Start A Team


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Please note that all information on this page is in a draft version. Please check back often for details.


There are several things you need to consider before starting a team; here we have a few guidelines that can help you get started.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact iGEM Headquarters for more information, we will be happy to hear from you!


There are few general requirements that you must follow in order to take part in iGEM. There are also specific requirements depending on which track you wish to participate in.

You can read the whole list on our 2014 requirements page

Team Members

iGEM teams are very flexible!

  • Two or more Universities can get together to form a single team. This allows a team to combine different backgrounds and talents to enrich the overall project.
  • There is no limit on the number of students in an iGEM team. However we recommend creating a team of around 10 -15 people with different backgrounds who can enrich the team.
  • There is no age restriction for participating in iGEM. Teams are divided in two competition sections:
    • If all student members are 23 and younger (as of the 31st of March 2014), the team will compete in the undergrad section.
    • If one or more is above the age 23 (as of the 31st of March 2014), the team belongs in the overgrad section.
  • You need at least two instructors to be part of your team, and one of them should be a faculty member.

Registration and Fees

Registration is now open and close on May 1, 2014.

There are two main fees to be submitted.

  • The Team Registration Fee
    In order to participate in iGEM 2014, a general team registration fee must be submitted. This year, we are offering a discount fee for early registration. Please read the team registration fee page for details.
  • The Jamboree Attendance Fee
    This fee is paid by each individual team member who wishes to attend the Giant Jamboree. The whole team is encouraged to come. However, it is not a requirement for all of them to attend.
    The attendance fee is $750 per attendee. More information will available on the attendance fee page

Funding your Team

Covering the costs of the competition can be done from help from different sources. You can the check out the different funding opportunities available all around the world, and see other tips on the Funding How-To page.

Finding Space

Teams need a space in which to work during the summer.

You may want to:

  • Ask your instructors if they have lab space over the summer
  • See if the department has free lab space
  • Your team may want to start setting up dedicated lab space for your team this year and in future years.
  • Make sure that in addition to benches and equipment, you also have a space for meetings, hanging out, eating, sleeping, etc.

Some funding opportunities can provide you with lab space, you can read more here.

Documenting your Project

In order for judges to evaluate your project you will need to document what you have worked on. There are three main places where your work must to be recorded.

  • 1.Wiki
    You will be provided with a blank online webpage with your team’s name: your team wiki. You will need to document your project on this page. The full wiki requirements are on this page.
  • 2.Presentation
    At the end of the summer, you will need to explain your project in a 20 minute presentation at the Giant Jamboree. The structure of this is flexible; you can look at other team’s presentations or read the guidelines page for more information.
  • 3.Poster
    Also, your team will need to create a poster in which you summarize your work. There are a few poster requirements, which are fully explained on this page.

Registry and Part Submission

One of the main aspects of the iGEM Competiton is the Parts registry. Teams are provided with a distribution kit, which contains and array of standard biological parts.Teams use these parts to start their projects and develop their own standard parts.

The open source registry is another tool in which teams can look for specific parts to complement their designs. These parts can be requested from iGEM and will be shipped to your team. You can browse the registry catalogue on this link.

Teams need to submit the parts they have developed to the iGEM registry. The full part submission requirements and shipping details can be found on this page.

Find Inspiration

Be prepared to work hard and have lots of fun! IGEM is not an easy but it is worth it!

The best way to see what the next months ahead will have in store for your team is to look at other projects. You can take a look at wikis from previous years here or you can read the 2013 annual review at this link. We also have a collection of media articles on iGEM projects here.

Resources and Further Reading

If you wish to read more about running a successful iGEM team you can click on the links bellow.

Note- If you wish to submit your advice or other resources that might be helpful for future teams, please send us an email to hq at igem dot org.