Well-qualified judges will be provided to evaluate the projects at the fairs. The judges will determine 1st, 2nd,3rd, and 4th place winners for each category. Winners will receive ribbons. There are minimum standards for winning; it is possible that ribbons will not be awarded for every place in every category. The decision of the judges is final.
By registering, all judges agree to the following:
I hereby acknowledge that by submitting this application, I agree to serve as a judge for the Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair(s). I agree to act in a positive and ethical manner in which each student encountered is treated fairly and respectfully. Privileged information or ideas that are obtained through my volunteer service will be kept confidential by me and I will not use such information or ideas nor disclose such information or ideas to third parties. I agree to disclose all conflicts, potential conflicts and perceived conflicts of interest resulting from direct competitive, collaborative or other relationships with any of the students and to recuse myself from judging in such circumstances. I agree to decline and report any offer of payment or other consideration of value. I acknowledge that I have read and agree to abide by the Society for Science & the Public's harassment policy protecting all LSEF participants from harassment and sexual harassment by another LSEF participant or other person for any reason including, but not limited to: age, national origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, ancestry and/or veteran status and understand LSEF responsibility to investigate such claims. In conclusion, I agree to notify LSEF Judging Coordinator immediately if I become aware of any circumstance that would potentially compromise my ability to attend the event or evaluate finalists' projects.
We need qualified scientists and Engineers who are willing to serve as judges and IRB/SRC Members for both the Region VII and State Fairs!
Judges - Helpful ISEF Guide ISEF Judging Guidelines
The Institutional Review Board (IRB)
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 to be used in a project.
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. An IRB must include:
- an educator
- a school administrator (preferably, a principal or vice principal), and 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 social worker or licensed clinical professional counselor.
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.
IRBs exist at federally regulated institutions (e.g., universities, medical centers, NIH, correctional facilities). Prisoner advocates must be included on the IRB when research subjects are at a correctional facility. The institutional IRB must initially review and approve all proposed research conducted at or sponsored by that institution. The Adult Sponsor and the local IRB are responsible for ensuring that the project is appropriate for a pre-college student and adheres to the ISEF rules.
An IRB generally makes the final determination of risk. However, in reviewing projects just prior to a fair, if an SRC judges an IRB’s decision as inappropriate, thereby placing human subjects in jeopardy, the SRC may override the IRB’s decision and the project may fail to qualify for competition.
The Affiliated Fair Scientific Review Committee (SRC)
A Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is a group of qualified individuals that is responsible for evaluation of student research, certifications, research plans and exhibits for compliance with the Rules and pertinent laws and regulations. Local SRCs may be formed to assist the ISEF Affiliated Fair SRC in reviewing and approving projects. The operation and composition of the local and ISEF-Affiliated Fair SRCs must fully comply with the International Rules. Any proposed research in the following areas must be reviewed and approved BEFORE experimentation: projects involving vertebrates and potentially hazardous biological agents. (Human studies reviewed and approved by a properly constituted IRB do not have to be reviewed by the SRC until just prior to the Fair competition.) ALL projects must be reviewed and approved by the SRC after experimentation and shortly before competition in an ISEF-affiliated Fair. (Projects requiring preapproval which were conducted at a regulated research institution (not home or high school, etc.) and which were reviewed and approved by the proper institutional board before experimentation must also be reviewed by the Fair SRC for rules compliance.)
An SRC must consist of a minimum of three persons. The SRC must include:
- a biomedical scientist (Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., or D.O.)
- an educator
- at least one other member
In order to eliminate conflict of interest, the Adult Sponsor, parents, the Qualified Scientist, and the Designated Supervisor must not serve on the SRC reviewing that project. Additional members are recommended to help avoid this conflict of interest and to increase the expertise of the committee.
A Scientific Review Committee (SRC) examines projects for the following:
- evidence of literature search
- evidence of proper supervision
- use of accepted and appropriate research techniques
- completed forms, signatures and dates showing maximum of one year duration of research and appropriate preapproval dates (when needed)
- evidence of search for alternatives to animal use
- humane treatment of animals
- compliance with rules and laws governing human, animal research and those involving potentially hazardous biological agents
- documentation of substantial expansion for continuation projects
- compliance with the ISEF ethics statement
Certain areas of research conducted in a regulated research institution require review and approval by federally mandated committees that have been established at that institution. These committees include:
- Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
- Institutional Review Board (IRB)
- Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
- Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO)