Basic Requirements for Human Participation for Science Fair Projects, Entrants and Adult Supervisors


Do not hesitate to Contact Us (Registration/Ethics) for assistance before starting your project.

  1. Make sure that individual results and your records are confidential.
  2. Do not use names or pictures in your display without written consent.
  3. There are three levels of risk:  Very Low Risk requiring only a Letter of Consent; Low Risk requiring a Permission form from participants and parents (if under 18) and Significant Risk.  Please read the guides: Low Risk Outline and Significant Risk Outline for YSC details.
  4. No matter what level of risk your experiment involves, you must provide a Letter of Consent to all participants and make sure they have read it before they participate. If participants are under the age of 18, parents should also receive a copy. Submit a copy of the Letter of Information online (Ethics Forms) together with a copy of any survey or questionnaire used for registration and bring them to the fair.
  5. Some Low Risk projects  require each participant to sign a Permission Form – Informed Consent. Participants under the age of 18 must have written permission from their parents also. A copy of the permission form should be submitted for registration.  All signed forms (participants and parents) must be kept by the Adult Supervisor safely and confidentially and destroyed when the project is no longer being judged – after the RSLSF and/or CWSF). Do not bring signed forms to the fair.
  6. All Low Risk projects require a Participation of Humans in Research Low Risk Approval Form form to be completed and uploaded to Ethics Forms or emailed to the registrar before beginning the project.  Bring a signed copy to the fair.
  7. Adult supervisors should be aware of the level of risk, the necessary Letter of Information and type of permission required as they must sign the Participation of Humans in Research Approval Form Low Risk as in 5 or High Risk (available on request).
  8. Adult supervisors must keep a copy of all completed forms, store any signed permission forms confidentially and ensure they are destroyed when the project and presentation are completed (after the RSLSF and/or CWSF). Do not bring them to the fair.

Are your participants ingesting food or drink?

Food used must be manufactured, sold or represented as food for human beings and contain permitted additives not exceeding the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) guidelines. People taking prescription medicines  may not participate.  People with food allergies may not participate. Safe handling of food must be considered. Written permission forms must be gathered.

For caffeinated beverages, there are additional restrictions.  Check with the Registration/Ethics (Contact Us)for additional information.

Are your participants doing any physical activity?

Please note that any physical activity beyond that expected in every day life is a significant risk activity and must be supervised by a qualified adult. In addition, a permission form is required for participants and parents (if under 18).  These can be obtained upon request.  Please Contact Us (Registration/Ethics).

Very Low Risk:

Risk of harm is not greater or more likely than those encountered in every day life. This does NOT include the following: ingestion of food or drink, sensitive information collection, skin testing/swabbing. These are low risk activities requiring informed consent permission forms.

Low Risk:

Risk of harm is not greater or more likely than those encountered in everyday life. This may include ingestion of food or drink, and skin testing that might occur in an everyday setting with a common skin product (i.e. use of hand sanitizer).

Significant Risk:

Risk of harm is possible. This would include anything not stated in the Low Risk categories including exercise testing that is beyond normal everyday activity.


Forms Needed

Request Significant Risk Approval Form from (Contact Us)  Registration/Ethics.  A Scientific Supervisor with appropriate credentials is required to supervise these experiments.