( General workshop page)

Each year iGEM Headquarters holds the iGEM spring workshops in May and June. In the past these workshops have been held at MIT, in Europe, and in Asia. iGEM HQ works with a school or a few schools to provide a venue for these workshops. At these events, instructors from iGEM HQ teach principles of synthetic biology based on standard parts, how to work with the tools, and how to be a successful iGEM team. The workshops are also the first opportunity to meet and get to know members from other iGEM teams. They have been well attended and have been appreciated.

However, we could do better. First, we have offers for venues from other schools and don't have a good way to evaluate those offers. Second, as iGEM grows, perhaps we should have more workshops. For example, perhaps two workshops in Asia, one in northern Asia and one in southern Asia; or a workshop in South America; or multiple workshops in North America. Third, as iGEM grows, it is important that the schools in the regions take more responsibility for the activities in those regions. Also, the schools from that region may be developing special programs for that region which could be discussed at the workshops. Finally, as iGEM grows, it needs more leadership in every part of the world. The workshops are a way to encourage and promote participation.

So, for iGEM 2010, we are establishing a system that will let regions formally express their interest in hosting a spring workshop and at the same time, providing information to iGEM HQ about how organization of the event will be handled, including logistics, funds, etc. This will help us decide where will be the best place to hold the workshops. iGEM HQ will still provide instructors, but teams from the region are encouraged to provide additional instructors, the venue, organization, and fundraising. We highly recommend that different groups within a region work together to organize the event. Not only will this make organizing the workshop easier, you will also get to know fellow iGEM teams and help make your region stronger. Keep in mind that one of the models for the growth of iGEM is to make the regional representation and organization much stronger.

Show us your regional pride!

Here are the details:

Dates and deadlines:

  • Expression of intent (via email to hq AT March 12, 2010
  • Written proposal (via email to hq AT April 2, 2010

Please also indicate when the best time would be to hold a workshop in your region. In the past the workshops have been held during May or June but this may not be the best time for your region. Let us know when would be best for the teams in your region.

Workshop needs:

  • Venue capacity for about 100 attendees (university, hotel, conference center, etc.)
  • Venue availability of 2 full days
  • High-quality, high-speed internet access for all attendees (approx. 100 connections)
  • Adequate power supply and power plugs for all attendees
  • Host city & venue location must be easily accessible from a major international airport. (Location will impact iGEM HQ choice for workshop)
  • Organize a group dinner on first night for all attendees
  • Organize a coordination meeting 2 days before event (to meet with iGEM HQ)
  • Coordinate 1 – 2 regional instructors to lead sessions on participating in iGEM in your region, fundraising, local support, etc.
  • Expression of intent emailed to iGEM HQ stating host organization’s intent to provide an official proposal for hosting the iGEM 2010 spring workshop in their city
  • Indicate which regional iGEM teams will take part in organizing the workshop event
  • Indicate how the regional organizing group plans to raise funds to help cover the costs of holding the workshop

A written proposal must be delivered via email to iGEM HQ by the deadline outlining how the host organization(s) will meet all of the requirements above. The proposal must also include how the host group will help fundraise to cover local costs as well as costs to iGEM HQ (e.g. sponsors, grants, etc.).

iGEM Headquarters will evaluate the proposals and select among them according to criterion judged by iGEM HQ to best meet the needs of iGEM.

We’re asking organizers to help support by fundraising. To get an idea of how much this has cost iGEM Headquarters in the past, we have included the costs to hold a 2-day workshop in each region in previous years. This would be a great opportunity for local sponsors to support their regions.

  • US: $ 10,000 USD
  • Europe: $ 15,000 USD
  • Asia: $ 20,000 USD
  • Other locations: please contact iGEM HQ

Note that these costs are estimates and should only be used as a general guideline when planning the regional iGEM 2010 spring workshops.


If you have any questions regarding the iGEM spring workshop proposal process, please contact iGEM Headquarters at hq AT

Spring workshop proposal instructions pdf Download the .pdf file