Scientific Review Committee

The USEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) is a group of adults knowledgeable about regulations concerning experimentation.

The SRC must evaluate all senior division projects before experimentation may begin. The USEF SRC will also review the documentation for these projects shortly before competition to ensure that students have followed all applicable rules and that the project is eligible to compete. Senior division projects using regulated research institutions or involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, and DEA-controlled substances will require additional forms and evaluation.

Approval Before Experimentation

The USEF SRC will pay special attention to the following items:

  • Evidence of proper supervision
  • Use of accepted research techniques
  • Completed forms, signatures and dates
  • Alternatives to animal use
  • Humane treatment of animals
  • Compliance with rules and laws governing proper care and housing of animals
  • Appropriate use of recombinant DNA, pathogenic organisms, controlled substances, tissues and hazardous substances and devices
  • Adequate documentation of the substantial expansion of continuing projects

After the forms have been reviewed, the SRC will deliberate, resulting in one of the following decisions for ALL senior division projects:


If a project is approved, the SRC chairperson signs the appropriate box on the Approval Form (1B). The approved forms will be returned to students as soon as possible, so that they can begin experimentation.


The SRC Chairperson will provide the student and sponsor with a list of reasons for disapproval and suggestions for changes needed for approval. If suitable corrections are made, the revised project forms should be re- reviewed. If the project is approved, the student and sponsor will be notified immediately so that the student can begin experimentation.

Projects that are not allowed

Some projects are unethical or should not be done by pre-college students. Examples would be projects designed to kill vertebrate animals, toxicity studies using vertebrate animals, improper treatment of animals, proposed use of pathogens at home, violations in the use of controlled substances, and lack of appropriate supervision. Students may not grow any type of bacteria at home. The SRC will notify the student and sponsor promptly and provide them with a complete list of reasons the project may not be done.

SRC Review Shortly Before Competition

The USEF SRC is required to reconvene before the fair to review and approve all projects with supporting documentation. The USEF members will carefully review all documentation, particularly for research that required prior review and approval. If the project documentation does not attest to this prior review and approval, the project is in violation of the International Rules. Such projects should only be approved if an acceptable written explanation is provided.

2018 Schedule

This year, the fair will be held March 20-22, 2018. You can download a tentative schedule by clicking the link below.

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We've Changed Our Name!

You are in the right spot—we've changed our name from SLVSEF to USEF—The University of Utah Science & Engineering Fair. We are now an official University event! Yay!