Senior Division

Project Safety and Related Forms     School Registration for SEFI     NIRSEF Registration    IRB Qualifications

The Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF) is affiliated with the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and follows all ISEF rules and guidelines. For more information about ISEF project rules and valuable information about projects, go to the ISEF website at:

Overview of registration process for local fair coordinators, teachers, parents, and/or sponsors. More details on each step are further down this page.

  1. Log into the Science Education Foundation of Indiana (SEFI) website before the end of 2023 to let us know your school is participating this year.
  2. Enter in names of all students participating in your local fair.
  3. Select students to attend NIRSEF (10 per school, but school can request additional spots). Provide the students with their username and password.
  4. After the student has finalized all information on SEFI website, check "Advance to Regionals" within SEFI website.
  5. Students must register for NIRSEF through the Notre Dame website so they will receive a virtual check-in time.

Project Guidelines, Safety and Related Forms

Determine if your project requires pre-approval paperwork PRIOR TO EXPERIMENTATION with the ISEF Wizard, and if so, complete the appropriate forms in addition to those required for all projects.

a) ALL projects dealing with the following materials MUST submit review paperwork to the NIRSEF Scientific Review Committee (SRC) BEFORE EXPERIMENTATION begins in order to be eligible for advancement to the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair and International Science and Engineering Fair. Email

  • Microorganisms (e.g.: bacteria) (MUST be done in a BSL-2 Lab under supervision)
  • rDNA
  • Tissues or bodily fluids
  • Vertebrate animals

b) Projects dealing with Human Participants MUST submit review paperwork to an Institutional Review Board (IRB) BEFORE EXPERIMENTATION begins in order to be eligible for advancement to the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair and International Science and Engineering Fair. A school may set up an IRB according to these guidelines.


back to top

School and Project Registration


All teachers should read through the following information about registering your school and student projects for the NIRSEF.


  1. Register your school by logging in to the SEFI website to activate your account for the current school year by January 1, 2024.
    • Returning Local Fair Coordinators select "Teacher Login" and reactivate your account by entering your school email address and password from the last year you sent students (you may also retrieve your password online). 
    • New Local Fair Coordinators select "New Teacher Registration," select Northern Indiana, then your school, and enter your information.
  2. Enter the names of all students participating in your local fair into the SEFI website. If you have a large number, you can send an excel spreadsheet of names to NIRSEF.
  3. February 15, 2024 is the last day for Local Fair Directors to Register Student Projects for NIRSEF via the SEFI website - this means ALL information must be finalized and each student must be selected to advance to the Regional. After you have decided which students will advance to NIRSEF, enter the student's project title and select a category. For the abstract, enter a one sentence description of the project. This helps us recategorize if needed. Once student and project information is finalized, check "advance to regionals". If you need to edit something after, you will have to uncheck the box, edit, then recheck the box.
  4. You may advance 10 students from your high school to NIRSEF. Additional spaces may be granted taking into consideration the number of projects you will be judging at your Local Fairs. This is another reason to input all of your students participating in your local fair and not just those advancing to NIRSEF!
  5. Once registered, teachers who want to check on their students' progress in entering project information can login at and do so. Click on "Student Listing" and you will see a list of your students. When you click on "View", you will can check on each section of your student's information. Be sure they have entered all information and you have advanced them to NIRSEF before February 15, 2024!

back to top

NIRSEF Registration

All exhibitors attending the NIRSEF should register online as soon as possible so we can provide information about the virtual platform check-in. The $15 fee may be paid online by the participant or the school. If your school is paying the $15 per student registration fee, please pay online and advise your students to select ‘my school is paying my fee’ when they register for NIRSEF. Students still need to register even if the school is paying. If your school does not allow online payment by debit, credit, or electronic check, please contact the NIRSEF Executive Director for an invoice.

Student registration

School payment


back to top


An Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee that, according to federal regulations (45-CFR-46), must evaluate the potential physical and/or psychological risk of research involving human subjects. All proposed human research must be reviewed and approved by an IRB before experimentation begins. This includes review of any surveys or questionnaires to be used in a project.

Federal regulations require local community involvement. Therefore, it is advisable that an IRB be established at the school level to evaluate human research projects. If necessary, the local or ISEF-affiliated SRC can serve as an IRB as long as it has the required membership. An IRB must:

  1. Consist of a minimum of three members.
  2. Include an educator.
  3. Include a school administrator (preferably principal or vice principal).
  4. Include an individual who is knowledgeable about and capable of evaluating the physical and/or psychological risk involved in a given study. This may be a medical doctor, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, psychologist, licensed social worker or licensed clinical professional counselor.

Additional Expertise: If an expert is not available in the immediate area, documented contact with an external expert is recommended. A copy 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.

No Adult Sponsor, parent or other relative of the student, the Qualified Scientist, or Designated Supervisor who oversee 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.

Questions about NIRSEF project eligibility and registration can be directed to NIRSEF.

back to top