The following Questions are answered below:

What is the SRC? What is the IRB?

The term SRC is actually used two ways. The acronym SRC stands for Scientific Review Committee. One meaning refers to the group of people who form a committee that reviews each project application to ensure that all safety and legal requirements will be met and that the appropriate forms have been completed. The committee also reviews the completed project displays during check-in at the Synopsys Championship. A Scientific Review Committee is composed of at least three people: a biomedical scientist, a physical scientist, and a science teacher.

SRC also refers to the process of a project being reviewed. You may ask if a project “requires SRC approval” or if it has “met SRC requirements.”   Projects involving humans are reviewed by a subcommittee of the SRC called the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This ensures the project will not present an excessive amount of risk to the human subjects involved in the study. An IRB is composed of at least three people: a science teacher, a school administrator and a psychologist, doctor (M.D.) or nurse (R.N.).

The SCVSEFA SRC/IRB consists of >15 people with expertise/credentials in various subjects who work together to review each of the project applications for the Synopsys Championship. SSP (The Society for Science and the Public) requires that those signing off on application paperwork do not have a conflict of interest.

Do I need SRC approval BEFORE I can begin my project? What are the SRC guidelines and rules?

The Synopsys Championship follows the rules of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with one change: the Synopsys Championship would like to pre-approve ALL projects in the Hazardous Agents, Activities and Devices category. These projects require that you submit a Form 3 with your application.

Intel ISEF rules require SRC/IRB pre-approval of most projects involving human participants, vertebrate animals, and potentially hazardous biological agents. Note: If a project involves the testing of a student designed invention, prototype or concept by a human, an IRB review and approval may be required prior to experimentation. The ISEF Rules Wizard can help you determine which forms to complete. Forms may be downloaded from our Forms page.

Are there special rules for Model Rockets?

Yes. Rockets are hazardous devices. You will need to follow the Model Rocket Safety Code and submit the Model Rocket Launch Certificate that it contains. LUNAR, the Livermore chapter of the National Association of Rocketry, posts their launch schedule on their web site and is willing to help students launch their rockets safely.   Population density in the Bay Area makes it difficult to find safe rocket launch sites. Contact the three local NAR chapters in the Model Rocket Safety Code before you launch your rocket for a Synopsys Championship experiment. Do not launch a rocket yourself.

Which additional forms are required for projects and papers?

The ISEF Rules Wizard can help you determine which additional forms to complete.

Form 1 is required for all projects: Adult Sponsor Checklist
Form 1A is required for all projects: Student Checklist
Form 1B is required for each student/team member: Approval Form
Form 1C to be completed by the supervising adult AFTER an RRI experiment: RRI/Industrial Setting Form
Form 2 is required for research involving human participants, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, and DEA-controlled substances, and must be completed before the experiment begins: Qualified Scientist Form
Form 3 is required for projects using hazardous chemicals, activities or devices, and microorganisms which are exempt from pre-approval, and must be completed before the experiment begins: Risk Assessment Form
Form 4 is required for non-RRI research involving Human Participants
Form 5A is required for SRC pre-approval of an experiment involving any Vertebrate Animal
Form 6A is required for SRC pre-approval of an experiment involving any Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents
Form 6B is required for SRC pre-approval of an experiment involving any Human or Vertebrate Animal Tissue
Form 7 is required for any project that continues in the same field of study as a previous project: Continuation/Research Progression Project Form

Where can I get the additional forms required for SRC/IRB projects?

Please download from the Forms page. The same forms are available on the Intel ISEF site.

How will I know when my project has been approved?

Check the Project Status link on this web site. Select your school and teacher and then look up your name. You can begin experimentation only after your project status is listed as Project Approved.

What if I need to make a change in my project after I have received SRC approval to begin?

STOP!!! Contact the Scientific Review Committee and explain what you need to change. Do not proceed with your project until you have received further approval from the SRC. Approval is usually given in less than 24 hours.

Why are we so strict about the forms and SRC approval?

  1. Student safety
  2. Compliance with federal and state laws
  3. Compliance with the Intel ISEF rules. Adherence to the Intel ISEF Rules allows selected winners from the Synopsys Championship to compete in:   Intel International Science &Engineering Fair (grades 9–12) California State Science Fair (Grades 6-12) Broadcom MASTERS (Grades 6–8)
  4. Avoidance of legal/litigation issues