What to do Before Starting Your Project

Certain forms must be completed before you start your project. Follow the directions to see if you will need to complete any of these forms.


  1. Does your project involve the use of vertebrate animals? For example: dogs, mice, frogs, lizards, or birds.
  2. Does your project involve the use of animal cells or tissues, including DNA? For example: meat, eggs, hair, or saliva, regardless of source of these materials.
  3. Does your project involve people (human subjects)? This includes projects that observe humans without interacting with them.
  4. Does your project involve the use of potential hazards? For example: hazardous organisms, chemicals, substances, or devices (anything so labelled or which, if not handled properly, can cause injury).
  5. Will you perform any part of your experiment in a private or academic lab (e.g. UCI lab, UCLA lab, City of Hope, industrial lab), including both labs in the US and other countries?

      YES - You will need OCSEF Certifications if any other questions are answered Yes. In addition a specific Regulated Research Form must be provided After Experimentation.

      NO - Go on to step 5.

  6. If you answered YES to any of questions 1 through 4, you MUST submit Certification Form(s) to the OCSEF’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC) for review before you start your experimental work or risk not being accepted to the OCSEF.  You do not need SRC Review and Pre-Approval if the answer to ALL questions above is “NO.”




  1. Open the downloaded forms.
    • Fill in the required information.
      • Type the names in the appropriate boxes of all the people (including yourself) who will need to sign the forms.
        • Print a copy of each filled-in form and obtain the necessary signatures (alternately, the form can be digitally signed by all parties).
        • Go the page titled: SRC Pre-approval.
          • Complete and submit the form.  (Mac users - please read this article to prevent from sending an empty PDF.)

          After review by the SRC, you will receive a response by email. The SRC will review the project plan; they may recommend changes to the project, advise of potential safety or ethical issues, or make suggestions to better conform to experimental best practices.


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