Start A Team
Are you interested in starting an iGEM team?
There is no "right way" to form a team, but we do have some suggestions on how to get started. The first thing to realize is that the iGEM community lives on the internet. You can learn a lot by spending some time looking through the iGEM wikis from previous years, reading the information on this year's wiki, and looking through the documentation on the Registry. Below you will find a collection of resources that should help you get started. If you have any questions, you can always contact iGEM Headquarters for more information.
There are a few requirements that you must follow to participate in iGEM. Be sure to read through them and ask questions if anything needs to be clarified.
Find fellow team members
You can't have a team without students and instructors (at least two!).
Find students by:
- Advertising in biology / chemistry / engineering (or other) undergraduate classes that you teach or attend
- Put up posters advertising iGEM and hold an information session
- Advertise through your school's career opportunities office for students looking for summer internships
- We recommend finding 8 - 12 students from various disciplines, backgrounds, and levels of expertise
Find instructors by:
- Asking your professors
- Asking the head of biology / engineering departments
- One instructor must be a faculty member. It is important that the instructors actually participate during the spring and over the summer
You may want to contact local schools in your area to see if they have already started an iGEM team. They may be able to give you some guidance or, if you can't start a team at your school, see if you can join an already existing team. Teams can be comprised of students from different schools so you can always join forces to create a team.
Some teams find it helpful to start a journal club for the spring semester to learn about synthetic biology. If possible, you can also form a class in synthetic biology in the spring semester to get ready for the summer. Or hold a class over spring break. Some places to start learning about synthetic biology based on standard parts:
Your team will need money for registration, supplies, pizza, and to attend the jamboree. Get help from:
- Department heads
- Local companies as sponsors
You may want to make a brochure to advertise your team and tell people what iGEM is all about. Some examples from previous years:
Your team will also need space in which to work over the summer. You may want to:
- Ask your instructors if they have lab space over the summer
- See if the department has free lab space
- Your team may want to start setting up dedicated lab space for your team this year and in future years
- Make sure that in addition to benches and equipment, you also have a space for meetings, hanging out, eating, sleeping, etc.
Get ready to work hard over the summer. Often both students and instructors on new teams find that participating in iGEM is a lot more work than they expected but also a lot more fun and rewarding than they had initially imagine. Get ready to spend a lot of time on your project. The best way to get a sense of how much work goes into iGEM projects is to: