Learn how to be safe in synthetic biology!

Requirements for Teams


Some organisms and parts present risks beyond what is ordinary for lab work in synthetic biology. As your project progresses, you should consider the risks presented by each organism and part you plan to use. The White List can help you with this.

Before you acquire or use any organism/part that is NOT on the White List, you must submit a Check-In. Check-Ins allow the iGEM Safety Committee to help you ensure that you will work safely with these riskier organisms/parts.

Go to the Check-Ins form

"About Our Lab" Questionnaire — Due Date: July 15 2016

This is a short questionnaire about the laboratory where you will work on your project.

Go to the About Our Lab form

"About Our Project" Questionnaire — Due Date: July 15 2016 & update when your primary project idea changes

This is a short questionnaire about your primary project idea. Its main purpose is to encourage you to think about the safety of your project as a whole, rather than focusing narrowly on individual parts. It can also help you think about future applications of your project, and what safety health environmental issues would be important to consider.

You should complete the "About Our Project" questionnaire, and then revise it if you choose a new primary project idea.

Go to the About Our Project form

Final Safety Form — Due Date: September 16 2016

The Final Safety Form is a more comprehensive review of your project, and it must be signed by an Instructor or Primary Contact of your team.

Go to the Final Safety Form


General rules and advice for working in and outside the lab.

Risk Groups

iGEM teams should use BL1 organisms, you are not allowed to work with BL3 or BL4 organisms.

White List

List of allowed organisms and organisms that require teams to contact HQ.

Do not Release

iGEM teams should not release any genetically modified organisms outside the lab.


Email safety AT igem DOT org any time, with any questions you might have!