Resources/Start A Team

There are several things you need to consider before starting a team; here are some guidelines to 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!

1. Read the Requirements

There are 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 detailed requirements on our 2016 requirements page.

2. Plan how to fund your Team

Covering the costs of the competition can be done from help from different sources. You can read funding tips on the Funding page.

3. Quick Team FAQ

iGEM teams are very flexible!

How many schools?

Two or more schools can get together to form a single team. This allows a team to combine different backgrounds and talents to enrich the overall project.

How many students?

There is no limit on the number of students in an iGEM team. However we recommend creating a team of around 8 -15 people with different backgrounds who can enrich the team.

Age restriction?

There is no age restriction for participating in iGEM. However, be aware of the requirements for the undergraduate, overgraduate, and high school sections.

How many Instructors?

You need at least two instructors to be part of your team, and one of them must be a faculty member. For high school teams, one of your instructors must be a high school teacher.

4. Fees to consider

Registration will open at the beginning of February.

There are two main fees to be submitted.

More information can be found on the Fee page.

The Team Registration Fee
$4500 USD

In order to participate in iGEM 2016, a general team registration fee must be submitted.

The Jamboree Attendance Fee
$695 USD

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 the entire team to attend.

5. 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.
Your team may want to start setting up dedicated lab space for your team this year and in future years.

See if the department has free lab space.
Make sure that in addition to benches and equipment, you also have a space for meetings, relaxing, eating, sleeping, etc.

6. 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.


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 complete wiki requirements are on this page.


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 presentation guidelines page for more information.


Also, your team will need to create a poster in which you summarize your work. There are a few poster guidelines, which are fully explained on this page.

7. Registry and Part Submission

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

The Registry of Standard Biological Parts is another tool which teams can use to 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.

Teams need to submit the parts they have developed to the iGEM Registry.
Part submission requirements and shipping details will be available later in the season.

8. Find Inspiration

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

The best way to see what the next months will have in store for your team is to look at other projects. You can take a look at team wikis from previous years here or you can read the 2015 annual review at this link.

9. Resources and Further Reading

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