International Genetically Engineered Machine (Old Website)

iGEM Foundation

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open community and collaboration.


This is our old website. As iGEM enters its 20th year, we are transitioning from our old Mediawiki infrastructure to new modern software. We expect to complete the migration to our new websites in March 2022:

iGEM ( ; Competition ( ; Projects ( ; Community ( ; Technology ( ; Responsibility ( ; Startups ( ; Leagues ( ; Jamboree (

iGEM News

iGEM 2022 Announcements

2022 Team Impact Grant

May 20, 2022

We are excited to announce that Team Impact Grant is live for the 2022 iGEM season! The goal of the Impact Grant is to support iGEM Competition teams that are building upon the past of synthetic biology to create the future of the field.

This year, 90 iGEM teams will be selected to receive $2,500 USD each. Apply by June 20.

Invitation to participate in the 6th InterLab Measurement Study

May 17, 2022

For synthetic biology measurements, one of the big challenges has been that fluorescence data usually cannot be compared because it has been reported in different units or because different groups process data in different ways.

Through the InterLab study, the Engineering Committee has been developing a robust measurement procedure for green fluorescent protein (GFP) over the last several years (see below). This year, we will even extend from one-color calibrations (green) to multi-color calibrations (green-red-blue)! Previous teams whose InterLab data was accepted have been included in peer-reviewed scientific publications.

iGEM Competition teams are invited to participate in this year's study. If you are interested in participating, please fill the linked survey.

Indian League Undergraduate Synbio Competition - Registrations Open

May 12, 2022

The Indian League aims to build the Synbio infrastructure in India by encouraging participants to develop tools to make science accessible and to empower them to address local problems with Synbio.

Early Bird Registration for the Indian League Undergraduate regional competition is open now! Early bird registration ends June 11

Save the date: 2022 Grand Jamboree

May 4, 2022

After 15 years in Boston and 2 years online, the iGEM Jamboree is back and grander than ever!

The Grand Jamboree is a showcase of the future of synthetic biology, and home of the world’s largest SynBio community of researchers, industry, investors, startups and policy makers.

Join us at this celebration of synthetic biology in one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Paris, France!

Register Your Team for the 2022 iGEM Competition!

April 4, 2022

Team registration is now open for the 2022 iGEM Competition. Join the thousands of iGEMers around the world pushing the boundaries of synthetic biology to tackle everyday problems facing the world. Register and pay for your team by April 29 to take advantage of the regular registration rate. Late registration ends May 27.

Applications are open for the 2022 Mentorship Program

April 1, 2022

Are you a new iGEM team looking for some additional mentorship from experienced iGEMers?

Are you an experienced iGEMer looking for a way to give back to the community?

The iGEM Mentors Network is recruiting mentors and 2022 iGEM Competition teams looking for mentorship for the 2022 Mentorship Program! Apply by April 18.

Welcome to the new iGEM Ambassadors for 2022!

March 21, 2022

Our 52 new iGEM Ambassadors, passionate iGEMers located all over the world, will be the voice of iGEM & SynBio in their regions.

Are you planning to create an iGEM team? Are you a past iGEMer thinking about how you can engage with the community? Do you want to solve local challenges in your region through competitions and build a synbio ecosystem? The iGEM Ambassadors are here to support you to achieve that and much more.

Join the iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee in 2022!

March 21, 2022

The iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee is looking for new members in 2022! Our committee works to make iGEM as inclusive as possible for people from all different backgrounds. Apply by April 8.

Synthetase: High School Workshop (Indian League) registrations are open

March 21, 2022

This is a 16 day event, from 7th May - 22nd May, giving participants an introduction to fundamental concepts in Synthetic Biology through live lectures by reputed speakers from premier institutes across the world and panelist discussion sessions, along with training in various computational softwares used in Synthetic Biology. Students from 8th-12th standard are recommended to participate.

iGEM Foundation Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

March 14, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is completely unacceptable to the iGEM community and we stand with the rest of the scientific community in denouncing Russia's actions. The Board of Directors of the iGEM Foundation has determined that teams representing Russia will not be allowed to participate in this year's iGEM Competition, in new iGEM Leagues, or other iGEM community activities.

Resources: Get help with your plant synthetic biology project

March 10, 2022

Are you thinking about working with plant synbio? The Engineering Committee is here to help! Planning a plant project can take longer than your average synbio project, especially in the iGEM Competition, so we recommend that you get started early. Contact the Plant SynBio sub-committee at any time for:

  • Recommendations for plant basic parts and vectors to kick-start your project
  • Consultations with plant enthusiasts to guide your first steps
  • Resource collections for plant engineering

Reach out at engineering-plants [AT] igem [DOT] org and let us know how we can help! More Information will be available soon on the new iGEM Technology website:

Thinking about launching a startup? Learn how with iGEM EPIC!

March 9, 2022
Upcoming Event: EPIC Hackathon - March 18-21

If you are curious about entrepreneurship or EPIC, join us in our first event of 2022! Come and have a rewarding weekend of networking and working on SynBio challenges with your peers. Sign up below for your chance to win $3000 USD!

Sign up by March 13

EPIC Venture Creation Labs - April 11-25

If you are already keen on starting on your entrepreneurial journey, sign up for our Venture Creation Labs! You will receive comprehensive training in business and entrepreneurship concepts, learn from pre-eminent founders who have done this before, and engage with a growing community of fellow innovators.

Sign up by March 20

iGEM Design League 2022 registrations are open

March 9, 2022

The second year of our new Design League program is starting soon!

iGEM Design League is designed to help Latin American students kickstart their synthetic biology careers, with a competition focused on the design step of the synthetic biology cycle. Students take the challenge to design with biology to solve local problems in creative and innovative ways. Design League teams also get access to iGEM Academy, a synbio educational experience featuring talks from industry experts. Most importantly: Teams do not need lab, infrastructure or equipment to start and participate in iGEM Design League!

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of the largest synthetic biology community in Latin America.

We are hiring! Developer/Software Engineer, GitLab Wiki Wizard

March 1, 2022

We are looking for communicative, proactive, methodical, design-forward people with great time management skills. We are a team just like any other iGEM team, composed of passionate iGEMers working on creative projects to completely reshape iGEM's software infrastructure and design. Working here, you will have chances to lead or contribute to a wide variety of projects. All our positions are work-from-home, but we will have occasional meetings and hackathons in Europe.

Apply ASAP!

Join the iGEM Engineering Committee in 2022!

January 10, 2022

The iGEM Engineering Committee is organizing for the 2022 season and looking for volunteers. The mission of the Engineering Committee is to:

  • Educate iGEM teams on good synthetic biology engineering practices
  • Establish, disseminate and promote the use of widely accessible measurement and calibration protocols and standards
  • Cultivate community development of biological devices with well-understood and predictable behavior

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.

iGEM 2021 Participation Certificates Available for Download

January 6, 2022

Participation certificates for the 2021 iGEM Competition are now available for download online. Note: You must log in, and be an approved team member listed on an official team roster to generate a certificate. Please contact hq [AT] igem [DOT] org with any questions.

iGEM 2021 Announcements

We are Hiring! Developers and designers

December 14, 2021

We are building the future iGEM. We need developers and designers. Join our team! Apply by December 19, 2021.

We are Hiring! After iGEM

December 9, 2021

We have open positions specialized in Management and Communication to work on our community program, After iGEM. Apply by December 26, 2021.

We are Hiring! Human Practices Program Officer

December 2, 2021

Join iGEM as a Human Practices Program Officer as we strive to create a community where reflecting on whether your work is good for the world is an integral part of the engineering design cycle. Apply by December 10.

The EPIC Startup Showcase has concluded! Congratulations to the winners!

November 23, 2021

Congratulations to Curem Biotech for winning the 2021 Startup Showcase and BioFab and RebX for being finalists! Thank you to our sponsors Benchling, Hummingbird Ventures and IndieBio for their support in fostering new biofounders with us as well!

2021 Design League Results out now!

November 22, 2021

Congratulations to all competitors in the first ever iGEM Design League in Latin America! The official results are out now:

2021 iGEM Competition Results out now!

November 16, 2021

Congratulations to all iGEM 2021 Competition teams! The official Competition results are out now:

The 2021 Giant Jamboree is now underway!

November 4 - 14, Online

The iGEM Giant Jamboree is an annual event showcasing the projects of 370+ multidisciplinary local teams solving local problems, all over the world, using synthetic biology. The 7,000 people event brings together the pioneers of the future for the finale of the iGEM Competition.

iGEM Competition Presentation Videos are ready to watch now!

November 3, 2021

Browse the Presentation Videos playlist to see what teams have achieved this year:

Want an overview of projects? Watch 2 minute project promotion videos or browse the team wikis

WiSTEM Panel: Motherhood in STEM - October 13

October 8, 2021

The Women in STEM initiative of After iGEM is hosting another panel discussion on October 13, this time about "Motherhood in STEM". Join the panelists for a live discussion and Q&A, and hear about some of the challenges and oversights faced by parents, especially women, once they start climbing the career ladder and progressing in their lives. Click here to learn about the talk series

Apply to be a Jamboree Volunteer! Nov 4-7

October 8, 2021

Do you want to help make the Giant Jamboree a great event for everyone? Apply to be a volunteer at the 2021 Giant Jamboree!

Applications close October 18, 23:59 EDT

EPIC Startup Showcase Applications Now Open

September 16, 2021

The annual iGEM EPIC Startup Showcase is back, and we’re now taking applications! This is your chance to pitch your company to investors, compete with fellow biofounders, and win great prizes. If you're a former iGEMer, be it as a participant, a mentor or an advisor, if you are currently running a startup, you're eligible to join.

The deadline for signups is on the 20th of September, 23:59 CEST, so be fast!

Apply here:

Event: Global Policy Mapping Hackathon - September 24-26

September 16, 2021

Join the After iGEM Governance & Policy Network on September 24-26 for the Shipping Policies Hackathon! Help us create an incredibly important resource for the world to understand global shipping policies. Enter with a team or get paired with other iGEMers. There will be speakers, mentors and prizes! Click here to learn more about the event

After iGEM WiSTEM Panel: Inspiring girls into STEM - September 25

September 15, 2021

The WiSTEM initiative of After iGEM will host a panel discussion on Zoom, exploring the topic of “Inspiring girls into STEM”. The panel will feature four phenomenal women in STEM who will demonstrate the importance of inspiring more girls into STEM fields. Click here to learn about the talk series

NEW After iGEM Industry Talks Series - Starting September 19

September 15, 2021

Introducing Industry Talks: a series of talks about Industrial Synthetic Biology. This series is oriented toward iGEMers and iGEM alumni who are already established or searching for their first role. This 3 event series will bring together events experts in the industry to participate in a discussion and answer your questions.

Register here:

  • September 19: State of the Industry
  • September 26: Promoting your skills
  • October 3: Evolving your career

Find more info at:

iGEM 2021 Jamboree Meetups: New Venues for Celebration

September 8, 2021

We are pleased to announce the iGEM 2021 Jamboree Meetups, November 12-14, all around the world! These in-person satellite events to the Giant Jamboree are about celebrating with the iGEM community locally and, in parallel, connecting all iGEMers globally. Read more

New Publication: Featuring iGEM's Safety & Security Program

September 2, 2021

This month, iGEM's Safety Committee leaders published "Implementing adaptive risk management for synthetic biology: Lessons from iGEM's safety and security programme" in Engineering Biology, The Institution of Engineering and Technology. Read the article

Discover iGEM TV: Season 1 Now Wrapped

August 31, 2021

Season 1 of iGEM TV has just wrapped up! iGEM TV will take you on synthetic biology journeys from the heart of the tropical forests, to the bottom of the oceans, and even the soil on Mars. The first season features 7 different programs (17 episodes in all!) where you can hear about the iGEM experience and the amazing projects of iGEM teams from all around the globe.

New Event: Experts Talk Series by After iGEM - Session 1 on August 18

August 10, 2021

Experts Talk series by After iGEM features regional and global talks from experts in the field of synthetic biology to encourage students to learn more about the field and how it can be harnessed to solve our global challenges. The theme of the first series is ‘Synthetic Biology and Sustainable Development Goals’. Join Dr Karthik Raman for the inaugural session of the global webinar series focused on diverse topics with the theme Synthetic Biology and Sustainable Development Goals.

iGEM Competition Project Promotion Videos are ready to watch now!

August 9, 2021

The project promotion video is an iGEM team's introduction to their project: the problem, the solution, the engineering, and its impact. It is the project’s pitch. Visit the iGEM Video Universe to browse the videos, and see what iGEM teams are up to this year:

Congratulations to 90 recipients of the iGEM 2021 Team Impact Grants!

August 4, 2021

90 iGEM teams were selected to receive a total of $225,000 in grants to help take their projects to the next level, with thanks to the Fredrick Gardner Cottrell Foundation. Congratulations to all recipients, and thank you to all of the amazing teams who applied!

We are hiring: Developers, UX/UI Designer, Video Editors - Apply by August 4!

July 30, 2021

Join the iGEM Creative Productions team of developers, designers, and video editors. We are offering multiple part and full-time contractor positions working entirely remotely. We are searching for talented, curious, proactive and design-thinking developers, UX/UI designer, and video editors. You will be working on exciting projects and contributing to iGEM’s transition into new software infrastructure, world of video streaming, globally connected event management, promotion and content production. This is the future iGEM and we need you to build it with us!

Event: Open Talks Series by After iGEM

July 26, 2021

Are you interested in Open Science and Technology? Join our 6 expert lectures as we delve deeper into understanding open science and technology, covering topics such as hardware, software, licenses and open innovation.

Register Here:

  • July 3: Discover Open Software with María Sol Verniers
  • July 24: Discover Open Hardware with Marina de Freitas
  • August 14: Discover Open Licenses with Linda J Kahl
  • September 4: Discover Open Innovation with Jenny Molloy & Thomas Landrain
  • September 25: Get an overview of SynBio and open culture with Jake Beal

Find more info at:

Join us at the 2021 Giant Jamboree! November 4 - 14, Online

July 22, 2021

The iGEM Giant Jamboree is an annual event showcasing the projects of 370+ multidisciplinary local teams solving local problems, all over the world, using synthetic biology. The 7,000 people event brings together the pioneers of the future for the finale of the iGEM Competition.

Calling all 2021 iGEMers: join the iGEM Risk Assessment Study!

July 19, 2021

The iGEM Safety and Security Committee invites you to participate in an exciting research study! Why do different people see very different risks and benefits in life sciences projects? How can our community better manage the risks in our work? You can join in this international research project by spending a few hours assessing the risks in iGEM projects!

If the project goes to publication, all participants who completed their risk assessments will be credited in a similar fashion to participants in iGEM's InterLab studies (see publications from the studies conducted in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015). Participating is completely optional and will not affect how your team is judged in the competition. Rolling registration is now open.

iGEM 2021 Safety and Security Grant

July 14, 2021

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2021 Safety and Security Grant: ABSI_Kenya, Bulgaria, KUAS_Korea, Paris_Bettencourt and UMaryland! These teams were selected for their impactful proposals for advancing applied biosafety and biosecurity. Meet the recipients.

iGEM Impact Grant - Thank you to all applicants!

July 7, 2021

We have received 223 applications for the new Team Impact Grant: A first-of-its-kind initiative to provide grants of $2500 for up to 90 teams, to help them take their projects further than ever before. Learn more about the 2021 iGEM Team Impact Grants.

Twist Bioscience is offering teams FREE DNA!

June 30, 2021

We're thrilled to welcome back Twist Bioscience as a Platinum Partner of the iGEM 2021 Competition! They're offering complementary synthesis of up to 10kb in Twist Gene Fragments to teams. To find out how to claim your DNA, visit their Partner Page.

Welcoming back GenScript as a Partner Plus Sponsor for iGEM 2021!

June 28, 2021

GenScript has been a sponsor of iGEM teams since 2009, providing team grants and critical logistical support through the years. This year, they have a giveaway of $2000 for up to 6 iGEM teams, and 20% off DNA synthesis for all teams. This year, GenScript is also providing critical support to teams in China by shipping the iGEM 2021 Distribution Kits. Learn more on their Partner Page.

Studying people as well as microbes: Ethical challenges for iGEM teams

June 16, 2021

If you want to solve a real-world problem using synthetic biology, you can’t just study microbes. At some point, you’ll need to study people―their diverse values, opinions, and priorities―too. In addition to the basic requirement of “don’t break the rules or the law” set out in our human subjects research policy, it’s important for your team to take some time to think about how to treat every person participating in your research with respect.

Event: How to start a career in Synthetic Biology - June 17

June 14, 2021

Join us in this talk with experts. Let's discover how they started their career in this field, know more about their recent work and the future they are building with this technology.

Our guests will share how exciting their biology journey has been from academia to industry and entrepreneurship. We will explore some of the challenges and opportunities of synthetic biology and how we can start our own journey.

Register here for the event:

Event: Women in STEM Launch on iGEM TV - June 12

June 10, 2021

We are excited to announce the 2021 Women in STEM (WiSTEM) launch event by After iGEM. Join us on June 12th at 12 PM UTC and let's understand and improve the diversity and inclusion in STEM.

WiSTEM aims to represent everyone who identifies as Women in STEM and SynBio, increase awareness of the underrepresentation in Science as well as provide a platform for everyone to get inspired, network and develop.

Register here for the event:

About the event:

World Oceans Day: iGEM and SDG 14

June 9, 2021

The United Nations has proclaimed 2021 – 2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. This week, on June 8, many countries around the world joined the UN in celebrating World Oceans Day, a day for inspiring action to protect the oceans and sustainably use marine resources. In honor of World Oceans Day and this important decade, we’d like to highlight the accomplishments of iGEM teams using synthetic biology to restore, preserve and protect the oceans.

iGEM teams can unlock Benchling premium features for FREE!

June 8, 2021

We're excited to share our 3rd year of partnership with Benchling. They help iGEM teams collaborate more effectively, with tools to design DNA, record results, and even export notebook entries for the iGEM Wiki - all free for iGEM 2021 Competition teams! Get started:

Applications are NOW OPEN for the 2021 iGEM Impact Grant!

June 7, 2021

Applications are NOW OPEN for the 2021 iGEM Impact Grant: A first-of-its-kind initiative providing $2,500 to 90 iGEM teams to help them take their projects further! We want to know why your project is important to your community (and the world!), and how this funding will help you reach your goals. Competition teams should apply by June 30!

New this year: Jamboree Parties

June 4, 2021

Our 43 iGEM Ambassadors all around the world will help to host regional satellite events of the Jamboree: Jamboree Parties! Meet other teams, have poster sessions, showcase your projects, and celebrate the award ceremony together. Interested in attending or hosting? Let us know through the form on

Got a synbio question? Need an expert answer? Just Ask!

June 3, 2021

This year the iGEM Engineering Committee is encouraging the use of Stack Exchange to better answer questions, facilitate more collaboration between teams and engage the wider SynBio community.

If you have questions about designing genetic constructs, building your strains, interpreting your data, or anything else related to the biological side of your project, you can ask them there. Or, if you want to share your expertise, you can help others out by answering their questions.

A community, a field, an approach: iGEM’s new purpose

June 2, 2021

There have been many definitions of synthetic biology over the years, but I especially like the definition offered by my friend and colleague, Megan Palmer: “Synthetic biology is a community, a field, and an approach”. I find her definition quite telling because it shows just how unique what we are doing at iGEM actually is.

iGEM 2021 Opening Weekend Festival: by iGEMers for iGEMers

May 26, 2021

Thanks to the hard work of the creative production team, the event hosts, and the many iGEMers who shared their stories, the iGEM 2021 Opening Weekend Festival celebrated the start of the iGEM season as a truly inspiring event created by iGEMers for iGEMers.

New iGEM Challenge by Beckman Coulter! $2500 product vouchers for up to 6 iGEM teams and SO MUCH MORE!!

May 25, 2021

We are thrilled to welcome Beckman Coulter as a new Partner Sponsor of the iGEM Competition in 2021! This year, they will be supporting iGEM teams through their iGEM Challenge. Apply by July 10 for a chance to receive one of their sponsorships.

Image of two women smiling and holding scientific devices, accompanied by the text iGEM Challenge by Beckman Coulter

📺 NEW Storytelling Initiative: iGEM TV!

May 20, 2021

We are so excited to launch this new initiative this year: iGEM TV! There will be 5 new shows premiering globally beginning May 27 with the iGEM Talk Show! Check out the schedule:

  • May 27, 16:00 UTC: iGEM Talk Show
  • May 29: iGEM Around the Globe
  • June 3: LATAM Talk Show
  • June 5: iGEM News
  • June 17: SynBio Flix

Tune in:

New Webinar Series: Engineering Committee Webinar Series starting May 24

May 20, 2021

The iGEM Engineering Committee will ​host a series of daily webinars to help iGEM teams with their Competition projects, from May 24 - June 10, 2021. Click here to learn more about this webinar series.

🎙 NEW Podcast show: #SynBio

May 19, 2021

iGEM Podcasts launched a new show today: #SynBio! The first episode "Ready. Set. Design!" with Karen Ingram is ready to stream now:

International Day for Biological Diversity: Are you part of the solution?

May 19, 2021

May 22 is the International Day for Biological Diversity. First observed by the UN General Assembly in 1993, this day recognizes that biodiversity is the foundation for several sustainable development challenges. In honor of this day, we’d like to highlight the accomplishments of some of the iGEM 2020 teams engineering biological solutions to restore and preserve biodiversity.

Safety & Security Grant Opportunity for iGEM 2021 Teams - Apply by June 12

May 18, 2021

In addition to yesterday's big grant announcement, we also have a new Safety & Security Grant opportunity of $5000 for up to 5 iGEM teams, to accelerate technical progress in biosafety and biosecurity.

Apply by June 12

With thanks to Open Philanthropy.

New Grant Opportunity for iGEM 2021 Competition Teams

May 17, 2021

We are excited to announce a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide grants of $2,500 to 90 iGEM teams to help them take their projects further than ever before.

Learn more about this special grant opportunity for Competition teams:

Watch the announcement from the Opening Weekend Festival:

With thanks to the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation.

The Phoenix Project: Beta - A new tool for browsing previous iGEM Projects!

May 16, 2021

Build off a previous iGEM project or find what iGEM teams have done in past years. You can already see a beta-version of our search tool at Take some time to explore and learn from the teams that came before you. Even if you have already selected a project for this year, try to find teams that had similar goals and pick up from where they left off.

Show off your iGEM Spirit!

May 15, 2021

Show off your iGEM Spirit with official iGEM Merch! We're testing an online Merch store with the help of Printful to make some classic iGEM designs available around the world. To celebrate the launch, please enjoy 20% off store-wide for Opening Weekend!

Local People Solving Local Problems: Highlights from iGEM 2020

May 12, 2021

“iGEM is about local people solving local problems everywhere in the world, and we see that in the projects that iGEMers do. We see there were problems iGEMers saw that some venture person in Silicon Valley would never pay attention to, but for iGEMers, in their environment and in their world, those were important.”

New Workshop Series: Academic Publishing Workshops starting May 22

May 10, 2021

Planning to publish your work or want to learn about academic publishing? The After iGEM Academia & Research Steering Group is hosting a series of 4 weekly Academic Publishing Workshops starting from May 22, 2021.

Blog: Get Ready for the 2021 Opening Weekend Festival!

May 5, 2021

With over 340 teams (and counting …), we are looking forward to an amazing array of virtual events and activities where you will have an opportunity to meet and get to know your fellow iGEMers from all over the world.

Design League Registration Now Open - Register by June 15

May 3, 2021

iGEM Design League is a competition for high school and undergrad students in Latin America. To participate, you need to create a team with other students from your school, and follow the instructions linked here.

Late Registration for iGEM Competition open until May 28

May 1, 2021

Are you joining us in 2021? There's still time to register! Late registration is open until May 28. Visit the 2021 Competition Website for more information:

Joining the iGEM Competition? There's still time to register! Late registration ends May 28.

New Opportunity: iGEM Safety & Security Fellow. Apply by May 14

April 29, 2021

New opportunity for early-career iGEM alumni interested in biosafety, biosecurity and responsible science. This is a remote, paid position, for 2-3 months with a flexible start date between June and September. The first round of applications are due May 14:

Get Ready for the 2021 Opening Weekend Festival! May 15-16

April 28, 2021

Get ready for the Opening Weekend Festival, the official start of the 2021 iGEM Competition season! Visit to pre-register, explore the lineup, watch on-demand videos, and learn how to host your own iGEM Festival party.

An iGEM Failure Story: A Team's Cascade of Mistakes

by Youssef Mahmoud Abdelmaksoud

April 28, 2021

It's no easy task talking about failures or blunders, even within the scientific community, a field wherein failure is a feature and not a bug. So, as assumed, writing this article was not an easy assignment. Our mistakes, failures, and blunders taught us invaluable lessons. But it was, just like our mistakes, a part of the journey, and the journey proved to be as crucial as is the destination.

IDT is offering FREE gene fragments to 2021 iGEM Competition teams!

April 27, 2021

Our 8-year partnership with IDT has transformed the way iGEMers around the world approach synthetic biology. We are incredibly thankful for IDT's continued support of iGEM in 2021!

Registered iGEM 2021 Competition teams can get up to 20kb free custom DNA from IDT. Register with IDT by October 1:

graphic of globe with IDT and iGEM logos. IDT Helps iGEM teams achieve, innovate, and succeed. IDT is offering FREE gene fragments to all registered iGEM 2021 teams!

Upcoming Event - April 29: iGEM Design League Launch

April 26, 2021

⚙️ This Thursday is the official launch event of the 2021 iGEM Design League, a new iGEM experience focused on #DesignWithBiology for students from Latin America! Watch the live stream on the iGEM Video Universe or on YouTube. Pre-register to get the link!

Earth Day: iGEM and SDG 13

by Linda Kahl

April 21, 2021

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Observed on April 22 each year since 1970, Earth Day marks the birth of the modern environmental movement and is celebrated by over a billion people worldwide. See which iGEM teams are tackling the climate crisis with synthetic biology.

Apply now to be an iGEM Judge!

April 19, 2021

Applications to be a judge for the 2021 iGEM Competition are now open! Through the judging process, our judges will evaluate, celebrate, and help guide the next generation of synthetic biologists.

2 Weeks left - Regular Registration for iGEM Competition ends April 30

April 16, 2021

Are you joining us in 2021? Team registration is OPEN NOW! Register and pay for your team by April 30, 23:59 EDT to take advantage of the Regular Registration rate. Visit the 2021 Competition Website for more information:

Introducing the Global Alliance of Regional SynBio Associations

by Nerea Capon Lamelas

April 14, 2021

Imagine a community of more than 50,000 people, spread around the world, that share the same love and passion as you do for Synbio, innovation, open science and solving problems – that is the iGEM community. Now imagine expanding and strengthening this magnificent community through the Global Alliance of Regional SynBio Associations.

Looking for mentorship opportunities?

April 8, 2021

Need mentorship for your new iGEM team? We are now taking applications for the 2021 After iGEM Mentorship Program! Apply to be a mentor or to receive mentorship by April 16!

Does your team need a mentor?

This program is a good fit for teams who would like to better understand the iGEM Competition through an experienced iGEM Mentor. Covering the basics from competition deliverables to important deadlines, while also adding the mentor’s own tips and professional experience to the mix.

Do you want to be a mentor?

Mentors are iGEMers with previous experience in the iGEM Competition, so they understand the structure and requirements of the competition. They will help their teams navigate the competition, and support their teams while they progress through notable dates and work towards deadlines.

The Mentorship Program is organized by the After iGEM Education Network. Click here to learn about After iGEM.

Bringing Synthetic Biology Beyond Containment: Technical and Policy Work Needed

by Piers Millett

April 7, 2021

Inside iGEM we have a strict Do Not Release policy that keeps our projects inside the lab. If these projects are ever going to be part of real-world solutions then – sooner or later – they will need to work outside of the lab. In 2021, we are substantially increasing the time and effort we devote to considering how to do that safely, securely, and responsibly.

Upcoming Event: After iGEM Kick-off Event - April 10

April 2, 2021

Join us on April 10th for the first ever After iGEM Kickoff event. We are growing bigger and stronger we want to begin this year together with you!

🌐 Connect with our global community
🌱 Explore the diverse opportunities available for you
🧱 & the projects we are working on
🔉 Engage in discussions with people from around the world

and there's much more!

The After iGEM Program connects everyone who has gone through the iGEM Competition since its inception in 2004. Click here to learn about After iGEM.

Tackling Global Challenges: iGEM and COVID-19

by iGEM Headquarters

March 31, 2021

It’s been over a year since the World Health Organization officially declared that COVID-19 was a global pandemic. At that time, we were uncertain whether iGEM 2020 would even take place. Thanks to the dedication of the iGEM community and the resilience of the teams, iGEM 2020 became one of the most amazing seasons.

Upcoming Event: Venture Creation Lab April 12-30

March 25, 2021

Join us at EPIC and let us help you kickstart your entrepreneurial Journey! Venture Creation Lab: EPIC's three week entrepreneurship bootcamp can be joined from anywhere in the world. Candidates from each region are selected and invited to our virtual company creation studio encompassing workshops, co-founder matchmaking and networking opportunities with companies and investors. The purpose is to equip our upcoming biofounders with tools, strategies and the team they need to realize their ventures. Apply by March 29!

The Entrepreneurship Program Innovation Community (EPIC) supports the development of iGEMs entrepreneurial community. Click here to learn about EPIC.

World Water Day: iGEM and SDG 6

by iGEM Headquarters

March 24, 2021

Access to clean, fresh water is a privilege many may take for granted. Yet, according to the United Nations, 2.2 billion people around the world lack access to safe water. World Water Day, held annually on March 22, is dedicated to raising awareness about the global water crisis and focusing attention on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: access to water and sanitation for all by 2030. In honor of this day, we’d like to highlight the accomplishments of iGEM teams tackling the global water crisis with synthetic biology.

Apply now to become an iGEM Conference Fellow for the Global Youth Summit!

March 19, 2021

📣Calling all iGEM alumni!📣

At iGEM, we are very excited about the upcoming IUCN One Nature, One Future Global Youth Summit and invite you to join our cohort of Conference Fellows!

At the IUCN summit, you’ll participate in youth-led capacity building workshops and networking events, and contribute to a document to be delivered to IUCN’s World Conservation Congress. Learn more and register for the summit here: (Note: you can register even if you are not accepted as a Conference Fellow!)

As an iGEM Conference Fellow, you will connect with conservation and policy experts during preparation calls, connect with your iGEM cohort during social calls through the summit, and enjoy a more meaningful and committed summit experience. This is not an official IUCN program, but instead something extra we are offering to our iGEM community.

➡️Send your Conference Fellowship application by 📅March 26:

Help us launch a new synthetic biology Q&A site at StackExchange!

March 18, 2021

The iGEM Engineering Committee is building a Synthetic Biology StackExchange site to provide a Q&A site for the SynBio community. This will be a technical Q&A site where anyone, from newcomers to experts, can ask or answer questions about synthetic biology.

We've already passed the early stages of defining the site, and now just need to demonstrate a critical mass of people committing to participate in order to get a beta site launched.

To move on to Beta phase, we now need at least 250 people to commit, and 100 committers with 200+ StackExchange rep. Help us reach Beta by committing and sharing! Join now at

Check out the graphic for more info:

The iGEM Ambassador Program: Then and Now

by Dorothy Zhang

March 17, 2021

Many of you may already be familiar with the history of iGEM. What you may not know is the history of the iGEM Ambassador program: from their humble origins in 2006, to the development of an ambassador team 43 members strong in 2021!

iGEM Competition Registration is Now Open!

March 17, 2021

Are you joining us in 2021? Team registration for the 2021 iGEM Competition is NOW OPEN! Register your team by April 30 to take advantage of the Regular Registration rate. Visit the 2021 Competition Website for more information:

2021 iGEM Competition - Ambassador Team Calls: March 17-23

March 15, 2021

Ambassador calls are back for 2021! Our team of 37 Ambassadors and 6 Ambassador Program Coordinators, passionate iGEM Alumni located all over the world, will be organizing video calls with prospective 2021 iGEM Teams via Zoom. These calls with Ambassadors are a place to catch up, share plans, discuss questions and voice your suggestions! The first round of calls will begin this week. Click here to find a time!

The iGEM Ambassadors represent and promote iGEM and synthetic biology in their respective regions. The iGEM Ambassador Program is a part of After iGEM. Click here to learn about After iGEM.

Have a SynBio idea you want to bring to market?

March 11, 2021

Join us at EPIC and let us help you kickstart your entrepreneurial Journey! EPIC is the entrepreneurial arm of iGEM, and we support iGEM alumni in the pursuit of ideas that have real-world impact. If you'd like to participate, we host a wide variety of programmes and initiatives that you, regardless of your level of expertise, can join:

  • Upcoming Event: EPIC Hackathon - Sign up by March 15!
  • Venture Creation Labs starting April 12 - Sign up by March 29
  • Join us in Inspiring the Biotech Leaders of the Future - Sign up as a Mentor by March 29
  • Join the Biofounder Book Club! Live Session March 17, plus a book giveaway

The Entrepreneurship Program Innovation Community (EPIC) supports the development of iGEMs entrepreneurial community. Click here to learn about EPIC.

Navigating iGEM and beyond: Introducing The Mentors Network and EduHall

by After iGEM Education Committee

March 10, 2021

The iGEM Mentorship Program has been providing mentorship opportunities to iGEM teams and alumni since 2015. We at the After iGEM Education Committee have continued to analyze data from the program, to make improvements and better serve iGEMers around the world. This year we plan to launch two new initiatives – the Mentors Network and EduHall.

Recruiting Interns in Latin America! Apply by March 12

March 9, 2021

We're excited to build a new experience and project for iGEM in Latin America. We're looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic young professionals interested in making synthetic biology more accessible. See open positions and join our team:

Graphic Designer Intern (Paid)
Diseño Gráfico / Desenho Gráfico


  • Imaginative, creative and innovator
  • Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite and other industry-standard design tools and software
  • Strong visual/graphic design and communication skills
  • Proficient in English + Spanish and/or Portuguese
  • Autonomy and goal orientation
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Desirable: Previous experience in iGEM and/or working on biotech/STEM related fields

Video Production Intern (Paid)
Producción de Video / Produção de vídeo


  • Imaginative, creative and innovator
  • Proficient in Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects and other industry-standard editing tools and software
  • Strong video production and editing skills
  • Proficient in English + Spanish and/or Portuguese
  • Autonomy and goal orientation
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Desirable: Previous experience in iGEM and/or working on biotech/STEM related fields

Apply by March 12, 23:59 UTC-6:

Direct Link:

Upcoming Event: EPIC Hackathon March 20-21

March 5, 2021

Do you have a business idea, but need something to kickstart your progress? Join EPIC's Hackathon from the 20-21st of March! Here, you can find a cofounder, meet people already in the industry and start your journey to a successful business. Apply by March 15!

The Entrepreneurship Program Innovation Community (EPIC) supports the development of iGEMs entrepreneurial community. Click here to learn about EPIC.

World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development: iGEM and the SDGs

by iGEM HQ

March 3, 2021

March 4th is World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development. In honor of this day, we’d like to highlight the accomplishments of iGEM teams engineering biological solutions for global challenges as articulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Get ready for iGEM 2021!

March 1, 2021

Thinking of starting an iGEM team in 2021, or know someone who is interested? Take a look at some of the resources we have prepared to help you get started!

  • Navigating iGEM: There are several things you need to consider as you start navigating through the iGEM 2021 season.
  • Start a Team: Who can be on the team? How many supervisors do we need? Where do I start?? Here are some guidelines to help!
  • Funding Basics: Tips and advice on how to request funding and what to consider when making a team budget.

Registration is Coming Soon! Visit the 2021 Competition Website for more information:

iGEM's Judging Committees are Recruiting new members for 2021! Deadline extended

February 26, 2021

Do you have judging experience in iGEM? We are recruiting new members for both of our Judging leadership committees for 2021! The Judging Corps Committee (JCC) and the Judging Program Committee (JPC, formerly known as the Executive Judging Committee) both work to improve the judging experience in iGEM for both judges and teams. **Deadline Extended to March 8**

Join the Judging Corps Committee (JCC)!

The main responsibility of the JCC is to ensure a happy judging community that wants to participate in the judging process year on year. We are looking for applicants with 2+ years of iGEM Judging experience.

Join the Judging Program Committee (JPC)!

The JPC (formerly known as the Executive Judging Committee) is charged with running, updating, maintaining, and managing the judging program within the iGEM Competition. We are looking for applicants with 2 or more years of iGEM judging experience AND 2 or more years of iGEM team experience (any role).

Please note, these are not applications to serve as a judge during the 2021 Giant Jamboree. More information about applications to serve as a judge will be released later in the year.

A New Beginning in Ghana: Reflections on a Journey and Roadmap for the Future

by iGEM HQ

February 24, 2021

"Currently, Africa is responsible for only 1% of scientific research output. By getting young student scientists involved in iGEM, we are facilitating the contribution and progression of research. By starting so early we are hoping this allows the developing countries across Africa, and across the world, to actually contribute and be an integral part of this revolution, rather than being a spectator for a while and becoming involved later on in the process."

iGEM 2020 Certificates Update

February 22, 2021

We are now distributing electronic certificates and medals for participants of the 2020 Competition. It is taking longer than expected to create the system to download electronic certificates, so we are emailing certificates in PDF format directly to the team PIs and team student leaders (as listed on the official team roster) for distribution. In the event of multiple sets of certificates, the files may be sent as ZIP files. Please be sure to check email inbox and spam folder for the email.

Please email hq [AT] igem [DOT] org if your team has not received their certificates by March 5.

iGEM and Lunar New Year 2021

by iGEM HQ

February 17, 2021

February 12th marked the first day of the Lunar New Year for 2021. Known by many names –Chinese Chunjie (Spring Festival), Indonesian Imlek, Korean Solnal, Tibetan Losar, Vietnamese Tết – the Lunar New Year marks a new beginning, with hope for a bright and better future. iGEM is an international community of people from all over the world who are passionate about using synthetic biology to build that bright and better future.

Join the iGEM RPG Team! Combine your passion for synbio & RPGs for iGEM TV

February 16, 2021

Are you interested in Tabletop Role-Playing Games? Then combine your passion for synbio & RPG in iGEM RPG! The iGEM TV team is recruiting iGEMers who want to create & play in a world where all the iGEM projects are part of our daily life!

We are hiring an iGEM Design & Technology Team! - Apply Now

February 11, 2021

We are hiring iGEMers for new creative & tech roles! Work remotely in a global team of iGEMers and get behind the scenes look at iGEM while creating the visual identity behind the content, building the software and hardware infrastructure behind the experience, and producing new iGEM content through videos and events! Apply by Feb 21st. Click here for more info.

Now Accepting Journal Submissions for iGEM Special Issue of Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology

February 10, 2021

Did you participate in the iGEM Competition in 2019 or 2020?

iGEMers from iGEM 2019 and 2020 teams are invited to submit articles to the Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology Journal for an iGEM Special Issue. Submissions are due June 30, 2021.

High School iGEM: Reflections & Future

by Janet Standeven

February 10, 2021

Do you remember the first time you ran a successful PCR? Was it in the last few months? The last few years? Or so long ago you don’t want to admit it? For high school students, that first successful PCR might have resulted on work from this year’s iGEM project. Let that sink in for a minute…

Help iGEM's new Engineering Committee to launch a SynBio Stack Exchange

February 5, 2021

This year the Engineering Committee are hoping to stimulate further collaboration between teams, committees, instructors and the wider SynBio community by building a Synthetic Biology StackExchange site.

SynBio.SE will be a Q&A site where anyone can ask questions about synbio and receive expert responses. We need 40 example questions with 10 or more upvotes to get to the public beta phase. Join now at

Check out the graphic for more info:

How iGEM Changed My Career

by Dimitrios Michailidis

February 3, 2021

I did iGEM as a student and for the first time my work had a user. We had a concrete problem we were trying to solve; we had to think about a platform for our user to interact with our biology. I was working on a team of engineers, programmers, designers. iGEM forces you to take a wholesome approach to solve a problem, and that's just a perfect taste of the real life.

The Human Practices Committee is now recruiting new members for 2021!

January 28, 2021

As part of the Human Practices Committee, you can help craft the tools and conversation surrounding ethical research and engineering in synbio! If you have questions, please email us at humanpractices AT igem DOT org. For more information about our committee, please visit:

If you are interested in joining us, please complete this short application by February 10. Please forward this form to anyone you think should also apply.

Members of the Human Practices' Committee standing and smiling in front of the iGEM Logo at the Giant Jamboree

Celebration: The 4th of a 4-part series on iGEM 2021


January 27, 2021

Celebration is integral to the iGEM journey. Being happy and grateful for the milestones reached can help us through the challenges and difficult times we may face in forging a better future with synthetic biology.

Contribution: The 3rd of a 4-part series on iGEM 2021


January 20, 2021

Since beginning in 2003, iGEM has inspired thousands of students to build a better world by using synthetic biology to solve local problems and tackle global challenges. Now as leaders in academia, government and industry in over 45 countries, iGEMers are significantly advancing synthetic biology and contributing to society.

The iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee is looking for new members in 2021!

January 13, 2021

Our committee works to make iGEM as inclusive as possible for people from all different backgrounds. We address diversity-related issues and develop new initiatives for iGEM. As we are all based in different regions, we meet virtually twice a month and coordinate programming efforts through email. For more information about our committee, please visit:

If you are interested in joining us, please complete this short application by 5:00PM EST on February 5, 2021. You can contact us with any questions at: diversity [AT] igem [DOT] org

Community: The 2nd of a 4-part series on iGEM 2021


January 13, 2021

The iGEM community is a wonderfully diverse group of people from all over the world who are passionate about developing and applying the tools of synthetic biology to address the challenges facing our world today.

iGEMers of the World Podcast - Episode #10: iGEM as a life-changer

January 11, 2021

Biotechnology, including synthetic biology, has traditionally been a resource-heavy field— that’s made it particularly difficult for young students to engage in biology and STEM particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. Who is trying to help bring the world of synthetic biology to future generations through supporting educators passionate about changing education and inspiring young scientists? In this iGEMers of the World episode, iGEM Ambassador Melody interviews Ricardo C. Chavez, founder of Scintia, a biotech education company from Latin America bringing synthetic biology and bioengineering to classrooms in the region.

Become an iGEM Ambassador for 2021 or apply to join an After iGEM Committee!

January 11, 2021

After iGEM is looking to grow its ambassador team yet again for the 2021 season. We are looking for passionate, outgoing and dedicated members of the iGEM community to help shape and support our exciting activities this year.

Over the past 2 years, the After iGEM Committees have helped us grow and support our community. We’re looking for creative, passionate and dedicated iGEMers to join our After iGEM Committees and keep surprising and shaping iGEM and our global community.

Click below to learn more about both opportunities. Apply by January 20, 2021.

Competition: The first of a 4-part series on iGEM 2021


January 6, 2021

Here we are in the future, and iGEM 2021 promises to be bright as ever. This year, we will again embrace the 4 C’s of iGEM – Competition, Community, Contribution and Celebration – as we welcome returning and new iGEMers to the 2021 season.

iGEM 2020 Announcements

Thank you for an exceptional iGEM 2020!


December 23, 2020

From the COVID-19 pandemic, iGEM has emerged stronger than ever before, with new paths for advancing synthetic biology and making iGEM available to virtually every community across the globe.

Welcome to the iGEM Video Universe

By Nemanja Stijepovic and Fabio Maschi

December 9, 2020

The iGEM Video Universe is a decisive milestone in creating the future iGEM. For the first time, it is possible to watch (or even binge-watch) the Project Promotion Videos and Presentation Videos from every team participating in the iGEM competition, as well as Keynotes, Workshops, and Interviews from the iGEM 2020 season and Virtual Giant Jamboree.

Resilience shines through the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree

November 30, 2020

If we could choose one word to describe the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree, it’s resilience. In the eight months since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, we’ve seen incredibly resilient iGEM team members, instructors, judges, committee members, sponsors and community members emerge as role models and heroes. And their resilience shone throughout the ten days for Competition, Community, Contribution and Celebration at the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree.

Congratulations to ALL participants of iGEM 2020!

November 22, 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 season of the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition. The Competition is now over. The Official Competition Results Are Out Now. See the official 2020 Competition Wrap-up:

See also: 2020 Results Announcement Press Release

Thermo Fisher Scientific Offering all iGEM teams access to do-it-yourself DNA building solutions​

November 10, 2020

We are excited to partner with Thermo Fisher Scientific for the first time. They are offering all iGEM 2020 teams up to 35% off when purchasing GeneArt Strings DNA Fragments with GeneArt Gibson Assembly HiFi and EX Cloning Kits, so stock up for next year!

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a Partner Sponsor of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

Attending the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree? Get your event pass now!

November 8, 2020

Individual Registration is now open through Eventbrite! All attendees, including team members, should register through Eventbrite to get access to the "My iGEM" Platform and App, and to sign media release agreements for the event. Just a spectator? Registration is free to the public and alumni!

Direct Link:

Philosophy Behind the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree

by iGEM Headquarters

Each year since iGEM began, our community has gathered in-person to marvel at and celebrate the achievements of the teams in engineering biological solutions for global challenges and building the field of synthetic biology.

This year our community is gathering together, but with a crucial difference: we needed to find a way to capture the brilliance and beauty of our former gatherings in a virtual setting.

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Interview Series

by After iGEM Ambassadors

We are excited to present this interview series to celebrate women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The main idea of this interview series is to inspire the current and next generations of women and girls who are interested in science. For this series, we gathered speakers with diverse backgrounds and experience from different regions, all of them doing amazing jobs and leading their fields.

Apply to pitch at the Start-up Showcase 2020

October 28, 2020

iGEM EPIC and Y Combinator join forces to highlight and celebrate our top BioFounders at this year's iGEM Start-up Showcase on Nov 20th!

Apply before November 6th to win an interview for Y Combinator's next program:

Direct Link:

If you're not yet a founder but are interested, please feel free to share with your network and join us as a participant as we highlight the top iGEM Biofounders from our global community - sign-up now.

October Sponsor Newsletter - NEW special offer for teams!

October 21, 2020

In the midst of an unusual iGEM year, our sponsors are here for you and want to help you succeed! Participating in iGEM unlocks access to exclusive sponsorship offers for teams - Check out our guide below, and make the most of what our partners have to offer.

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

What can iGEMers accomplish over a summer in lockdown?

By Nancy Burgess Christen

You are probably familiar with Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, the archetypal cautionary tale for science experiments that are not responsible or good for the world. Did you know that Mary Shelley conceived of the idea when she was 18 years old and forced inside all summer with a small circle of family and friends?

Virtual Giant Jamboree Newsletter #1

October 14, 2020

The Virtual Giant Jamboree is just one month away, and we hope that you are as excited as we are! The Virtual Jamboree event will be open and free for the public and alumni, and individual registration is coming soon! Stay subscribed to our newsletters to continue receiving important future updates about the Competition and the Jamboree.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Help broadcast the event - Become a Jamboree Commentator!​
  • Call for volunteers open now! Apply by October 25

Information for teams:

  • Schedule Teaser out now
  • Submit your own event for Community Week by October 20
  • Planning to host a Watch Party? Let us know!

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

The iGEM 2018 Interlab Study: 1400 iGEMers, 250 teams

By Jake Beal

The iGEM 2018 Interlab study, which was just published in Nature Communications Biology, presents a cheap and easy protocol for estimating cell count and per-cell fluorescence on plate readers.

October Newsletter

October 7, 2020

This month...

  • Applications to be an iGEM Judge close today!
  • The iGEM Community is boarding the podcast rocket ship! New episodes every Wednesday
  • Team Promotion Videos are ready to watch on the iGEM Video Universe
  • New Resource: Best Practices for Leading Inclusive Panels
  • Genetic Engineering Attribution Challenge less than 2 weeks left to enter
  • Competition Updates: Title and Abstract, Judging Forms
  • Team Highlight: 12 new collaborations!
  • Last chance for Sponsor Offers in October

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Telling Your Project's Story to the Judges

By Tessa Alexanian and JC Gray

Almost every one of the iGEM medal criteria begins as follows: “Convince the judges…”
But how?

The judges aren’t trying to be mysterious—you can read the same medal criteria, rubric and handbook that we do. Still, when I (Tessa) was on an iGEM team, I wasn’t really thinking about the judges as people, who would have a particular experience of my project and presentation

Apply to be an iGEM Judge!

October 5, 2020

Applications to be a judge at the first ever iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree are closing on October 7 (2 Days!). Judges will evaluate, celebrate, and help guide the next generation of synthetic biologists.

We need judges — both experienced and new — who understand and value iGEM. Many of our judges come back year after year, and we gladly welcome new judges to apply as well.

We will be recruiting a diverse judging panel with the following characteristics in mind:

  • Gender parity
  • Regional diversity with time zone coverage
  • iGEM experience (i.e., past and present team PIs, mentors, and advisors; previous team members; returning judges)

Click below to learn more:

iGEM Insights: Understanding iGEM Through Data

By Megan Palmer and Marc Santolini

Through iGEM Insights, we aim leverage data from iGEM as a unique open and international testbed to both improve the competition and the practice of synthetic biology (and science and engineering more broadly) beyond the competition.

Introducing the iGEM Video Universe

September 24, 2020

We are happy to announce the launch of our new video platform: iGEM Video Universe. Created by the Video & Remote Technology Committee, this platform is accessible from everywhere in the world, open to everyone to create an account, and free of ads. In this way - all iGEMers in our community can use it to easily upload and watch videos.

We will be using this platform during the Virtual Giant Jamboree for hosting team Project Promotion Videos and Presentation Videos.

For instructions on how to sign up or upload to the iGEM Video Universe, click here!

September Sponsor Newsletter

September 23, 2020

In the midst of an unusual iGEM year, our sponsors are here for you and want to help you succeed! Participating in iGEM unlocks access to exclusive sponsorship offers for teams - Check out our guide below, and make the most of what our partners have to offer.

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

iGEM Digest Issue 5: Letter From The Guest Editor

By Chris Isaac

"It was through attending the Biological Weapons Convention as an iGEM Delegate that I realized how neglected biosecurity issues were and fully embraced the duty that scientists have to engage with policy-makers."

SynBioBeta Student Discount

September 18, 2020

September 29 - October 1, 2020 Discover How Synthetic Biology is Disrupting Consumer Products, Food, Agriculture, Medicine, Chemicals, Materials, and More at SynBioBeta 2020. Join for 3 days of interactive online content, delivered using the latest technology. Apply for your student discount today:

Direct Link:

iGEM 2018 InterLab Measurement Study Results Published

September 17, 2020

"Robust estimation of bacterial cell count from optical density" - Results from the iGEM 2018 InterLab Measurement Study were published today in Nature Communications Biology:

See more iGEM in the News

Designing Scientifically Valid Surveys

By Matthew Sample and JC Gray

Although surveys may seem simple and straightforward, they are often challenging to execute well. Surveys are a form of experiment, and like any experiment, they can be designed and implemented poorly.

New Data Science Opportunity: Genetic Engineering Attribution Challenge

September 14, 2020

Looking to apply your data skills to improving global health security?
In partnership with iGEM's Safety & Security Program, altLabs is soliciting improved and inventive solutions to a crucial problem in genetic engineering: Where was this engineered?

This challenge offers prizes for lab-of-origin prediction accuracy and creative real-world application, with a total prize pool of $60,000. Whether you’re a data scientist, bioinformatician, synthetic biologist, or an interested solver from a different field, we’re calling on you to compete! This opportunity is open to both current and past iGEM participants.

Direct Link:

September Newsletter - New Data Science Opportunity, SDGs resources and more...

September 9, 2020

This month...

  • Virtual Giant Jamboree registration ends at the end of this month
  • Apply to be an iGEM Judge
  • New Data Science Opportunity: Genetic Engineering Attribution Challenge
  • Last chance to sign up iGEM 2020 x JOGL sustainable goals program!
  • New SDGs resources page
  • Team Highlight: 11 New Collaborations
  • Final Safety Forms are due THIS FRIDAY!
  • Dry Lab Impulse series continues this week: Team Sydney Australia 2019
  • Last chance for Sponsor Offers in September and October
  • SynBioBeta Student Discount

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Celebrating Another First: the iGEM 2020 Global Meet-up


The pandemic was a disruption for everyone in our community – it changed the way we work, the way we meet, and the way we do our jobs. But disruption is often followed by innovation. And nowhere has this been more evident than in the iGEM 2020 season.

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Your Work

By Naina Goel and Peter Carr

"At iGEM, it is important to give credit where credit is due. Indeed, integrity, honesty and respect are among the iGEM values that all teams are expected to uphold.”

iGEM & the Sustainable Development Goals

By Will Wright, Todd Kuiken, and Jake Finan, On Behalf of the iGEM SDG Working Group

"The SDGs are 17 goals that are set to be achieved by the global community by 2030, and they represent indicators of technical progress and societal goals that we and others can help strive to achieve. In particular, the SDGs are a way for institutions to align their resources and to open communications and engage with stakeholders in addressing the global challenges we face.”

August Sponsor Newsletter

August 26, 2020

In the midst of an unusual iGEM year, our sponsors are here for you and want to help you succeed! Participating in iGEM unlocks access to exclusive sponsorship offers for teams - Check out our guide below, and make the most of what our partners have to offer.

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Get Ready for the First Ever iGEM Global Meetup!

August 19, 2020

We invite you to join your fellow iGEMers from all over the world to connect, collaborate and celebrate at the first-ever iGEM Global Meet-up. With over 50% of the activities led by iGEM 2020 teams, the iGEM Global Meet-up is your chance to meet and engage with your fellow iGEMers! Read more on the iGEM Blog:

Learn more about the iGEM Global Meetup

Twist Bioscience is offering teams FREE DNA for a second year!

August 17, 2020

For the second year, Twist Bioscience has teamed up with iGEM to offer every team complementary synthesis of up to 10kb in Twist Gene Fragments. To find out how to claim your DNA, visit Twist Bioscience's Partner Page.

This year iGEM is also partnering with Twist Bioscience so teams no longer need to send physical DNA samples to the Registry. Instead, teams will submit their sequences and accompanying data and Twist will handle the synthesis of your submitted parts at the end of the year.

Twist Bioscience is a Platinum Partner of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

August Newsletter - Check out the iGEM 2020 Team Map!

August 12, 2020

This month...

  • Join us at the 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree
  • Be an iGEM judge! Applications are now open
  • Check out the iGEM 2020 Team Map!
  • iGEM Global Meetup: Team spirit poster session, submissions due August 18
  • Changes to the 2020 Competition Calendar
  • Team Highlight: New meetups and collaborations!
  • Dry Lab Impulse Webinars with After iGEM and iGEM Alumni - August 13
  • Judging and Measurement final office hours
  • Measurement webinar series ended - videos available online
  • Sign up for IDT FREE custom DNA offer by August 28

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Apply to be an iGEM Judge!

August 5, 2020

Applications to be a judge at the first ever iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree are now open! Judges will evaluate, celebrate, and help guide the next generation of synthetic biologists. Click below to learn more:

Join us at the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree!

August 3, 2020

iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree
November 14-22, 2020

We are excited to announce the dates for the iGEM 2020 Virtual Giant Jamboree! Even though we can’t come together at one big in-person event this year, the virtual format brings some exciting opportunities to celebrate iGEM at a scale never before experienced.

Nine -- yes 9! -- full days to gather for Competition, Community, Contribution, and Celebration.

July Sponsor Newsletter

July 29, 2020

In the midst of an unusual iGEM year, our sponsors are here for you and want to help you succeed! Participating in iGEM unlocks access to exclusive sponsorship offers for teams - Check out our guide below, and make the most of what our partners have to offer.

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues Websites

July 27, 2020

We have recently become aware that updated security settings on several web browsers has changed how our pages are displayed. We are working on this issue, and we hope to have it fixed soon. Please contact us at hq AT igem DOT org with any questions.

How to Find Insights from Social Science Research Related to Your Project

By Joy Zhang

“What is required of us in the social sciences, as in natural sciences, is to not just take someone’s word but instead analyze and evaluate the data that is presented so as to form our own judgement. This is the essence of critical thinking.”

July Newsletter - Team Highlight on Collaborations

June 24, 2020

Need help with Arduino? Ever wondered what iGEM sounds like? Animal Crossing hangout and more...

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Judging in iGEM 2020

By the Executive Judging Committee (EJC)

The iGEM 2020 Season is quite different from previous years, and we've made some exciting changes to the medal criteria so that all iGEM teams can participate and achieve medals – with or without lab access – this year. Check out the new guide on our blog:

June Sponsor Newsletter

June 24, 2020

In the midst of an unusual iGEM year, our sponsors are here for you and want to help you succeed! Participating in iGEM unlocks access to exclusive sponsorship offers for teams - Check out our guide below, and make the most of what our partners have to offer.

Missed something? See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

Black Lives Matter

June 19, 2020

iGEM stands against racism and inequality, and seeks to break down the barriers that currently exclude people of colour from synthetic biology. We seek to do this not in a way that tokenizes, but in a way that embraces the talent that the synthetic biology industry needs to fulfill its potential. We at iGEM Headquarters commit to taking action towards building a more representative and equitable iGEM community. Through internal reflection on our structures and practices, we are identifying tangible ways to implement this vision in our own organization.

Read the full statement here

FREE MathWorks software for iGEM 2020 teams

June 11, 2020

MathWorks is offering complimentary software to iGEM 2020 teams for use in the competition.​ Using MATLAB and Simulink products helps your team organize, model, and develop complex biological systems for your iGEM project.

Visit the 2020 Software Page for more information on how to request FREE MathWorks Software:

MathWorks is a Partner of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

Black Lives Matter

June 10, 2020

Today we stand in solidarity of Black Lives Matter through the #Strike4BlackLives. We pledge to continue our ongoing discussions at iGEM HQ on how to best support the Black Lives Matter movement, and what actions we can take to address racism in STEM, academia, and in society. #ShutdownSTEM #ShutdownAcademia

June Newsletter

June 9, 2020

We have got an absolutely jam-packed newsletter this month: new Award & Special Prize info, new collaborators, new webinar series', new team meetups, new sponsor offers, new videos, and so much more!

Look inside for:

  • First competition deadline: Preliminary Safety Forms due June 26
  • Doing Human Practices During a Global Pandemic
  • FREE MathWorks software for iGEM 2020 teams
  • GenScript announces second sponsorship winner
  • New iGEM Summer Webinars Series & Measurement Committee Office Hours
  • Team Highlight: German Meetup, UK Meetup, Southern China meeting, and more!
  • Join iGEM 2020 on the JOGL platform and be a part of achieving Vision 2030 for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Missed the Opening Weekend Festival? New Videos Ready Now

Missed something?See our newsletter archive to read previous issues

COVID-19 Projects in iGEM

By Piers Millett, iGEM Vice President of Safety and Security

“We know that many teams this year will want to work on COVID-19, and we believe you have much to contribute. In this exceptional year, we want you to be able to do the most important science and engineering possible … AND … we want to make sure you can do that safely and securely.”

Doing Human Practices During A Global Pandemic

By Tessa Alexanian

If you’re involved in iGEM, chances are you’ve become the Designated Coronavirus Explainer for at least a few of your friends and family members. You’ve probably been asked questions like, “is it safe to travel?” and “is the virus mutating?” and “is there going to be a vaccine?”

An Amazing Start to an Exceptional Year

By iGEM Headquarters

“In a few short weeks, with the hard work and participation of this entire community, we’ve gone from ‘Is iGEM happening?’ to this – an astonishing number of teams (over 300) and the official opening of the competition in a way that has never happened before.”

The first ever iGEM Opening Weekend Festival is now over

May 18, 2020

Thank you to all attendees and contributors for helping us make iGEM History!

We will be uploading session videos to YouTube and Bilibili in the coming days. Main Stage videos from Day 1 and 2 are ready to view on YouTube. Stay tuned!

Celebrating iGEM 2020 Opening Weekend

By iGEM Headquarters

"Despite these trying times, we at iGEM have cause to celebrate … the iGEM 2020 Competition officially opens this weekend, and we’re kicking it off with a bang with the first ever iGEM 2020 Opening Weekend Festival."

Free SnapGene and Geneious licenses for teams

May 11, 2020

We are honored to Partner with SnapGene and Geneious for the first time! SnapGene and Geneious are joining forces to help iGEM teams create successful projects by offering free access to iGEM 2020 teams.

SnapGene | Geneious is a Partner of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

You're Invited... iGEM 2020 Opening Weekend Festival

May 1, 2020

Opening Day for iGEM 2020 is now on May 15.
Join us over the weekend for the NEW Opening Weekend Festival!

We're kicking off iGEM 2020 with a bang! Tune in during Opening Weekend for exclusive sessions with iGEM Headquarters, Committees, After iGEM, and more! Attend webinars, panels, workshops, and Q&As designed to help your team make the most of your iGEM experience this year. Meet other teams from all around the world, form bonds and forge pathways towards a truly collaborative iGEM season.

The schedule of events is coming soon... Save the date, and stay tuned!

Call for Applications for the New Judging Committee

April 30, 2020

We are forming a new Judging Committee to work with the Executive Judging Committee leading up to and during this year’s Virtual Giant Jamboree. As this is an extraordinary year, new judging activities will be required to make this year’s event the best possible for participating teams! At least 1 year of iGEM judging experience is required. Applications are due by May 13, 2020.

Team Grant Opportunity for up to 6 teams from GenScript

April 29, 2020

We are proud to welcome back GenScript as a Partner Plus Sponsor for iGEM 2020! GenScript has been a proud sponsor of iGEM teams since 2009, providing logistical support, team grants, and products through the years.

This year, GenScript will once again be extending a 20% discount on DNA synthesis and cloning to all iGEM Teams, and a team grant opportunity of $3000 for up to 6 teams through a voting contest.

GenScript is a Partner Plus of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

New Blog Post - iGEM in the age of COVID-19: How teams are coping and succeeding

By Jeff Schmerker, IDT

"It’s often been said that iGEM is not easy, iGEM is worth it. And we at IDT believe this is especially true during this time of a pandemic."

IDT is extending FREE custom DNA offer to all teams for 2020!

April 24, 2020

IDT’s partnership with iGEM is entering its seventh consecutive year! This partnership has transformed the way that iGEMers around the world approach synthetic biology, and was a big step towards bringing our vision to life: synthetic biology without DNA manipulation.

We are incredibly thankful for IDT's continued support. For 2020, teams can once again access up to 20 kb FREE custom DNA or equivalent products from IDT.

IDT is a Platinum Partner of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

iGEM 2020: An exceptional year

April 22, 2020

This is not a normal year. Together, we are facing the biggest pandemic in the past 100 years. Based on your feedback, we are adapting the iGEM experience - we have examined each part of the competition to make it even better this year. This is iGEM in the time of a pandemic. It will be different but it will be worth it.See the full announcement here.

Take a look at some of the changes on our "New for 2020" hub, including: Changes to Judging, New iGEM Activities Starting Now, Virtual Giant Jamboree, Changes to Registration, Two-Phase Projects, New Video Deliverables, Safety and Human Practices and COVID-19, and New Resources.

Teams, share your feedback at Ambassador Coffee hours, starting today April 23 until April 28. Please join any call and tell us your feedback! Find a time that works for you.

New Blog Post - Insights from the After iGEM Biosecurity Policy Conference

by Ronit Langer, Ambassador Program Coordinator

The crisis was completely fictional, but the responses necessary for developing clear containment and communication strategies to address that crisis were real. And the insights, knowledge and training shared at that conference are prescient as we face the global COVID-19 pandemic today.

New Blog Post - The 2019 Annual Review

by iGEM HQ

We are pleased to announce the release of the iGEM 2019 Annual Review, which documents the advances, highlights and continued development of iGEM.

"In 2019, iGEM remained the leading pipeline for talent in synthetic biology, inspiring thousands of students to work in teams and use synthetic biology to solve local problems and tackle global challenges."

Ambassador/Team Interviews - Join us for a video call

March 24, 2020

With the day-to-day changes everyone is facing around the world, we are looking for information from our community to help guide some decisions for this year. No one knows your situation better than you. Whether you are a PI, advisor, instructor, student leader, or student member, if you are thinking of participating in the iGEM 2020 Competition, we want to hear from you.

Starting Wednesday, March 25 (tomorrow!) until Tuesday, March 31, our Ambassadors and iGEM Headquarters will be hosting video calls to hear from you and the other teams in your area. Please join any of the calls happening in your region to meet with the rest of the iGEM Community, and tell us about your situation.

See the full announcement here

Application call for iGEM Video & Remote Technology Committee

March 20, 2020

Remote and video participation is becoming a large part of everyone's daily lives. It feels natural to start bringing plans, originally intended for 2021, to reality even sooner. We are working hard on offering a possibility for full remote iGEM participation everywhere - at the Jamboree and during the year, as well as including project videos in the competition.

New member of iGEM HQ, Nemanja, will be launching a Video & Remote Technology committee to work on this. Are you interested in helping bring this new reality to the iGEM Competition? We are looking for members with passion, skills, or experience in: Remote & virtual technology, Video filming & editing, Science Communication, Art & Science. Apply by April 3rd at

Read the full announcement from Nemanja here

Benchling is proud to help iGEM teams innovate faster!

March 19, 2020

We are excited to welcome Benchling as an iGEM Partner for the second year in a row! Benchling is a cloud-based software platform that helps scientists around the world record scientific data, design sequences, and collaborate more efficiently.

As part of our partnership, iGEM 2020 teams can unlock Notebook, Molecular Biology, extra space, and an enterprise feature — all at no cost to iGEM teams. Visit Benchling's Partner Page to unlock this iGEM offer, and join the community of iGEMers already using Benchling:

Benchling is a Partner Sponsor of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

New Blog Post - Hyasynth: A Founder’s Journey from iGEM to Start-up

by Kevin Chen

Hyasynth was founded in 2014 with a set of cofounders who had all participated in iGEM before. Our idea didn’t come from an iGEM project, but our first year of starting up looked a lot like an iGEM project.

Regular Registration Extended to April 30th

March 17, 2020

Due to the continued impact of the novel coronavirus upon our community worldwide, we have decided to extend the deadline for our regular registration rate of $5,500 USD to April 30, 2020, for all of our iGEM teams this year. We hope this will make signing up for the competition easier for everyone. Please read the full message here.

To stay up-to-date, please makes sure that you are subscribed to iGEM Newsletters, or check the 2020 Competition Website for updates.

Stay up-to-date

March 12, 2020

If your university or school is closed due to COVID-19, we will extend our Regular Registration period for your team so your team will not have to pay the late fee. Please read the full message from the Director of the Competition here.

To stay up-to-date, please makes sure that you are subscribed to iGEM Newsletters, or check the 2020 Competition Website for updates

iGEM HQ working remotely

March 12, 2020

Please note that iGEM Headquarters will begin working remotely due to COVID-19, and will not be able to receive phone calls. Please direct questions to the appropriate email:

  • general inquiries: hq AT igem DOT org
  • registration inquiries: registration AT igem DOT org
  • consent form inquiries: documents AT igem DOT org
  • sponsorship inquiries: sponsor AT igem DOT org

Can you help bridge a divide between University Research and High School Science?

March 2, 2020

The National Science Foundation, NSF, is encouraging PI’s of existing awards to apply for supplements through the Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS) to support High School iGEM teams in the United States.

Supplements vary but are expected to average $10,000 per team.

Janet Standeven of the Lambert GA iGEM team is collecting a database of participants to pair partners across the High School/University divide. If you are interested, you are invited to share your contact information. Please see more details here, and contact Janet Standeven at jstandeven [AT] forsythk12 [DOT] org with any questions.

New Blog Post: The iGEM Entrepreneurship Program

by Will Wright

Each year after the iGEM competition comes to a close, the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of iGEM teams continue on – building upon the proofs of concept tested during the competition, turning prototypes into innovative products.

Team Registration for iGEM 2020 is now open!

March 2, 2020

Registration for iGEM 2020 is now open! Visit the Registration page to learn about the registration process, complete the team application (PIs only), and submit your team fee. Register by March 31 to take advantage of the Regular Registration rate of $5,500 USD. Late Registration begins on April 1, with a Late Registration rate of $6,000 USD.

Please visit the Competition/New page for an important message regarding COVID-19 from the Director of the Competition.

New Community Resource - Download the iGEM Slide Library!

February 27, 2020

We have a new resource available for your use - a slide library! This is a resource that you can pull from when creating presentations about iGEM. Whether you are an iGEMer fundraising for your iGEM project, an iGEM alum raising awareness of iGEM, or an iGEM committee member, you are invited to visit our new resource page and download this presentation.

Here you will find a general overview of the iGEM Competition, Giant Jamboree, a brief history of iGEM and a series of project examples in the theme of 'local people solving local problems' and 'tackling global challenges'. We also showcase iGEM's work beyond the competition, highlighting the efforts of iGEM's committees, the success of iGEM startups and After iGEM's work in championing synthetic biology.

Community Bulletin - Are you a new High School iGEM Advisor? Or interested in becoming one?

February 27, 2020

Teacher Biotechnology Bootcamp (TB2), July 21-25, 2020.

Sessions include:

  • Hands-on techniques in wet lab skills- cloning workflow,
  • DNA software editing tools,
  • Nuts and bolts of running a successful iGEM team,
  • Interaction with professionals in the synthetic biology community including iGEM HQ and judges

Location: Lambert High School in Suwanee, GA, USA.

Registration includes: course curriculum, all lab supplies, lunch and snacks daily and an opening night reception, optional tour, t-shirt and binder with protocols.

Click here to learn how you can register for this bootcamp.

Revive & Restore to sponsor 12 iGEM teams with $5500 grants

February 18, 2020

We are excited to welcome Revive & Restore as an iGEM Partner for the first time! Revive & Restore is the leading conservation organization promoting the incorporation of genetic tools into standard conservation practice. For the 2020 Competition, Revive & Restore will award up to 12 grants of $5500 each to teams whose projects are focused on solving a problem in conservation. Check out Revive & Restore's Partner Page on the 2020 Competition Website for more information about this fantastic opportunity for teams:

Revive & Restore is a Partner Sponsor of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

#MakeYourMark with IDT

February 4, 2020

IDT has helped iGEMers make their mark on the synthetic biology industry for the last 6 years. By giving free custom DNA to ALL iGEM teams, we've been taking steps together towards an imagined future: synthetic biology without DNA manipulation.

Thanks IDT for your continued support for iGEM 2020!

IDT is a Partner Sponsor of the iGEM 2020 Competition. Learn more about Sponsorship at iGEM.

Know any great measurement tools for synbio?

We're looking for YOUR suggestions!

January 27, 2020

Past iGEM teams have built, coded and produced great resources for the community, and this year the Measurement Committee is setting out to make these available to everybody!

They want to hear from iGEMers past and present what you’d like the committee to integrate. These could be physical items that iGEM would ship to teams, or digital resources like protocols, tools or videos that are put up on the iGEM website.

Let them know your suggestions by filling out this short survey here:

Note: If you can't access Google Forms, please download the survey here and email your responses to measurement [AT] igem [DOT] org.

Thinking about starting an iGEM team in 2020?

January 15, 2020

Who can be on the team? How many supervisors do we need? Where do I start?? It can all seem daunting at first. Here are some guidelines to help you get started.

iGEM 2019 Announcements

Thank you for making iGEM 2019 possible!

by iGEM HQ

As 2019 draws to a close, all of us at iGEM HQ wish to express our appreciation for the many people who have dedicated their time, work and support in helping advance the use and development of synthetic biology for the benefit of future generations. Read more in our blog post linked below:

Public Relations Toolkit for Teams

Do you want to get your team's amazing achievements into the news, but have no idea where to begin? Check out the iGEM Public Relations (PR) toolkit! The toolkit includes professional advice on how to conduct media outreach, key messages and talking points to draw on, and a "plug and play" template for your announcement pitch and press release.

Tip: the less time between the time of the Jamboree and when you reach out to media, the better! Check out the toolkit now.

New Blog Post: iGEM’s Vision: Imagining the Future

by iGEM HQ

Excerpt: "As the eve of the 2019 Giant Jamboree approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on the continued evolution of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation"

New Blog Post: What is iGEM (part 4) - Birthplace of Innovation

by Linda Kahl, iGEM lead writer

Excerpt: "If you have been following iGEM for a while, you’ve probably already heard about Ginkgo Bioworks, the first synthetic biology company to spin out of iGEM. All five founders – Tom Knight, Reshma Shetty, Jason Kelly, Barry Canton and Austin Che – have roots in iGEM."

New Blog Post: What is iGEM (part 3) - Insights from iGEM's History

by Linda Kahl, iGEM lead writer

Excerpt: "In the first post on “What is iGEM?” I asked you, the readers of the iGEM blog, to share what iGEM means to you ... One of the common themes in the responses received so far is:

iGEM is the pioneering organization of synthetic biology."

Giant Jamboree Registration Now Open

Register now to attend the Giant Jamboree!! Join us at the Hynes Convention Center from October 31-November 4 and experience iGEM in action.

Regular registration will end on August 31 at 11:59PM EDT.
Teams, please note: at least one team member must be registered by this date in order to ensure you have a presentation session at the Giant Jamboree.

New Blog Post: iGEM contributions to international policy processes

By Piers Millett, iGEM Vice President of Safety and Security

The iGEM Blog is Back!

We are excited to announce that the iGEM Blog is officially back, and better than ever! Through the iGEM Blog, we'll be sharing stories from all around the iGEM community.

The first blog post "What is iGEM?" is up now. Our lead writer Linda Kahl wants to hear from YOU - what does iGEM mean to you? Share your perspective for the chance to be featured in future blog posts.

BioRoboost International Workshop on Synthetic Biology: beyond standardization

The chair of iGEM's Measurement Committee, Dr. Jake Beal, spoke today at the BioRoboost meeting in Madrid about "How the iGEM competition is shaping a global SynBio community". The BioRoboost meeting will discuss challenges of biological standardisation, internationalisation, synbio chassis, biosafety and biosecurity over its two day schedule in Madrid, Spain.

See what else we're up to #beyondthecompetition

iGEM teams innovate faster with a free Benchling account!

Benchling is partnering with iGEM for the first time to help iGEM teams accelerate their work! In 2019, all iGEM teams can sign up for FREE Benchling accounts. iGEMers will get special access to an enterprise feature, Benchling Sync, and 10 GB of extra space.

Job Opportunity at iGEM Headquarters

iGEM is hiring a laboratory intern to assist with the iGEM-Twist synthesis pilot program at iGEM Headquarters in Boston, USA. Previous participation in iGEM is required (including students, instructors, judges, or other participants). Visit the iGEM Jobs page below for more information:

iGEMers can count on MathWorks!

MathWorks has shown its unwavering support to iGEM teams since 2008, through their continued generosity of offering complimentary software and technical mentoring of our growing community. For 2019, iGEM teams can continue to count on MathWorks: All teams are eligible to receive a complimentary software kit from MathWorks with 13 free products including MATLAB, SimBiology, Simulink and more!

Even more synthesis for teams

Twist Bioscience is helping change the way iGEMers share in the 2019 Competition. For the first time, teams don't have to ship samples to HQ - Twist Bioscience will synthesize them! In addition, they will offer every team complimentary 10 kb of Gene Fragments in 2019:

Thank you, IDT!

Once again, every iGEM team will receive up to 20kb of free custom DNA or Alt-R® CRISPR Genome Editing products from IDT in 2019! IDT's partnership with iGEM over the last 6 years completely transformed the way that iGEMers around the world do synthetic biology, and was a big step towards bringing our vision to life. We are incredibly thankful for IDT's continued support for iGEM!

GenScript: Making Research Easy for iGEMers

GenScript has been a supporter of the iGEM Competition for 10 years. Apart from offering team grants and discounts, GenScript has been providing critical support to teams in China by shipping the DNA Distribution Kits since 2016. Thank you GenScript for your continued partnership! Learn more about GenScript's team sponsorship opportunity for 2019:

Promega: Supporting the Next Generation of Innovators

Promega believes that mutual advancement can only be achieved by working in harmony. That's why for 2019 Promega is partnering with iGEM, and giving away up to $2000 of free Promega products to 10 iGEM teams. iGEMers can also call Promega's technical support scientists for technical help at any time! Learn more about Promega's offer for teams:

Opentrons to partner with iGEM for second year

We are happy to welcome Opentrons for a second year of partnership with iGEM. Opentrons is empowering iGEMers to collaborate and create reproducible methods through automation. For 2019, Opentrons will continue their giveaway of free OT-2 pipetting robots to 10 iGEM teams. Click below to learn more about Opentrons and what they are offering to teams in 2019.

Our Vision: Focus on Information

We recently announced several exciting changes to the iGEM 2019 Competition. These changes reflect the next step in moving towards our vision of synthetic biology -- one where you don't have to manipulate your DNA and instead can focus on the information, documentation, and characterization of your parts.

We're happy to share this vision with you and we invite you to join us in making it a reality. Read more at

iGEM is going sample submission free and Type IIS is now fully supported

With technologies ever changing, iGEM is changing too. For 2019, we are removing the requirement for teams to submit physical samples of their parts to HQ. We are now accepting parts in the Type IIS standard alongside the usual BioBrick RFC[10] standard. We are also including samples of Type IIS parts in Kit Plate 6 of the DNA Distribution Kit. These combined changes will give teams more flexibility, and allow teams to be closer to the cutting edge than ever before.

iGEM in The Economist

The Economist journalist, Oliver Morton, attended the iGEM 2018 Giant Jamboree. His subsequent piece titled, 'The engineering of living organisms could soon start changing everything' came out in the Economist this spring.

Read about iGEM in the Economist

What's trending in iGEM?

What is the most popular competition track? How many teams work in chassis other than E. coli? What are the most important research trends in iGEM?

Get answers to these questions and many more in the newly published iGEM 2018 Annual Report.

Team Registration Still Open!

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here! Team registration for the 2019 Competition is now officially open. Visit the registration information page for instructions, including information about deadlines, fees, and other materials you'll need to register your team.

Regular registration ended on March 31, but Late registration is open through May!

Apply to Join the iGEM Diversity Committee

The iGEM Diversity Committee is looking for new members in 2019!

Our committee works to make iGEM as inclusive as possible for people from all different backgrounds. For more information about our committee, please visit the Diversity Committee page.

If you are interested in joining us, please share with us your ideas about the role that the diversity committee should have within iGEM, as well as some ideas for how our committee could improve the diversity of iGEM in the upcoming years.

You can contact us at: diversity [AT] igem [DOT] org. Applications close February 20, 2019.

iGEM in Genesis 2.0

What do woolly mammoth hunters, iGEM, George Church, and dog cloning have in common? For the first time, they appear together in a full-length award-winning documentary: Genesis 2.0.

The film touches on topics that have always surrounded genetic technologies, (including ethics, economic standing, 'playing god') and is bound to draw mixed reactions both from the public and within the iGEM community. We want to know what you think of the film. What human practices issues do you see reflected on in the film? What issues should the film have addressed? How would you engage around such issues? Join the conversation:

Through our Human Practices program, iGEM has always encouraged not just discussion and reflection, but integration of ethical considerations to the entire practice of synthetic biology. Learn more about Human Practices at iGEM.

Were you at #iGEM2016?

On the lighter side: If you were at the 2016 Giant Jamboree, you might find yourself in this film! Oscar Nominated director Christian Frei attended the Giant Jamboree with George Church.

- Find a Screening: The film was released this week and is currently playing at the IFC Center in New York, and will be coming to Los Angeles soon. Find a screening here.
- Watch the Trailer: Find yourself in the trailer for Genesis 2.0 here.

Posted: January 3, 2019

Announcing The Thomas F. Knight Matching Fund

You may be surprised to hear that 90% of iGEM’s funding comes from the Competition. While that allows us to run the Competition, it does not support expansion or new programs. We want to do more: We have the vision, and we need your help to see it through.

We ask you now for your help to take iGEM to the next level. iGEM visionary and synthetic biology pioneer Tom Knight has already pledged his support, and today we are delighted to announce the creation of the Thomas F. Knight Matching Fund.

This is the first time iGEM has raised money with the help of a matching fund, and we would like to invite you to take this rare chance to double your impact if you donate by December 31, 2018. Learn more.

iGEM Statement on Gene Editing

In light of the recent news out of the International Summit on Human Genome Editing, we wanted to share our perspective as a leading organization in the synthetic biology industry.
Read iGEM's Statement on Gene Editing.

Get ready for iGEM 2019

Start forming your team now!

The Giant Jamboree dates for 2019 are finalized. Get ready to start your 2019 team!

IDT Renews Synthesis Sponsorship

Teams Continue to Live in the Future with Help from IDT

With many thanks to IDT, we are excited to continue working with them to allow teams to live in the future that we all envision -- synthesis. IDT has given 20,000 bases of FREE DNA to all teams competing in iGEM and have renewed their support for the 2019 season. Thank you, IDT!

iGEM 2018 Announcements

iGEM 2018 is Over

340 Competition Teams Present Their Projects and Experience the Giant Jamboree

Winners include Valencia, Spain, Marburg, Germany, and Shenzhen, China. View the official press release. For the full list of results and a recap of of the season at

New Partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Gives Back to Their Roots on Their 10th Anniversary

We are excited to announce today a new partnership between Ginkgo Bioworks and iGEM! Ginkgo’s five co-founders have a long history with iGEM. After participating in iGEM’s early days, Ginkgo was founded in 2008. Ten years later, they are excited to give back to their roots and seed the next generation of leadership in synthetic biology.

As lead partners, Ginkgo and iGEM are delighted to formalize a relationship that began so long ago.

See the press release here.

IDT Special Announcement for iGEM teams

All participating iGEM 2018 Teams are offered 20 kb of FREE custom DNA or Alt-R® CRISPR Genome Editing products.

For the 3rd year in a row, IDT is partnering with iGEM to provide iGEM teams with unprecedented access to DNA synthesis, in a collaboration valued at over $1,000,000 USD. Cost is no longer a limiting factor in your synthesis needs. Teams can now live in the future of synthetic biology: focusing on project design and characterization instead of cost. IDT will provide all registered iGEM teams with 20 kb of DNA synthesis in the form of gBlocks® Gene Fragments, free of charge!

For the first time ever, IDT will also include CRISPR Genome Editing products in the offer.

Learn more about IDT's offer.

Promega & iGEM

A new iGEM Partner sponsor of iGEM 2018

Promega believes that mutual advancement can only be achieved by working in harmony and that the best benefits we receive come from the prosperity of our communities. For Promega, and for iGEM, this often means fostering education and advancement of the next generation of scientists and innovators – all of you iGEMers.

Learn more about Promega's sponsorship and Team Grant opportunity for iGEM 2018 teams.

MathWorks and iGEM

Celebrating 10 years of supporting iGEM

From 90 teams in 2008 to over 300 in 2017, MathWorks has shown its unwavering support to iGEM teams, through their continued generosity of offering complimentary software and technical mentoring of our growing community.

Learn more about MathWorks sponsorship and free MATLAB license for iGEM 2018 teams.

Welcome to iGEM 2018

Build a better world by participating in iGEM 2018

The iGEM 2018 competition season is official open! Visit for all competition related details, news, and announcements. To learn more about competition requirements and team registration, visit

For registration deadlines and details click here

Join After iGEM

We are proud to anounce the launch of After iGEM. Be a part of iGEM beyond the competition and join at

iGEM 2018

Coming Soon! Check back often for more on iGEM 2018. To learn more about the competition and see work from the completed season, visit the iGEM 2017 competition page.

iGEM 2017 Competition Results

Teams from Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Taiwan earned top recognition as 310 student-led teams from 44 countries took part in the iGEM Competition. View our official press release. Make sure to visit the results page for the complete list of winners.

iGEM 2017 Announcements

EXHIBIT at the Giant Jamboree

Exhibitor opportunities include:

Exhibitor Booth: An amazing opportunity for our attendees to get to know you and for you to meet with the 3,000 members of our synthetic biology community, comprised of academics and experts from around the globe.
Career Fair: Recruit for open position or graduate programs.As part of the iGEM 2017 Giant Jamboree weekend, iGEM is hosting a career fair event to help connect leaders in industry and academia with the synthetic biology community.
Register before August 25, 2017 and be recognized in the event booklet!

REGISTER Early for the Jamboree and Avoid Late Fees
The Giant Jamboree is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend and celebrate the achievements of our remarkable teams. Be among leaders and join 3,000 attendees from academia and industry. Uncover trends & innovations as top institutions showcase their projects. Register before August 31, 2017 and avoid late fees!

NOTE: All iGEM 2017 teams must register and pay to attend the Giant Jamboree by the August 31 deadline. By registering to attend, you secure your team presentation slot and poster slot at the Giant Jamboree. If your team does not register to attend, we will assume that you will not be attending the Giant Jamboree and your team will not receive an assignment.

Introducing iGEMeta
iGEMeta is an initiative to bring together the iGEM community through data. Through iGEM's history, the competition has generated about 2,000 projects, from over 40 countries which the help of 30,000 participants. This immense amount of work and data generated by our community can now be viewed through the sophisticated analysis from Just One Giant Lab (JoGL)
Through iGEMeta we reflect upon the achievements of the past and draw conclusions to improve the competition and synthetic biology. We hope that our efforts highlight the best of iGEM and capture the scale of what our community can and has already done. Map team progress by visiting iGEMeta.
See how wiki edits impact team performance by viewing a 'waterfall' image, heat map of team behavior and collaboration diagram.

ATTEND the Giant Jamboree

The Giant Jamboree is an annual event that showcases work from the iGEM Competition. All iGEM teams are invited to present their synthetic biology projects and compete for prizes. This year 310 international, multidisciplinary teams (at the university and high school level) are participating in the iGEM competition and are eager to share and celebrate their work. The event takes place on November 9-13 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, USA.

30% OFF SynBioBeta events - Offer Open to ALL iGEMers
Interested in attending the next SynBioBeta event? SynBioBeta San Francisco will be held on October 3-5, 2017 and all iGEMers (past and current participants) qualify for a 30% discount off their attendance fee. Learn more about this offer (and all Partner Special Offers) by visiting: page.

Giant Jamboree VOLUNTEERS
The iGEM 2017 Giant Jamboree will be from Thursday November 9 to Monday November 13 in the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and we're looking for volunteers to help with the event! Join us and see iGEM behind the scenes.

310 Teams are Participating in iGEM 2017!

See where all the teams are from by accessing the interactive Google map below.

Apply to JUDGE the iGEM Competition!
We are looking for talented and enthusiastic people to apply to judge teams at the iGEM 2017 Giant Jamboree. Last year, we had about 150 volunteer judges from many different disciplines, from all over the world to evaluate our 300 teams. Apply by June 30th!

iGEM speaking at SB7.0 in Singapore
iGEM is attending the 7th international meeting on Synthetic Biology on June 13 - 16 in Singapore. Make sure to stop by and say hello at our exhibitor booth and come hear iGEM's talks.

  • Meagan Lizarazo, iGEM Vice President, will be a speaker in the 'Sharing & Education' session on June 15 at 1:30p - 3:30p
  • Piers Millett, Director of iGEM Safety & Security, will be a speaker in the 'Security' session on June 15 at 11:00a - 12:30p
  • Megan Palmer, Director of Human Practices, will be a speaker in the 'Security' session on June 15 at 11:00a - 12:30p

iGEM speaking at SynBioBeta London
iGEM will participate in the 'World Showcase' Lighning talk on Tuesday April 4th. Attending the event? Make sure to stop by and say hello at our exhibitor booth. Meagan Lizarazo, iGEM Vice President, will be joining industry leaders on April 4th at the Session1: Lightning Talks, World Showcase. Come and learn what's new with iGEM and make sure to stop at our booth for some tasty treats!

iGEM Strategy Retreat: Engaging the Community
iGEM hosted its first global strategy meeting in Granada, Spain in February, 2017. Over 20 leading experts in synthetic biology from Europe, North America, and Asia joined iGEM headquarters for this inaugural meeting.

With the goal of understanding regional dynamics, all participants were invited to discuss their experiences and views about iGEM and synthetic biology overall. The meeting also focused on enhancing the iGEM community experience beyond that of the competition and the Giant Jamboree. Look for more details on community engagement activities in the upcoming months as we prepare to introduce a new program for 2017 and beyond!

To learn more about what was discussed visit

iGEM Safety & Security Retreat: Engaging the Community
In February 2017, iGEM held it's first Safety and Security Retreat. The meeting brought together experts from around the world, and looked at both emerging issues that could challenge safety and security in synthetic biology and what iGEM might need to do to address them.

Efforts at the meeting were expert-led, drawing upon the collective knowledge present to help identify issues iGEM will need to deal with in the shorter-term and those we will need to consider in the years to come. This meeting was the first in a series of planned events on safety and security.

To learn more about what was discussed visit the here and remember to check out the Safety Hub for competition related details.

iGEM's ground breaking work on safety and security was showcased at SXSW on March 15th. A panel arguing that it was time for a security update for biotechnology saw iGEM's work in this area being highlighted as how to effectively build a security culture and laying the foundations for more sustainable, scalable, security solutions. The panel included current or former iGEM track and committee chairs in software, human practices and safety and security.

Learn more by visiting: Biotechnology Needs a Security Update

Sponsor iGEM and Show your SUPPORT to Teams
Not a team member, no problem! Become a Partner and support teams and the iGEM Program. Have the next iGEM project be on your focus area with our Partner Innovation Proposals or have your product or service be integral to their work by offering Partner Special Offers

Become a Mentor and help current teams navigate through iGEM. Give advice and share your experiences and lessons learned with teams new to iGEM.

Team Registration for iGEM 2017 is OPEN!
We look forward to welcoming you to iGEM 2017! To register you team just have your team PI create an user account, complete the team application and submit the team registration fee.

Are you a High School team or Community Lab team? Please see your additional team registration materials.

Avoid late fees and register your team before March 31, 2017

Check out the 2017 Competition Hub to learn about iGEM 2017! Here you'll find details about Team Requirements, Registration, Rules of Conduct, Required Deliverables, Track Selection, and Positive Contribution. All team members should read through everything on the Competition Hub before kicking off your iGEM project!

iGEM PLOS Online Peer Review Jamboree
On the 28th of January, iGEM, PLOS and Breezio hosted the first online Peer-Review Jamboree for iGEM 2016 projects. Twenty-two teams submitted high quality manuscripts through the Breezio online platform to be considered for review in PLOS Collections. 73 users from 17 countries left almost four hundred comments for the authors of the articles.

Please see our PLOS iGEM Collaboration page for more information about the event, links to papers and instructions on next steps for authors.

iGEM speaks at United Nations Biodiversity Conference​
This past December Meagan Lizarazo, iGEM Vice President, made a statement in support of synthetic biology at the United Nations BioDiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico. iGEM headquarter staff, along with 5 iGEM delegates, participated in the event, joining over 7,000 participants from 170 countries and over 400 organizations as they came together to address biodiversity on a global scale. For more on the conference and iGEM's participation visit us at:

Welcome to
iGEM is excited to announce the launch of the iGEM 2017 competition website! will be your key resource for all competition related details and announcements. Visit this page often for news and updates. To get started, learn about competition requirements and registration by visiting Major deadlines have been posted! See the competition calendar for details on when things are due by visiting: ​

Partner Offer: iGEMers receive 30% off SynBioBeta Event Registration
A special discount offer is available for the iGEM community. Both past and present iGEM participants can attend SynBioBeta London (April 4-6) and SynBioBeta San Francisco (October 3-5) at a discounted price. To learn more about SynBioBeta and receive your 30% discount code click here.

iGEM 2017 announces Partner Sponsor & Special Offers
We are proud to announce our Partner Sponsors & Special Offers for iGEM 2017. We welcoming back IDT's free custom DNA offer, Mathwork's free software kit (includes 12 products!) and Agilent's free SureVector kit. Visit the Partner's page to learn more and make sure to check back often for the latest updates.

New to iGEM? Not sure what to expect?
Experience iGEM by looking back at the completed season. Visit the official iGEM 2016 Giant Jamboree photo library or watch the wrap up video of event highlights here.

iGEM in the News!
Hear what others are saying about iGEM. Visit the iGEM in the News page for a growing list of articles and videos.

iGEM 2016 Announcements

Giant Jamboree Accommodations: Sheraton Hotel Room block sold out
Attention all iGEM Teams: The Sheraton Hotel room block is sold out.Please see the Giant Jamboree Accommodations page for additional suggestions for nearby hotels.

Looking for iGEM Delegates
iGEM Headquarters is preparing to participate in Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13). In this event, delegates from all over the world will discuss synthetic biology and its research. iGEM is looking for enthusiastic candidates who would like to join us for this conference. Visit COPMOP page to apply.

iGEM HQ speaking at SynBioBeta SF 2016!

Exhibitor Opportunities at the Giant Jamboree!
Event Exhibitor: Meet with todays brightest young minds and experts in synthetic biology.
Career Fair Exhibitor: As part of the iGEM 2016 Giant Jamboree weekend, iGEM is hosting a career fair event on Sunday October 30 to foster relationships within the synthetic biology community. This unique opportunity offers top employers a chance to meet with iGEM participants and discuss career opportunities.

The event takes place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, USA.
Become an exhibitor by contacting us at hq AT igem DOT org or visit Giant Jamboree event page to learn more.

Workshops at the Giant Jamboree!
In addition to the main portion of the Jamboree which is the team presentations and posters, we will be offering workshop sessions on the latest opportunities, trends and advancements in synthetic biology. Visit our event page to learn more.

Giant Jamboree Registration!
Join us at the iGEM 2016 Giant Jamboree, an annual event that showcases work from the iGEM season. All iGEM teams are invited to present their synthetic biology projects and compete for prizes. This year iGEM will host over 275 international, multidisciplinary teams who are eager to share and celebrate their work. The event takes place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, USA.
To register, please see Giant Jamboree Registration.

Get ready for iGEM 2016! Be sure to read the requirements for participation, and see the Resources page for helpful information as you build your team and gather resources for participation.

Interested in joining the judging team for iGEM 2016? You can sign up to be notified when the judging application is open!