NJRSF Instructions for Entering and for Use of ISEF Forms

General Entry Instructions

There are many steps in the overall process of entering in the NJRSF, but the primary one is to use the "Enter" link on the Students section of the navbar. Before you do this you must: As you fill out the entry form, make sure: When you complete the project registration process (two screens: one for defining your school and the second for the other information), you will receive an entry number, of the form "entryYYYY.nnn" where YYYY is the year of the fair, and nnn is an ordinal number assigned to your project. Make a note of that number, because you should include it if you need to contact us with questions about your project.

At that point, go to the Entry Status link on the navbar for either students or teachers, to see the remaining steps. All the further instructions are there.

Instructions for use and handling of ISEF forms

In this section we cover the mechanics of the form handling. The requirements and rationale are covered elsewhere on this site and in the Forms Wizard on the ISEF website.

The first important item to stress is that as of 2011, our forms procedure has diverged just a bit from that of ISEF. We have gone to a form-handling system that is intended to be entirely electronic. This means that the ISEF forms (as well as our entry form and the research plan document) must be downloaded from our site as PDF forms, filled out, and saved by you, and then uploaded to our site, where they may now (as of 2012) be signed by all participants. We will be asking for web signatures on all places where signatures are required--including signatures by you, your teacher, your mentor (if applicable), and your parents. The process is designed to work with Adobe Reader 8 software, or higher, which is available as a free download (and you no doubt already have it on your PC). If you need to, you can easily download and install the software from the Adobe site. The Adobe Reader will make it possible for you to fill out, and save the forms.

Note there is a special problem for Macintosh users, in that the default PDF Viewer in Safari does not save forms properly, and must not be used. You must download the forms to your drive and open them with Adobe Reader. If you ever save one of the forms from the default Preview viewer, they will be permanently corrupted, and unreadable after upload to any other system. We are working on a generic solution, but until then, you must simply avoid using Preview Mode with these forms.

If you have difficulty, visit our FAQ on the subject.

See the notes below about compatibility with the ISEF SRC processing, especially with regard to the placement and dating of the signatures.

The remainder of this page is only applicable if you decide to use digital signatures.

If the forms require signatures other than your own, you will need to email that completed form to your teacher/mentor/parent so that they can execute the appropriate signature themselves. The signature process is quite simple, and can be performed by anybody with access to a PC, an email address, and Adobe Reader 8 (or higher). Please note that any changes to the form content after signatures are in place will invalidate the signatures, so it would be a good idea to get concurrence from the others involved as to the content of the form before you start the signature process.

We have copies of the requisite forms, configured to provide the appropriate permissions, on the NJRSF website.

The one area where you will find a big change in this process is in the Research Plan attachment for Form 1A. We are making this change because our SRC has in the past been inundated with Research Plan documents that are unreasonably large. Accordingly, we are providing a form for each page of the Research Plan, and restricting that Plan to three pages. We will accept only the PDF form. Specifically, we will not accept a Word Document, due to the virus problems inherent in Microsoft products. If you have your research proposal in Word, you will need to copy and paste the relevant material into the PDF form pages, and it will no doubt call for some additional editing, since the Word formatting will not carry over into the form.

The Research Plan is not supposed to be a full research report. It is meant to summarize the important procedures you plan to use, with an eye specifically toward any aspects of the project that might call for supervision and/or review under the relevant ISEF rules.

If your project plan involves chemicals that have any safety concerns, then you should upload the Material Safety Data Sheets as "other PDF attachments" in the Forms Upload Process. There are a number of resources on the web for obtaining MSDS as PDF files, but one that you may find useful is http://www.msds.com/. You will no doubt find that each specific manufacturer makes the forms available on their own website, as well.

Compatibility with ISEF SRC Processing

At present, ISEF does not accept digital signatures on the ISEF certification forms. After students are selected to attend ISEF, we will have the forms signed at that time, after the awards ceremony, by the students, teachers, and parents (who, hopefully, will all be in attendance). If other signatures are needed, such as a mentor who might not be there (or others not able to attend), then the forms will be faxed to them for signature. With our new web-signature process, we will ask participants to afix their signatures using the dates as recorded in our online system.

In this process, we will accept the original date of the digital or web signature as the date of the physical signature, even though the physical signature will not occur until much later. To facilitate this, if you use digital signatures, we ask you in all cases to place the digital signature block in the spot designated for the "printed name" of the person signing. That will allow room for the later placement of a physical signature, if it is required by plans to attend ISEF.

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