Information for Educators


Getting Students’ Projects to GNOSEF

The Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (Region 9) serves students in schools from Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes in Louisiana.  The Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF) is an affiliate of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). As such, GNOSEF must ensure that projects meet all ISEF guidelines and regulations. Please review  the ISEF Roles and Responsibilities  and ISEF Rules and Guidelines so that everyone involved in the project is aware of their expected responsibilities. This will help to ensure obtaining the proper supervision, documentation and signatures that might be required. Please remember that there are some GNOSEF guidelines that are a bit more restrictive than ISEF guidelines

School Affiliation
To participate in the Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair (GNOSEF), schools must complete the GNOSEF Affiliation Form online. Upon affiliation, sponsors will receive access to the GNOSEF site where all paperwork is uploaded for review and approval.

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Does a project require prior approval?
Some projects require GNOSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) prior approval before students can begin their experimentation. Most projects involving human participants, vertebrate animals, hazardous activities, devices and/or chemicals, and potentially hazardous biological agents require a review by the GNOSEF SRC. Projects involving human participants must first be reviewed by the school/institution IRB prior to submitting to GNOSEF for prior approval.  GNOSEF Guidelines are slightly more stringent than ISEF guidelines, for example, any project involving firearms must also receive prior approval and complete the GNOSEF firearms forms.

Please review and share with students the ISEF Roles and Responsibilities so that everyone is aware of their expected responsibilities as they pertain to students’ work. This will help to ensure obtaining the proper documentation and signatures that might be required. ISEF Fillable PDF Forms allow the students to type directly on the forms, save and print out.

Review the  ISEF Prior Approval Checklist with your students to determine if they must obtain Prior Approval before beginning their project. Use the ISEF Rules and Guidelines and the ISEF Rules Wizard to determine which forms will need to be completed for  project submission and approval.


Institutional Review Board- School Level

A school level Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be set up to evaluate the potential physical and/or psychological risk of research involving humans. The School IRB will review the project and complete the ISEF Form 4 for the project. All proposed human research must be reviewed and approved by the school’s IRB before paperwork is submitted to the GNOSEF Scientific Review Committee prior to experimentation beginning. This includes review of any surveys or questionnaires to be used in a project.

An IRB must consist of a minimum of three members including the following:

  • An educator
  • A school administrator (preferably principal or vice principal)
  • A medical or mental health professional. The medical or mental health professional may be a medical doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, doctor of pharmacy, registered nurse, psychologist, licensed social worker or licensed clinical professional counselor. The medical or mental health professional on the IRB may change depending on the nature of the study. This person must be knowledgeable about and capable of evaluating the physical and/or psychological risk involved in a given study.

Additional Expertise: If an expert is not available in the immediate area, documented contact with an external expert is recommended. A copy of all correspondence with the expert (e.g. emails) must be attached to Form 4 and can be used in lieu of the signature of that expert.

To avoid conflict of interest, no Adult Sponsor, parent or other relative of the student, the Qualified Scientist, or Designated Supervisor who oversees the project, may serve on the IRB reviewing that project. Additional members are recommended to help avoid a potential conflict of interest and to increase the expertise of the committee.


Scientific Review Committee (SRC)- GNOSEF Level

All projects are reviewed by the GNOSEF Scientific Review Committee prior to competition. The GNOSEF SRC is the final arbiter of the qualification of students to participate in GNOSEF. Before the fair, committee members review research plans and all required forms to confirm that applicable ISEF and GNOSEF rules have been followed. The GNOSEF SRC may request additional information from students prior to GNOSEF to ensure that their projects meet ISEF and GNOSEF criteria to qualify to compete.

Certain areas of research conducted in a regulated research institution or an industrial setting 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); Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC); Animal Ethics Committee
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB); Human Subjects Participant Program (HSPP)
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ESCRO)
  • Safety Review Committee

Please review your forms carefully as these areas of research require special documentation and signatures.

                                                                                                                                   Michael Maples Video Productions, LLC

Additional Forms for GNOSEF-affiliated TEACHER USE:

Teacher Request for GNOSEF SRC Mentor Assistance

GNOSEF Materials/Equipment Request

Registering for the Fair
Affiliated schools may submit up to 3 projects per category with no limit on the number of team projects and with the allowance that a school can choose three additional projects to submit to the GNOSEF (HAVE TO BE FROM 3 DIFFERENT CATEGORIES).  Therefore, a school can send 4 projects in 3 categories.

All projects must have GNOSEF/ISEF required paperwork uploaded to the GNOSEF system for review and approval and must be registered in the GNOSEF database. Instructions and links for project registration will be sent to the affiliated school fair coordinator.

Requesting Materials from the STEM Library Lab for Science and Engineering Projects

Schools which have affiliated with GNOSEF are eligible to borrow equipment or request materials from the STEM Library Lab for science and engineering projects. Please complete the following steps:

  1. Borrowers (only teachers from affiliated schools) from the library create an account at the following link:
  2. Next, any borrower will have to complete an annual user survey:
  3. Borrowers use the online platform above to make reservations and rent equipment (link in 1st step).
    1. NOTE: Only teachers can borrow and if a parent or student is picking up the material and equipment, that needs to be communicated to Szabi, the SLL Librarian ( ahead of time.

Other useful resources:

Getting Started: Guidelines and Examples

Animal Research Plan

Biochemistry Research Plan

Biochemistry Research Plan2

Engineering Design Research Plan

Engineering Design Research Plan 2