Start A Team/What Happens During iGEM


Although it has a summer focus, iGEM is a year-round competition. Most teams informally begin in the first few months of the year. Teams spend this time recruiting student participants & faculty advisors, fundraising, and researching the principles of Synthetic Biology and brainstorming project ideas. The first deadline is team registration, which can be found on the Calendar of Events. Teams must complete a team application on the iGEM website and pay a $1500 (US) team registration fee.

The team registration deadline marks the official beginning of the competition. A copy of all the standard biological parts contained in the Registry of Standard Biological Parts (almost all built during previous iGEMs) is shipped to all the teams. At the end of most student's spring semester and the beginning of summer, teams now begin full time research and development of their project (although some teams are able to organize an iGEM class or independent study in the previous semester).

Teams spend the summer developing their project and documenting them on the iGEM wiki and the Registry. At the end of the summer, official team rosters and Jamboree fees are due. Note: the iGEM work cycle is not limited a 10-week window in the summer - teams may start working as early as they like and continue working up to the Jamboree deadline

The final deadline for submission of the team's project can be found on the Calendar of Events and is usually in mid-October. To be eligible for presentation at the Jamboree, the team must submit project documentation on the iGEM wiki, part documentation in the registry, and physical part DNA to the registry before the state deadline. The Jamboree occurs at the beginning of November, at which teams share their work in the form of posters and a 20 minute presentation. Judges award prizes in a variety of categories, including an overall Grand Prize, to teams based on their accomplishments.

After the Jamboree, all the parts received are added to the Registry and presentation materials from all the teams are put online. Many teams submit their projects for publication in academic Journals and start planning for the following year's iGEM season.