- As in the professional world, research projects may be done that build on previous work and are in the same field of study. Students will be judged only on the most recent year’s research. This project year includes research conducted over a maximum of 12 continuous months from January 20__ to March 20__. (Example: for the 2010 fair would run from January 2009 - March 2009.)
- Display boards must reflect the current year’s work only! The project tile displayed in the Finalist’s booth may mention years (for example, “Year Two of an Ongoing Study”). Supporting data books (not research papers) from previous related research may be exhibited on the table properly labeled as such.
- Any project based on prior research in the same field of study from a previous year’s project is considered a continuation for competition. These projects must document that the additional research is new and different from prior work (e.g. testing a new variable or new line of investigation, etc.) Repetition of previous experimentation or increasing sample size are examples of unacceptable continuations.
- Longitudinal studies are permitted as an acceptable continuation under the following conditions:
- The study is a multi-year study testing or documenting the same variables in which time is the critical variable. (Examples: Effect of high rain or drought on soil in a given basin, return of flora and fauna in a burned period over time.)
- Each consecutive year must demonstrate time-based change.
- The display board must be based on collective past conclusionary data and its comparison to the current year data set. No raw data from previous years may be displayed.
- Projects which are continuations of previous year’s work and which require IRB/SRC approval must be reapproved prior to experimentation/data collection for the current year.
- NOTE: For competition in the SSTFI and the Intel ISEF, documentation must include the Continuation Project Form (7), the prior year’s abstract, Student Checklist (1A) and research plan or equivalent documentation. Copies must be attached behind the current year’s Student Checklist (1A), Research Plan and forms. Each page of the previous year’s forms must be clearly labeled in the upper right hand corner with the year (ex. 2006-2007). Retain all previous years’ paperwork in case an SRC requests documentation of experimentation conducted in other prior years.