iGEM 2021 has wrapped up. To learn about the team and project this year: click here.

iGEM is currently managed by the BioMakers student group.
For information about joining iGEM 2022, please visit the
BioMakers website.

Questions? Contact 'igem-management' at mit dot edu


What is iGEM?
Key Dates
How to Apply?
Frequently Asked Questions

What is iGEM? 

iGEM: Program cells with DNA!

  •  Are you a biologist looking for a new way to think about bioengineering?
  •  Are you an engineer to wants to explore programming cells like you program a computer?
  •  Are you a science communicator who's passionate about bringing cutting-edge science to the public?
  •  Are you a policy wonk who's interested in the intersection of genetically modified organisms and society?

Past MIT iGEM teams have done really cool things. Go check out their websites!

  • 2013 - Cell-to-cell communication using virus-like particles called exosomes.
  • 2014 - Alzheimers disease diagnostics and therapy
  • 2015 - Consolidated bioprocessing using two different bacteria to make biofuels
  • 2016 - Diagnosing endometriosis using newly characterized parts from mammalian synthetic biology
  • 2017 - Using dCas13a to control alternative splicing in mammalian cells
  • 2018 - CREST: Carries Reduction via Engineered Signal Transduction

iGEM is the most authentic research experience you can get without going to graduate school.

  •  Choose your own project.  Don't have it handed to you bu a graduate student who needs another pair of hands.
  •  Design your own experiments. Goodbye, cookbook labs.
  •  Execute them in a cutting-edge research lab. From laser-driven microscopes to liquid-handling robots, we have all the toys. And we're willing to share!
  •  Analyze your own results. The "a-hah!" moment from seeing something nobody else has ever seen? It's the best high ever.
  •  Communicate them with the world. The iGEM Jamboree is the biggest synthetic biology conference of the year, and everybody is there.

MIT iGEM is a committment.

  •  Spring UROP (for credit): Acquire lab skills as you start working on your project!
    • 2-3 hours, twice a week (at least one on the weekends)
    • Skills include gene circuit design, DNA assembly, mammalian tissue culture, instrumentation
  • Summer UROP (for pay!): Do most of the work on your project!
    • Full-time (40 hrs/wk) for 10-12 weeks, tracking the MIT summer term.
  • Sept -- Oct: Finishing touches, get ready for the Jamboree
    • The Jamboree is Fall 2022 in Paris and Virtual.
    • The team presents a public website, a poster and a 20-minute talk
    • Getting them ready takes time!  We'll work with the BE Communications Lab to help get you ready.
  • Note: if you are interested but have a conflict with one of these, contact us and we'll work something out

Key Dates

  • TBD, 2021 -- applications for iGEM are DUE 
  • March 2022 -- May 2022 -- Spring semester. Meet weekly
  • Monday, TBD June 2022 -- The first day of summer iGEM.
  • Friday, TBD August 2022 -- The last day of summer iGEM. (You don't have to go home if you don't want to....)
  • November 2022 -- iGEM International Jamboree. 

How to Apply

Please visit the BioMakers website for current information on the iGEM team!

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm doing an internship at Novartis this summer. Can I still participate?

Unfortunately, past experience has shown that people who try to split their time in the summer between iGEM and other things do a poor job at both of them. We're happy to work around other committments in IAP, spring and fall semesters; but when you're here over the summer (and we're paying you!), we want you focused on iGEM.

I'm not a biologist (Course 7) or biological engineer (Course 20). Can I still participate?

Yes! We'll teach you everything you need to know about designing systems, manipulating DNA, putting your gene circuits in cells and testing them out. If you're not a big fan of lab work, we want you too -- computer models, policy analysis, public outreach -- it's not all just pipetting.

I have a wedding in July I'd like to attend. Can I still participate?

Yes! We're not planning on chaining you to the lab bench.

I'm not an MIT student, can I still participate?

Yes! Unfortunately, we can't pay you a stipend over the summer; but past teams have included exceptional highschool students, seniors the summer after they graduate, and students from other programs such as Amgen Scholars and NSF UROPs.

I have another question that's not answered here.

Check out the updated information on the BioMakers website or shoot us an email at igem-management at mit dot edu and we'll get you sorted.