her laboratory and/or data collection work - not when the background or library research began.
- The End Date (#6) must be the date that the student stopped his/her laboratory and/or data collection work - not when data analysis or work on the board was completed. ONLY a 12-month project that occurred within the last 18 months before the 2013 Intel ISEF is allowed.
- If a student wishes to continue collecting data between competitions (i.e.: after the Regional Science Fair and before the CSEF), then an amendment to this form should be done stating that the student will be collecting more data and give the newly anticipated end date AS LONG AS THE PROCEDURES DO NOT CHANGE!!
- Field Research (#7) refers to data collection that is done away from the school, home and/or research institution (i.e.: collection of data at different stream sites around the state, collection of surveys at sites such as businesses and/or schools other than the student researcher's, observations done in public places, etc.). If there is field work done, we need a list of all of those sites and addresses if possible (general locations if not), please attach to this form if the list is long. Universities, research facilities and industrial settings will require additional documentation on Form 1C to explain what was done at each facility.
The Research Plan MUST be TYPED and should be completed in conjunction with the Student Checklist (1A).
- When writing the research plan, students should clearly identify each of the four points needed in the plan: Question Being Addressed; Hypothesis/Problem/Engineering Goal(s); Procedures & Data Analysis; and Bibliography. This will aid in the review of the research plans and cut down on the need for clarification in many cases.
- Human Subjects Research must also include who the subjects will be; how the subjects will be recruited; what the subjects will be asked to do (IN DETAIL!); what the potential risks or discomforts might be to the subjects; what the potential benefits to society and/or each subject might be; how privacy will be protected; and how informed consent will be obtained.
- Vertebrate Animal Research must also include potential alternatives and a justification to the use of vertebrate animals; the potential impact or contribution this study may have; detailed procedures that include how discomfort, pain and injury to the animals will be minimized and what chemical concentrations and drug dosages will be used (if applicable); exactly how many animals will be used and what type; exactly what the housing and oversight will be for each type of animal; and exactly what will be done with the animals once the study is over.
- Potentially Hazardous Biological Agent Research must also include how the Biosafety Level was determined; exactly where the agent, cell line, etc. is being obtained; exactly what the safety precautions being taken are; and exactly how and where the biological agents will be disposed of when the study is over.
- Projects that include Hazardous Chemicals, Activities & Devices must also include how the Risk Assessment was done and the results; exactly what the chemical concentrations and drug dosages might be (if applicable); exactly what the safety precautions are and procedures will be to minimize potential risk; and exactly what the methods of disposal will be (if applicable).
The Checklist for Adult Sponsors (1) should be done once the Student Checklist (1A) and Research Plan are near completion.
- The Checklist for Adult Sponsors form is to be used by the Adult Sponsor when reviewing students' research plans and seeing that the proper approvals and oversight are acquired BEFORE research on the project begins. This means it should be signed and dated BEFORE research begins - attesting to the fact that the Adult Sponsor has indeed done his/her job in guiding the student researcher.
- If the Adult Sponsor feels that more detail is needed in the Research Plan, he/she should not sign this form until it is corrected.
- The Adult Sponsor should make sure that question #4 matches question #6.
- Please note that the Adult Sponsor should sign and date it according to the date of REVIEW and not the date of signature. This is useful if the students have research notebooks and the teacher reviews and initials those before transferring everything to the ISEF forms.
The Approval Form (1B) should be completed once the Student Checklist (1A), the Research Plan and the Checklist for Adult Sponsors (1) are all complete.
- The student should review the research plan with his/her parents/guardian and sign this form together. This must be done BEFORE the student can begin laboratory/data collection work.
- If prior Scientific Review Committee (SRC) approval for use of vertebrate animals and/or potentially hazardous biological agents and/or Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for use human subjects is required, then all paperwork must be sent to the appropriate SRC/IRB for review and approval (#2a) BEFORE the student can begin laboratory/data collection work.
- If prior SRC/IRB approval is required and the student is working at a REGULATED Research Institution like a university AND they obtained the necessary approvals from that institution, then the local SRC/IRB can give approval (#2b) AFTER the project is complete, but PRIOR to competition. The student must have a Form 1C and any required institutional approvals in hand.
- Just prior to the student's Regional Science Fair, the Regional SRC will review the paperwork and will approve (#3) the project for competition.
- If a student is selected to attend the CSEF, just prior to that competition, the CSEF SRC will review all paperwork and will approve (#3) the project for competition.
- Please note that even though a local school SRC/IRB may have approved a project prior to experimentation, a regional and state SRC can deem that the local review body made a mistake and refuse to allow a project for competition for not following the rules and guidelines.
An Abstract must be completed once the project is completed and all analysis and conclusions are done.
- CSEF Finalists MUST use the on-line CSEF Abstract form and NOT the ISEF Official Abstract Form.
- Abstracts should be written in past tense and should include the objective(s) of the study, the general procedure(s) used, the result(s) of the study and the significance of the result(s). The abstract should not include acknowledgements (such as referencing mentors or laboratories involved in the project).
- Read more information on writing abstracts.
A Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C) is completed AFTER experimentation is completed at a research institution or industrial setting.
- If only part of a student's research is completed at the research institution, then this form can be completed at any time after the research start date and does not have to wait until all experimentation is completed, but this might be noted on the form somewhere for clarification.
- Please pay particular attention to the signature box- if the student did the research at the institution, then that institution must have given their approval if it involves human subjects, vertebrate animals or potentially hazardous biological agents. For example, Colorado State University has its own Regulatory Compliance Board and if a student were to go there to do a research project with a professor (or anyone else), the student's research must be approved by this board and the CSU board overrides any decision a school IRB may have made regarding the study, as the school has no jurisdiction at CSU.