Rule Changes

Summary of Rule Changes for the 2017 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 6, 2017
      • IRB meets as projects are submitted for pre-approval.  Final project pre-approval submission deadline is Wednesday, November 30, 2016
      • Check International Rules for changes HERE

Notable changes noted from ISEF 2017

  • General Clarifications 
    •  ISEF Rules allow SRC Prior Review and Approval l by either Local or Affiliated Fair SRC (Your fair may choose to allow only Affiliated Fair Prior Review and Approval) 
    • Students are allowed to work with marijuana (DEA Schedule 1 substance), drones, and/or alcohol but must follow ALL applicable laws and regulations 
    • The Research Plan/Post Project Summary was rewritten for clarity
  • Human Participant Clarifications (See Rules for complete descriptions of criteria) 
    • Exempt Studies: Do not require IRB Prior Review and Approval Do not require Form 4 
    • Expedited Review Studies: Require IRB Prior Review and Approval by one IRB member Require Form 4 
    • All other Human Participant Studies: Require IRB Prior Review and Approval by full IRB (3 members) Require Form 4
  • Vertebrate Animals 
    • Clarified wording: Bird and reptile eggs are not considered vertebrate animals within 3 days prior to hatching
  • PHBA’s 
  • Mushrooms: Clarified wording to mean only edible mushrooms are exempt from SRC Prior Review and Approval 
    • Rule Change for Allowable PHBA studies (P. 15, 3f): Insertion of antibiotic resistance markers for the clonal selection of bioengineered organisms is NOW permitted. However, students still may not genetically engineer organisms with multiple drug resistance traits (e.g., a ‘superbug” or organisms that cannot be treated with current antibiotic therapy.)
    • Form Changes 
      • Form 1C 
        • The questions on this form were changed to help judges better understand the student’s role in designing and carrying out the study 
      • Form 6A • Changes to wording to provide simplification of certification process • For projects that do not require RRI Prior Review and Approval, a letter from the Institution is no longer required
    • See this link for summary of these rule changes for 2016-17.

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 fair will be allowed additional entries.
  • The formula, changed from previous years, 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 2017 are Bellevue Middle, Cascade School, Classical Conversations West, Faith Home School Tutorial, Lead Prep Southeast, and MadPad Science.
  • For these schools, the total entries allowed for these schools for 2017 fair will be:
    • Bellevue Middle School = 14 in 6th, 8 in 7th, 3 in 8th
    • Faith Home School Tutorial = 3 in 6th, 20 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Cascade School = 14 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 14 in 8th
    • Classical Conversations West = 3 in 6th, 3 in 7th, 8 in 8th
    • Lead Prep Southeast = 3 in 6th, 8 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