Welcome to Scientific Review Committee (SRC)!
The following Questions are answered below:
- What is the SRC? What is the IRB?
- Do I need SRC approval BEFORE I can begin my project? What are the SRC guidelines and rules?
- Are there special rules for Model Rockets?
- Which additional forms are required for projects?
- Where can I get the additional forms required for SRC/IRB projects?
- What if I need to make a significant change in my project after I have received SRC approval to begin?
- How will I know when my project has been approved for competition at Regional Science and Engineering Fair?
- Why are we so strict about the forms and SRC approval?
What is the SRC? What is the IRB?
The term SRC is actually used in two manners. 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 Regional Science and Engineering Fair. 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.).
PLEASE NOTE: ALL LEVELS OF COMPETITION (School, Regional, State, International) are REQUIRED TO CONVENE an SRC and IRB (for projects that involve human subjects). For more information, please consult the Operational Guidelines for Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and Institutional Review Boards (IRB). Additional Committee Training resources are available from Society for Science & The Public website.
The TEARSIF SRC/IRB consists of >15 people with expertise/credentials in various subjects who work together to review each of the project applications for Regional Science and Engineering Fair. 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?
TAERSIF follows the rules of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) and abides by the State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida Rules Supplement to the Intel ISEF Rules with one change: TAERSIF would like to pre-approve all projects with potentially Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices. These projects require that you submit a Form 3 with your application. See page 4 of the RSEF Handbook to see if you need preapproval, and determine the required additional forms required from the Documentation Checklist on page 5 of the Handbook. Forms may be downloaded from links on this website’s Forms page.
Are there special rules for Model Rockets?
Yes. Rockets are hazardous devices. You will need to follow the Model Rocket Safety Code (Source: www.nar.org) and submit the Model Rocket Launch Certificate that it contains. Contact your local NAR Chapter in Florida before you launch your rocket for your research project. DO NOT launch a rocket yourself.
Which additional forms are required for projects?
See the Forms page of this website.
Where can I get the additional forms required for SRC/IRB projects?
Please download additional forms from the Forms page of this website.
What if I need to make a significant change in my project after I have received SRC approval to begin?
STOP!!! Contact your school’s 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 48 hours.
How will I know when my project has been approved for competition at Regional Science and Engineering Fair?
Check the SRC Project Status link on this website. Select your school and teacher and then look up your name. [+PFTQ Disclaimer]
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 Thomas Alva Edison Kiwanis RSEF to compete in:
– State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida (Grades 6-12);
– Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Grades 9–12); and
– Broadcom MASTERS (Grades 6–8)
4. Avoidance of legal/litigation issues