When conducting research, it is critical that ethical standards be followed to protect the rights of participants. Before starting your science fair project, be sure to read the Ethics information below.

Ethics Information for Science Fair Projects in Canada:

Youth Science Canada (YSC), the organization that supports regional science fairs across Canada, has put together important information that every student should read to ensure they are conducting their science fair project safely and ethically. Please visit this page: YSC Safety & Ethics Information to familiarize yourself with the safety and ethical guidelines for conducting a science fair project in Canada.

COVID Information from Youth Science Canada:

The following message has been issued from Youth Science Canada regarding conducting science fair projects during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“We enter the current STEM fair season during the highest infection rates recorded in Canada. All STEM fair projects must adhere to the safety standards in place in their province and municipality to support the health and safety of all participants, including the youth carrying out the project. All local COVID-19 protocols must be followed in detail. Projects that fail to observe COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time they are carried out are ineligible to participate in STEM fairs. All students working on STEM fair projects are encouraged to find alternatives to using human participants in person where possible.”

-Youth Science Canada, January 2022

ERSF Ethics Information:

If your proposed science fair project involves the participation of humans (this does not include the student as the experimenter) or animals, you will need to receive ethical approval for your project before being allowed to present it at the ERSF.

If humans are being experimented on or surveyed using questionnaires, please ensure that you obtain their informed consent. Informed consent means that your participants know everything they need to know about your study before they agree to participate. YSC has provided a template Letter of Information that you may use to gather informed consent from your participants. YSC also provides a template Informed Consent Permission Form you may wish to use to document receiving informed consent from your participants. Copies of your consent form and signatures of your participants must be included in your log book.

ERSF Ethics Approval Forms:

If your project involves humans, animals, or tissue, you MUST receive ethical approval from the ERSF Ethics Chair before you will be allowed to present your project at the ERSF. Ideally, you will seek this approval before you start your science fair project. The appropriate forms to seek ethical approval for your project are below.

  1. If you are surveying people, or using people in your experiment, you must obtain their informed consent. For ethics approval, use this form: ERSF Low Risk Human Approval Form
  2. If you are using animals in a non-invasive way in your project, for ethics approval, use this form: ERSF Use of Animals in Research Form
  3. If you are using vertebrates, cephalopods, or tissue in your project, for ethics approval, use this form: ERSF Vertebrate/Cephalopod Tissue Ruling Form
  4. If you are unsure if you need ethics approval for your project, or you are unsure about which form applies, contact the Ethics Chair via email and fill out and include this form: ERSF Ethics Ruling Form