Scientific Review Committee (SRC)
The State Science Review Committee (SRC) reviews each project for eligibility. Each project must be cleared by the SRC prior to TXSEF participation. The volunteer-based SRC includes at least one biomedical scientist, one science educator, and one other member. Members of the SRC are knowledgeable about research subject matter and regulations, review required forms for entries, and address any problems before competition. The SRC looks for “red flags” that may require additional forms or project eligibility. The goal of the SRC is to ensure all projects are safe and meet the guidelines set by ISEF. Visit the ISEF Rules Wizard as a first step to help you determine what forms of approvals are necessary.
What are common SRC red flags?
- Human Subjects
- If you used human subjects, a consent form for each subject must be obtained and available upon request.
- Vertebrate Animals
- If you used vertebrate animals, the vertebrate animal form must be completed.
- Hazardous Materials
- Certified Laboratories
- Experimentation involving the culturing of potentially hazardous biological agents, even BSL-1 organisms, is prohibited in a home environment. However, specimens may be collected at home as long as they are immediately transported to a laboratory with the BSL containment determined by the affiliated fair SRC. For more information about Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Rules please review ISEF rules.
- The following types of studies involve BSL-1 organisms and are exempt from prior SRC review and require no additional forms:
- Studies involving baker’s yeast and brewer’s yeast, except in rDNA studies.
- Studies involving Lactobacillus, Bacillus thuringiensis, nitrogen-fixing, oil-eating bacteria, and algae-eating bacteria introduced into their natural environment. (Not exempt if cultured in a petri dish environment.)
- Studies involving water or soil microbes not concentrated in media conducive to their microbial growth.
- Studies of mold growth on food items if the experiment is terminated at the first evidence of mold.
- Studies of slime molds and edible mushrooms.
- Studies involving E. coli k-12 (and other strains of E. coli used solely as a food source for C. elegans) that are performed at school and are not subject to additional rules for recombinant DNA studies or use of antibiotic resistant organisms.
- Checklist and information for SRC Review
Is data collection after Regional Fair allowed?
Yes. However, finalists cannot add any new procedures involving human subjects, bacteria, vertebrate animals, or anything else that would require approval and that was not approved earlier.