Frequently Asked Questions
Below we have some of the most frequently asked questions for the iGEM competition. If your question is not answered below, please email us at hq AT igem DOT org and we'll help you!
1. How do I add members to my team roster?
There are multiple ways to add members to your team:
- After the team application has been accepted, the instructors of the team will receive a team registration code that they can provide to students on the team. The students can then create a user account and at that point, join the already existing team and add themselves to the team roster.
- When team members create their user accounts, they will be able to join an existing iGEM team by request. Once they complete their user account setup, they will have a user account but it will be up to the instructors to accept their membership on the team. Instructors will be able to do this by going to the Team Information page.
- The team PIs will be be able to add team members to the team roster by inputting their Users & Groups system user names into the Team Information page. For this, the team members must have already created their own user accounts. This last method of adding team members is probably not the easiest way since you will be faced with a pull down list of all user names, so we would suggest adding members via one of the first two methods.
2. Do I have different user accounts on the Registry and the iGEM sites
No. The iGEM and Registry are all part of a single login system. Your account is located at igem.org, but you access it across all of our sites.
3. Do projects have to be described when the team registers?
No, the Resource Description should explain what resources the team has to do their work. The team is given a month after the beginning of their summer to select and describe their project.
4. Can I get a Receipt or Invoice for my team payment?
The team payment information is at the Team Registration Fee page and you can get an invoice there. If you need more help, there is contact information at the bottom of the page.
5. I don't know the names of the students yet. How can I register?
We don't expect you to know the names of the students yet. You can change your team's roster until the Team Roster Freeze for the Jamboree. All you need now is your primary and secondary PI information, requirements description, and team registration fee.
6. I am a student at ??? university. What do I need to do to register a team?
You need to have the active engagement of two instructors. One of them will be the primary principal investigator and the other will be the secondary principal investigator. So, go find some friendly instructors and ask them for help. Check the Start a Team page for more information about how to start a team.
7. I am an undergraduate and when I try to register my team, the "Apply for a new iGEM 2020 team" link is grayed out. How can I register?
Only a faculty member can register an iGEM team. We need to know who are the team's primary and secondary principal investigator (PI) and who will pay the bills and supervise the team.
8. I see the budget includes stipends for the students. Is that required?
The students have to survive over the summer. Whatever arrangements you work out with the students is up to you. But, please treat iGEM as a full-time activity for the students. Other teams will.
9. How do I specify a track during Registration?
The track specification on the Team Information page does not need to be specified at the time of Registration. Teams will choose tracks later in the iGEM season. See the Calendar for specific dates as they become available.
10. I've already completed the registration form. Do I need to wait for approval from iGEM Headquarters before I can submit payment for the registration fee?
No, teams should submit their registration fee payment as soon as they can. Submission of the registration fee is one of the registration requirements, so not submitting a registration fee will actually delay the approval process for teams. Keep in mind that the regular deadline for the registration fee is March 31, and any payments submitted after that will be subject to the increased rate.
1. Can one student be a team?
No, iGEM is a team-based program. The interactions of the team members and their advisors are an important part of the iGEM activity. Also, iGEM requires a major effort from the team and it is unlikely that an individual undergraduate student could compete effectively. Finally, the involvement of two instructors is also part of the iGEM program. Simply having two faculty advisors who oversee your work will not be enough. So, find some friends and build a real iGEM team for next year.
2. Can a team have students from more than one school? Can a single school have more than one team?
Yes to both! Many past teams have had students from more than one school, and many schools have had two teams. For example, it is common to have both a traditional-track and a Software track team.
3. How big can a team be?
There is no limit to the number of undergraduate or high-school students on a team, but we recommend 8-15 students per team since this is both a manageable size and also allows teams to accomplish their work. Sometimes, teams do have more than one project. They have to fit all the projects into one poster and one 20 minute presentation. You can also split the team and register two teams.
4. What if our team has students 24 years old or older?
The Overgraduate section of iGEM was introduced to allow more people to participate in iGEM. If your team has students who are 24 or older, there are two options:
- Students 24 or over can participate as students on your team and the team would compete in the Overgraduate section, or
- Students 24 or over can participate as advisors or instructors and the team could compete in the Undergraduate section
In both scenarios, the team must properly attribute any work done by any and all students in the attributions section of their wikis.
1. We want to have a team next year. Can we get the DNA Distribution now?
Yes, the parts distribution is available to academic labs that are enrolled in the iGEM Labs program. Please have your lab director contact hq (at) igem (dot) org or see igem.org for membership. When that is complete, we will be happy to send the current parts to you.
2. We are in the southern hemisphere and summer vacation is during January and February when can we get the parts?
Most of our parts come from iGEM teams at the end of the iGEM season, usually September-November. They get processed and put into the DNA distribution for the following year around March. We can send you the distribution from the previous year if the current year's distribution kit is not yet available.
3. Are there any Discounts and Special Offers offered to iGEM teams?
Yes! iGEM Partner Sponsors have generously provided special offers on products and services designed specifically for iGEM teams. For a complete list of Special offers and Team Grants click here.
1. Do I have to attend the teachers workshops in person? Can a graduate student attend?
IGEM is a community activity. It will be best for you to meet the other instructors and be able to represent the Synthetic Biology activities at your school.
2. Do I have to attend the Jamboree?
The Giant Jamboree is the culminating event of the iGEM competition season. In addition to being the team's opportunity to present their work in front of their peers, the Giant Jamboree also includes special events such as poster sessions, workshops, and social events. It is the largest annual synthetic biology event in the world, and a great opportunity to learn, and network, so team members should definitely plan on attending! However, not all students may be able to attend due to various circumstances; we are disappointed but understand.
3. I was the leader of an iGEM team in 2019, but can't participate this year. What should I do?
We're sorry to hear that! Please do let us know, as it will help us plan better. We are making arrangements for the Giant Jamboree and need an accurate count of teams participating in iGEM 2020.