Rule Changes

Summary of Rule Changes for the 2019 MTSEF

SRC and IRB pre-approvals – Projects requiring pre-approval CAN NOT be conducted until approval is received from the SRC or IRB.

      • Are you unsure if your project will require pre-approval?  Check the
        Rules Wizard
      • SRC meets monthly.  Final project pre-approval submission deadline is Friday, January 4, 2019.
      • IRB meets as projects are submitted for pre-approval.  Final project pre-approval submission deadline is Friday, November 30, 2018.
      • Check International Rules for changes HERE

Notable changes noted from ISEF 2019

  • General Clarifications 
    • Minor changes in wording (spelling, grammar, formatting)
    • P. 4 – New section on digital paperwork and signatures
    • All sections (human participant, vertebrate animals, PHBAs, hazardous substances) have been realigned to state general rules first and put exemptions at the end of the section.
  • Human Participant Clarifications (See Rules for complete descriptions of criteria) 
    • Removed expedited review. Any project that requires IRB approval requires full approval.
    • Clarification of Regulated Research Institution IRB and School IRB
    • New section on human participant involvement in student-designed invention, prototype, computer application and engineering/design projects
  • Vertebrate Animals 
    • P. 10 Rule 6 – 15% is the maximum permissible weight loss for experimental animals compared to control group.
  • PHBA’s 
    • P. 14 B – Describes conditions under which various rDNA technologies may be conducted.
    • See this link for summary of these rule changes for 2018-19.

Middle School Limitations

  • The goal of the fair is to allow all project entries from grades 9-12 and the best from grades 6-8.
  • Each grade 6-8 school will be allowed at least 3 entries per grade.
  • Schools submitting winning 1st, 2nd, or 3rd category awards in the previous year’s fair will be allowed additional entries.
  • The formula is (3 x Category Awards in grade in previous fair  + 1) x 2 = allowed entries in that grade for present fair.
  • Schools receiving additional entries for 2019 are AP4 Home School Science, Asadourian Home School, Bellevue Middle, Cameron: A Lead Public School, Cascade Middle School, Classical Conversations – Gallatin, Classical Conversations – Nolensville, Classical Conversations – Spring Hill, and Sunset Middle School.
  • For these schools, the total entries allowed for these schools for the 2019 fair will be:
    • AP4 Home School Science = 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Asadourian Home School = 3 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th
    • Bellevue Middle School = 14 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Cascade Middle School = 8 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Classical Conversations – Gallatin = 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Classical Conversations – Nolensville = 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Classical Conversations – Spring Hill = 3 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th
    • Cameron: A Lead Public School = 14 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th
    • Sunset Middle School = 3 in 6th, 14 in 7th, 3 in 8th
  • Middle Schools will have to validate their entries with the signature of a certifying official. This can be the school science fair coordinator or an administrator. Middle Schools are encouraged to have qualifying school fairs to determine their entries. Middle School Certification form