The iGEM Competition

Every year, an iGEM Eindhoven student team participates in the International Genetic Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

The iGEM competition was organized for the first time in 2003 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The aim was to encourage students to try to solve real-world problems using genetically engineered organisms. It has grown enormously over the years and is now the largest synthetic biology competition, with more than 360 teams participating from all over the world yearly

Since 2012, Eindhoven University of Technology participates in the iGEM competition. Each year, a new student team starts with their own research project. With support from the academic staff of the Institute of Complex Molecular Systems, the Eindhoven teams have accomplished interesting results and even won prizes for Best New Application and Best Innovation in Measurement. 

The iGEM year

The iGEM year consists of three sections: 1. Team formation, brainstorming and project planning 2. Lab work and data analysis 3. Jamboree preparation. Each section is linked to a relative time period. How long each time period exactly is, is up to the teams to determine.

In iGEM, students are the head scientist of their project. This means that the students brainstorming can go in any direction they wish. Of course, they are free to ask senior scientists for help and guidance along the way.

Once the project is formed, the background is researched and sponsoring for your project is funded, the next phase can begin: The lab work. This phase is usually done in the summer months, i.e. the summer holidays of most students.

After the summer months, all the teams work has to be presented on the teams wiki page.  This is where the team will be judged upon – So, if it’s not on the wiki, it didn’t happen! Next to the wiki, the poster and oral presentations have to be prepared and practiced for the Giant Jamboree. Every team gets the chance to give an oral presentation in front of the jury and the other teams and a poster presentation off-stage.

The iGEM competition is held yearly, with this coming years Giant Jamboree being held in Paris. The Giant Jamboree is the grand finale, where all teams will present their work and hope to win awards and medals in the many different categories.

For more information also see the iGEM main page.