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BEFORE starting a project there are few things you should know or do first.


The GSDSEF Management Committee reserves the right to reject projects deemed unsafe/unsuitable for display. 

To comply with 2019-2020 California Science and Engineering Fair and the International Science and Engineering Fair Guidelines, the GSDSEF is requiring the following:





The GSDSEF follows the rules and guidelines set by the International Science and Engineering Fair. The GSDSEF has set additional guidelines to protect the safety of participants in addition to the ISEF Rules and Guidelines.

Also make sure you follow all GSDSEF deadlines found on the Schedule page.



Decide on a Science, Engineering, Computer Science, or Math project. Look at the guidelines to help you decide and check out the Category Descriptions to determine what type of project you would like to do.



A) Your Teacher/Advisor must establish an account first. Only if a teacher is not available should a Designated Supervisor or another Adult Sponsor register an account.

B) Establish an account under the Student tab - Register. If you have already created an account, there is no need to create another account. You will only need to update any information, such as grade level, school, teacher/advisor, etc. 

An individual email account is required that is able to receive email notifications from the GSDSEF. Please check with your teacher/advisor if you are using an internal school email account. Please do not use the same email address for multiple students.


NOTE: If you are working as a Team, both members must create their own accounts.



A) Download the fillable pdf SRC Pre-Approval Signature page, enter the names, and gather signatures (signatures can be in ink or electronic). This page will need to be scanned and/or saved in order to be uploaded in Step 3C. Note: Each Team Member must submit the needed forms for SRC Pre-Approval.


B) Determine which other forms or certifications are required to be submitted for SRC Pre-Approval. For many projects, Certification Forms may not be necessary; however, depending on your project, Certification Forms and additional forms may be necessary.

Use the SRC Pre-Approval Process Flowchart below to determine which Rules and Guidelines to follow and which forms are necessary to upload with the SRC Pre-Approval Signature Page.


Which Certification Forms/Approvals may be Needed for SRC Pre-Approval BEFORE the project can begin?

Some projects may be covered by the rules of more than one category.

IF YOUR Project…

Read the Rules and Guidelines/How to Complete Certifications for …

Then Complete and Submit Required Forms

Additional Forms as necessary based on Rules and Guidelines

…is a continuation or progression of a previous project

Continuation/Research Progression of Projects

Continuation of Previous Project Form (Note: GSDSEF uses the ISEF Form 7)


…involves live vertebrate animals

The Humane Treatment of Live Vertebrate Animals


ISEF Form 2 – Qualified Scientist

ISEF Form 6B - Human and Tissue Form

IACUC from the RRI

…involves human participants

Research Involving Human Participants


A Copy of the Human Informed Consent Form

A Copy of Survey/ Questionnaire (if used)

ISEF Form 2 – Qualified Scientist

IRB Approval from RRI

…involves biohazards

Biohazards Control

ISEF Form 2 – Qualified Scientist

ISEF Form 6B – Human and Animal Tissues Form

…involves hazardous materials, activities, or devices

Hazards Control

ISEF Form 2 – Qualified Scientist


C) Attach the completed SRC-Pre-Approval Signature Page to the online SRC GSDSEF Pre-Approval Form. Attach any necessary completed Certification(s) and other forms. Submit. 

Do not start with your project until you have received SRC approval. Depending on the project, you will get approved, be asked to make modifications, or be asked to provide further forms.  


If you have questions whether your proposed project is acceptable or to clarify any safety concerns, please contact the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) by clicking on the CONTACT US at the bottom of this page and RE: Scientific Review Committee in subject line.



A) Begin and work on your project. Again, make sure you have all approvals and necessary forms signed before you begin your project!

B) To help you produce a high quality and successful project, check out the Resources webpage or sign up for a  Workshop.  Use the newly revised GSDSEF  Sample Student Science Fair Notebook that has a description, directions and sample for each section as a template to put together your own notebook. It also includes a checklist and timeline to ensure each section is completed.


C) Create a project display board

For project display board size and safety requirements and examples, go to Project Display Requirements





A) After you have participated in your school or district’s science fair or you have been recommended by your teacher to apply to the GSDSEF, your project will need to go through the Screening Process. To find out about the screening process, guidelines, and requirements, please go to Screening Information.

You will need to submit a digital summary of your project for screening on-line.  For screening deadlines, please see Screening Deadlines.


B) Additional Forms may be required after the project is completed. See the Information, Rules, and Guidelines above for your project to see if these additional forms need to be completed by the Qualified Scientist and submitted by the student:

After Project is Done

Submit Required Forms

If a Regulated Research Institute (RRI) was used during the project

ISEF Form 1C—Regulated Research Institution Setting Form

If Live Vertebrate Animals were used in the project at an RRI


C) Make sure you have clicked on SUBMIT at the bottom of your account page to send your project in for screening. 



A) Complete application process and pay fees, if accepted to apply to the GSDSEF.

To check to see if your project has been accepted into the GSDSEF, students must log in to their GSDSEF account and view 'Project Status.'

If your project has been "Accepted" or "Recommended" to participate in the GSDSEF, you will see a link/button to continue with the application process. Fee Payment must be submitted and received by the Application deadline in order to complete the entire Application process. You must see the words, 'Payment received. See you at the Fair' to be completely registered.  Otherwise the application is considered an incomplete submission and you are NOT registered to participate. 

NOTE: If you are a team project, each member submits his/her own separate application and fee payment.

If you received an "Resubmit with Modifications," you must resubmit your project with improvements based on the screener's comments in order to be go through the Application process. 


*** Screeners often include helpful advice for students to improve their projects. Before the GSDSEF Science Fair Week, you still have time to improve your project before judging by considering their comments even if you have been accepted to participate.



NOTE: It is the student's responsibility to check his/her own project status by logging in his/her account to view status of his/her project, complete the online application, and submit payment before the application deadline. 
Please make sure ALL steps of the application process have been completed and the fee payment has been submitted. Applications with no fee payment are incomplete and are NOT registered to participate.  



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