Scientific Review

Committee


Santa Clara Valley

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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?
  • How will I know when my project has been approved?
  • What if I need to make a significant change in my project after I have received SRC approval to begin?
  • 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 two ways. 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 the Synopsys Championship. 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.).

The SCVSEFA SRC/IRB consists of >15 people with expertise/credentials in various subjects who work together to review each of the project applications for the Synopsys Championship.  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?

The Synopsys Championship follows the rules of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with one change: the Synopsys Championship would like to pre-approve all projects in the Hazardous Agents, Activities and Devices category. These projects require that you submit a Form 3 with your application.

See page 4 of the 2014 Handbook to see if you need preapproval, and determine  the required additional forms required from the Forms 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 and submit the Model Rocket Launch Certificate that it contains. LUNAR, the Livermore chapter of the National Association of Rocketry, posts their launch schedule on their web site and is willing to help students launch their rockets safely.

Population density in the Bay Area makes it difficult to find safe rocket launch sites. Contact the three local NAR chapters in the Model Rocket Safety Code before you launch your rocket for a Synopsys Championship experiment. Do not launch a rocket yourself.

 

Which additional forms are required for projects and papers?

See the 2014 Handbook.

Where can I get the additional forms required for SRC/IRB projects?

Please download 2014 forms from the FORMS page.

 

How will I know when my project has been approved?

Check the Project Status link on this web site. Select your school and teacher and then look up your name. You can begin experimentation only after your project status is listed as Project Approved.

 

What if I need to make a change in my project after I have received SRC approval to begin?

STOP!!! Contact the 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 24 hours.  

 

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      
Synopsys Championship to compete in:
  • Intel International Science &Engineering Fair (grades 9-12)
  • California State Science Fair (Grades 6-12)
  • Broadcom MASTERS (Grades 6-8)

(4) Avoidance of legal/litigation issues

 

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