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iGEM 2016 recruiting is open! The deadline to apply is Friday December 11th at 11:59!

Info sessions have been scheduled! We'll be holding them Thursday November 12th at 8 PM in 56-614 and Thursday November 19th at 8 PM in 56-180. There will be pizza!

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

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.

  •  IAP: Get your feet wet in synthetic biology, and choose a project!
    •  Mornings: seminars and workshops on synthetic biology, interesting problems, molecular biology techniques, etc.
    •  Afternoons: laboratory "boot camp" + work towards choosing and refining a project.
    •  Preliminary schedule: Thurs, Jan 7 --> Tues, Jan 26
    •  Preliminary time: 11 AM - 3 PM (depends on students' schedules.)
  • 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 October 27 - 31 in Boston.
    • 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

How to Apply

Please send the following to igem-2016-applications at mit dot edu by Friday December 11th at 11:59 PM.

  • Your resume, which should include relevant coursework and research experience
  • A list of any other commitments you've made for IAP and the summer
  • ~250 works describing why you're generally interested in synthetic biology and iGEM
  • ~250 words describing a project you think would be appropriate and exciting for iGEM. You can look at previous iGEM projects for inspiration and to get a sense of the typical scope. Here's a link to the 2015 teams that won awards.
  • ~100 words on some other (non-science) skills you can contribute to the team. Do you do graphic design? Are you an organizational whiz? An epic fundraiser? An extraordinary webmaster?

If possible, please send your application as a single PDF (or two, if your resume is separate).

Frequently Asked Questions

I am going to France over IAP; can I still participate?

Yes! We understand that there are many opportunities available to an undergraduate at MIT, and we want you to take advantage of as many of them as you can fit in. We need to know up-front, and we'd like to try to keep you looped in as much as possible, especially as we settle on a project for the year.

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'm 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.

Shoot us an email at igem-2016-applications at mit dot edu and we'll get you sorted.