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Special Projects Information


General RulesJudging GuidelinesExhibit Requirements

WSSEF’s rules are intended to help insure the safety of the student researchers and the human or animal subjects involved in the research. WSSEF is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and follow their rules. Student Researchers must also follow all state and local regulations. In some instances, WSSEF rules may be more restrict than Intel ISEF rules. WSSEF’s Scientific Review Committee will have the final authority on the display and safety issues with projects.

Click here for a complete set of ISEF rules.

All bacteria, virus, fungi, bacteria etc. isolated from the environment should be considered potentially biological agents. Experimentation involving the culturing of potentially hazardous biological agents is prohibited in the home environment.

Any proposed research in the following areas listed below must be reviewed and approved by the WSSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) before experimenting. Human studies reviewed and approved by a properly constituted Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC) or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) do not have to be reviewed by the WSSEF SRC until Fair competition.


Vertebrate Animals

Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents




Additional ISEF forms and prior approvals are required if the project involves the use of one or more of the following areas. Click here to use the ISEF rules web site for help in determining the forms and approvals needed for your project.


Requires prior approval by an Institutional Review Board (IRB).


Human Subjects Form (4)


Qualified Scientist Form (2) (if applicable and/or required by the IRB)


Vertebrate Animals  

Vertebrate Animal Form (5A) - for projects conducted in a non-regulated research site (SRC prior approval required.)


Vertebrate Animal Form (5B) - for projects conducted at a Regulated Research Institution. (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval required prior experimentation.)


Qualified Scientist Form (2) (Required for all vertebrate animal projects at a regulated research site or when applicable)


Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents  

Requires prior approval by SRC, IACUC or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)


Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Assessment Form (6A)


Human and Vertebrate Animal Tissue Form (6B) - to be completed in addition to Form 6A when project involves the use of fresh or frozen tissue, primary cell cultures, blood, blood products and body fluids.


Qualified Scientist Form (2) (when applicable)


Risk Assessment Form (3) Required for projects involving protists, archae and similar microorganisms and for projects using manure for composting, fuel production or other non-culturing experiments (6A, 6B and 2 are not required)


Hazardous Chemicals, Activities and Devices  

No prior approval required


Risk Assessment Form (3)


Qualified Scientist Form (2) (required for projects involving DEA-controlled substances or when applicable)


If work was conducted in an institutional or industrial setting any time during the current ISEF project year, the Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form (1C) must be completed.

Click here to obtain copies of the forms required from the ISEF web site.

To assist local fairs, the WSSEF Scientific Review Committee will be glad to review and approve any projects needing pre-approval. It is not necessary to already be registered to obtain the proper approvals from the WSSEF SRC. Please send an email to Scientific Review Committee for assistance.

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