Rules & Regulations

All project work for the 2011 Metro Richmond Science Fair must be conducted within a continuous period of no more than 12 months between January 2010 and March 2011.

The rules for the Metro Richmond Science Fair (MRSF) have been developed to correspond with the rules used by the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Since the Fair is an Affiliated Regional Fair of the Intel ISEF, students entering the Metro Richmond Science Fair will be in compliance with Intel ISEF regulations as well.

All students submitting projects to the Metro Richmond Science Fair must adhere to the following Intel ISEF Ethics Statement:


Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition.  Such practices include plagiarism, forgery, use or presentation of other researcher's work as one's own and fabrication of data.  Fraudulent projects will fail to qualify for competition in affiliated fairs or the ISEF.


This page includes links to general fair rules applicable to ALL students regardless of what type of research they are conducting. There is a separate section which includes rules that are specific to students doing research involving vertebrate animals, humans, recombinant DNA, animal or human tissue, potentially hazardous biological agents (bacteria, etc.), or  controlled or hazardous substances or devices (see below). These are considered to be Restricted Projects which require additional forms and may require prior approval by a review board. For additional information on Restricted Projects, follow the link below to this section.

Portions of the MRSF rules are taken directly from the

Intel ISEF International Rules and Guidelines with the permission of

Society for Science & the Public.


Handbook Overview

A lot of helpful information can be found in the Handbook Overview. This section includes a description of the MRSF categories and hints on choosing a category for competition.  It also includes a description of the MRSF process and how the forms are part of that process.



Required forms for all projects can be found by clicking the “Forms” link either here or on the left menu.


Because failure to comply with the Fair rules may result in disqualification of the student and of his/her project, it is essential that all teachers, supervisors and students become familiar with these rules and forms.


It is suggested that students and teachers also review the Intel ISEF rules at: http://www.societyforscience.org/isef/about/rules_regulations.asp.


The ISEF Rules Wizard is helpful in deciding if a project is considered "restricted" and if prior SRC/IRB approval is necessary. The ISEF Overview of Forms & Dates is especially helpful for understanding the use of the various ISEF/MRSF forms.


Guidelines for Submitting a Project:

Submission Guidelines for All Projects

         General information for submitting a paper. Includes:

  • the number of copies required
  • information on the MRSF process
  • information on the abstract

The Research Project Synopsis

         Everything you need to know about the synopsis itself. Links include:

  • Parts of the Synopsis
  • Synopsis Guidelines & Procedures
    • number of pages allowed,
    • the font,
    • the margins and
    • what should be included for submission
    • what shouldn't be included

Process for Forms and Chronological Order of Dates

         Help with understanding how the ISEF forms should be used.

  • What forms are required for all projects?
  • Why are the dates important?
  • What is the sequence of signatures and dates?


Additional Rules for Special Types of Projects:

Projects Conducted at a Research Facility

Continuation Projects

Math & Computer Science Projects

Team Projects

Engineering Projects


Restricted Projects:

  1. Human Subjects
  2. Vertebrate Animals
  3. Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (pathogens, rDNA, human & animal tissues)
  4. Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices

    Updated 9/13/10