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Common Scientific Research Committee (SRC) Problems

Top Five Intel ISEF Paperwork Problems

  • Incomplete Research Plan 1A
    1. Must include proposed and actual start and end dates
    2. Must include detailed research plan
    3. Must have all work site information completed

  • Missing final SRC signature on the Approval Form 1B
    1. The SRC must sign the bottom of 1B to demonstrate that the paper went through SRC review prior to competition at the regional, and state level.

  • Incorrect or incomplete Abstract
    1. Must be in proper format
    2. Must be without acknowledgements
    3. Must have checks properly marked and be signed
    4. Must reflect current year's work done by student

  • Missing Designated Supervisor Form 3
    1. Must be completed for projects that involve chemicals, equipment, or other potential hazards
    2. Often missing, and often incomplete without description of safety precautions taken

  • Prior year's paperwork for continuations
    1. Continuing projects, even those with clear demonstration of significant progress, must provide prior year's research (1A and Research Plan Attachment)
    2. Consider the project a continuation if prior work has been done in same general research area

    Top Five Intel ISEF SRC Problems
    (Guaranteed to require an interview)

    1. Vertebrate animal projects without proper SRC or IACUC approval or lacking appropriate detail in the research plan
    2. Human subject projects without evidence of proper prior approval or informed consents
    3. Projects involving the culture of potentially-pathogenic and pathogenic agents without appropriate detail about materials cultured, methods, or location of culturing and storage
    4. Continuing projects without enough detail in the research plan to demonstrate significant progress, including an abstract that is often too similar to the previous year's
    5. Projects that have eligibility questions regarding either the number of students involved in the project (team to individual or too many team members), the longevity of the research involved, or the age of the participants

    Top 10 SRC Problems from Regional SRC Reports

    1. Incomplete paperwork - missing forms or signatures
    2. Not getting paperwork in on time
    3. Missing human subject forms 4a and 4b after conducting a survey or otherwise using humans in the project
    4. Not differentiating between a qualified scientist and a designated supervisor
    5. Inappropriate handling and safety precautions for the use of bacteria and molds (potentially-pathogenic agents)
    6. Incomplete research plans, including insufficient bibliography
    7. Failure to obtain prior SRC approval
    8. Bad dates - paperwork not signed in the appropriate order prior to the start of experimentation
    9. Not having prior paperwork for continuing projects
    10. Elementary and junior projects and teachers not following the International Rules

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