A Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is a group of adults knowledgeable about regulations concerning experimentation especially with vertebrate animals and potentially hazardous biological agents. The SRC must review and approve all projects in these areas before experimentation may begin. Shortly before competition, the Fair SRC will also review the documentation for ALL projects to ensure that students have followed all applicable rules and that the project is eligible to compete.
An SRC consists of a minimum of three members. The SRC must include at least: (a) biomedical scientist (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., D.O.); (b) science educator; (c) at least one other member. Members of the SRC may also serve on the IRB for a school. The SRC Chairperson must be a biomedical scientist who is not a classroom teacher. Refer to operations guidelines at https://sspcdn.blob.core.windows.net/files/Documents/SEP/ISEF/2016/Fair-Network/Operational-Guidelines.pdf for further information.
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that, according to federal regulations (45-CFR-46), must evaluate the potential physical and/or psychological risk of research involving human subjects. All proposed human research must be reviewed and approved by an IRB before experimentation begins. This includes review of any surveys or questionnaires
Federal regulations require local community involvement; therefore an IRB should be established at the school level to evaluate human research projects.
An IRB at the school or ISEF Affiliated Fair level must consist of a minimum of three members. In order to eliminate conflict of interest, the Adult Sponsor, parents, the Qualified Scientist, and the Designated Supervisor who oversee a specific project must not serve on the IRB reviewing that project. Additional members are recommended to help avoid this conflict of interest and to increase the expertise of the committee.
This IRB must include: (a) a science teacher; (b) a school administrator (preferably, a principal or vice principal); (c) one of the following who is knowledgeable and capable of evaluating the physical and/or psychological risk involved in a given study: a medical doctor, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical counselor (professional, mental health) or licensed social worker.
Refer to operations guidelines at https://sspcdn.blob.core.windows.net/files/Documents/SEP/ISEF/2016/Fair-Network/Operational-Guidelines.pdf for further information.
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