Research Plan

A detailed research plan describes how you plan to conduct your research. Define a hypothesis, develop a procedure, and obtain the appropriate approvals before starting your research.

Your research plan is required part of the project registration form.

All Research Plans Must Include

  • Hypothesis or Problem Statement for engineering projects
  • Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection
  • Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data that answer research question or hypothesis.
  • Bibliography: List at least three (3) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your library research. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, give an additional animal care reference.

For Life Science or Hazardous Research

Review the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) Rules  for the required forms.

You can also use the ISEF Rules Wizard to determine what forms you need.

  1. Human subjects research (See instructions on page 8-11 of the ISEF Rule Book):
    • Detail all procedures, include what the participants are asked to do
    • Describe Risk Assessment process and how risks will be minimized
    • Describe Study Sample/Participants voluntary nature of participation and right to withdraw at any time
    • Include survey or questionnaires if used, and critically evaluate the risk
  2. Vertebrate animal research (See instructions on page 12-14 of the ISEF Rule Book):
    • Briefly discuss POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVES and present a detailed justification for use of vertebrate animals
    • Explain potential impact or contribution this research may have
    • Detail all procedures to be used
    • Describe housing and oversight of daily care
    • Discuss disposition of the animals at the termination of the study
  3. Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (See instructions on page 15-18 of the ISEF Rule Book):
    • Describe Biosafety Level Assessment process and resultant Biosafety Level determination
    • Give source of agent
    • Detail safety precautions
    • Discuss methods of disposal
  4. Hazardous Chemicals, Activities & Devices (See instructions on page 19-21 of the ISEF Rule Book):
    • Describe Risk Assessment process and results
    • Detail chemical concentrations and drug dosages
    • Describe safety precautions and procedures to minimize risk
    • Discuss methods of disposal