Address: 835 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13204

E-mail:     Phone: (315) 422-2902

E-mail the Fair Director



Mon-Fri 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Weekends by appointment only!


What’s here?

Why do I need an SRC review?

What does the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) do?

Tools you can use!


What else do I need to do about safety? 



The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) members review your research plan to make sure you have adult supervision that will keep you and your subjects safe throughout your research, that you have the proper permissions for all you plan to do, and that you got all that help before you started your experimentation or designing.



The work of the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is crucial both to student and subject safety during the research process, and to the credibility of the students’ research when they go on to present it.



  1. We want every researcher and subject to be safe throughout the process.
  2. We need to see that you have permission to interview fellow students, that your survey was reviewed to make sure it was appropriate and approved by the school, or that you have you received the necessary training to do your work (e.g., learning how to weld, operating a kiln, running a DNA analysis, caring for the mice in your test).
  3. Your parent’s permission to do a project is a no-brainer, of course, but we need to know about other people who advise you as well, in case we have questions.
  4. And you and the TNRSEF have to do this because IISEF, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, said so.

The TNRSEF can review your SRC paperwork before you actually start the registration process, BUT IT IS BETTER TO HAVE A LOCAL COMMITTEE DO THE INITIAL REVIEW. Feel free to contact the TNRSEF‘s SRC if you’d like help in setting up your local SRC or IRB (Institutional Review Board).

Submit completed forms to your school’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC), the sponsoring company’s or college’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). If those are not available, so you must use the TNRSEF’s SRC, you will scan your completed paperwork to create a single PDF and email the file to the TNRSEF’s SRC.



  1. TNRSEF Senior Research / Engineering How-to Guide PDF
  2. Use the ISEF Wizard to identify the paperwork that is required AND REVIEW IT WITH YOUR MENTOR, TEACHER OR PARENT!
  3. Interactive ISEF SRC Forms LINK
  4. Overview of SRC forms (the what and why of each) LINK
  5. 2017-18 Rules and Guidelines LINK

After a project has received SRC or IRB approval, the student submits any changes to the research plan for approval as well. This must be done immediately.

No experimentation begins until an SRC or IRB notifies the student of project approval. This is particularly true with living subjects, or certain chemicals, for example. Contact the TNRSEF’s SRC immediately concerning already-completed projects. The Committee can walk you through the process of documenting what you and your mentor did about safety issues.




Feel free to email our SRC Chair if you have questions concerning this process.

If you have other questions, email the Science Fair Director.

If you’d like to learn more about science fairs, check out these sites:
Science Buddies

Our current TerraFairs video LINK


FYI: The rules your TNRSEF has to follow to maintain its affiliation with IISEF … and to be able to send students to the international fair!

From the Standards for Programs and Services of Intel ISEF

Review Bodies – SRC and IRB

4.11 The science fair requires high school students who participate in the Intel ISEF-affiliated fair to follow the International Rules for Precollege Science Research: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs (Intel ISEF Rules) and to use Intel ISEF forms. A science fair is encouraged to have all grade levels adhere to the International Rules and forms, but appropriately modified rules and forms for the younger grades are acceptable given that they adhere to the spirit of the International Rules.

4.12 The science fair governance and/or leadership will appoint a Scientific Review Committee (SRC) that consists of a minimum of three members. The SRC must include at least one each of: a) biomedical scientist (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., D.O.), b) science educator, and c) another member (which may, but is not required to be, a biomedical scientist or a science educator). The SRC will be registered with SSP during the annual affiliation process.

4.13 The SRC will be operational and functioning throughout the year to support student research. There should be clear communication with stakeholders about how to have a project pre-reviewed and the timeline and deadlines for such a review.

4.14 The science fair should support the creation of school Institutional Review Boards to allow human participant research to be pre-reviewed by the appropriate authority.