Registration Handbook for 2018

Below is the handbook for registering for iGEM 2018. This includes information on setting up user accounts, applying for a team, and managing the team page. Please take a look through this information carefully. If you have any questions, please email us at igem AT hq DOT com.

User Accounts

The first step in the entire iGEM registration process is to create a user account for yourself. Everyone must have a user account - PIs, instructors, students, advisors, and anyone else on the team. You will need an user account In order to:

It is extremely important that you have a user account!

In order to create an account, go to the create an account page by clicking on "Log in/create an account" in the upper right corner. It will look like the following image:

When you're creating your user account, you will be asked for TWO names: your real name and your user name. Your user name will only be used to log in to iGEM and the Registry. Your real name will be used for everything else - including keeping track of edits that you make, attributing credit to anything that you have done, and any other presence that you have on iGEM and the Registry. Your user/login name can be anything that you want but your real name must take the form [first name] [last name]. At this time, we can only accept characters A-Z and numbers 0-9. We unfortunately cannot accept any special characters yet.

When you create an account you will be asked for the school or organization you are affiliated with. This is NOT the name of the iGEM team you are on. This is the school that you attend or the organization that you are with. Once you have created a user account, you will automatically have a user page.

If you ever forget your user name or your password, you can come back to the login page:

  • If you forget your user name, you can search for it with your real name.
  • If you forget your password, you can enter your user name and a new password can be emailed to you.

Team Accounts

In order to participate in iGEM, you must first apply for and then register your team. You must be a team PI in order to register a team - student members are not allowed to register a team.

If you are a team PI, keep reading these instructions. If you are a student, you can continue reading or skip to the section below called iGEM team: registration/roster.

Team Names

The first component of a team application is the team name. The team name may be the name of the school which you attend, or the city in which the school is located. A team name must follow these rules:

  • be LESS THAN 20 characters (including letters, and underscore/hyphen)
  • only contain letters A-Z
  • can contain underscore (_) or hyphen (-)
  • cannot contain spaces
  • cannot include the words iGEM, team, or synthetic biology
  • cannot include the team's project name
  • cannot include sponsors

For examples of team names, please see the 2017 team list.

Team Composition and Team Section

There are different roles on an iGEM team - PIs, instructors, students, and advisors. Please note: A 2018 iGEM team must have at least two PIs. One of these instructors MUST be a faculty member or staff member. For high school teams, one of the instructors must be a high school teacher. The team's primary and secondary PIs will serve as the official points of contact for iGEM Headquarters; both PIs must be able to receive emails / phone calls from iGEM HQ and respond promptly. For more information about team roles, see the Team Roles page.

Students typically make up the majority of a team roster. To allow more individuals from different educational levels to participate in iGEM, there are now three sections in the competition. Teams are placed in the undergraduate, overgraduate, or high school section depending on the ages of their student team members:

  1. Undergraduate teams have student team members who are 23 or younger as of March 31, 2018
    On these teams, team members who are older than 23 can serve as instructors or advisors.
  2. Overgraduate teams have student team members who are older than 23 as of March 31, 2018
  3. High School teams have only student team members are high school students on March 31, 2018; includes students who graduate from high school spring 2018

Regardless of section, the student team members must be the ones actually doing the majority of the labwork. Any work not done by iGEM student team members must be clearly attributed to whomever conducted the work and this will be taken into consideration during judging.

In addition to team instructors and students, there are some auxiliary roles on an iGEM team. These could be advisors, sponsors, part time support from other professors, industry liaisons, etc.

Lastly, an iGEM team can represent more than one school, and can be comprised of members from one or more schools. In addition, one school can have more than one iGEM team. It is not unusual for a school to have both a traditional wetlab iGEM team as well as a software tools/entrepreneurship team.

Applying for a Team

As indicated above, only team PIs can apply for and register an iGEM team. To do so, you should have already obtained a user account. If you have not already done so, please return to the create an account page.

Once you are logged in with your user name, go to the iGEM Team Application page and you can begin applying for your team. You will need to have the following information:

  • team name (see requirements above)
  • shipping information (to receive your DNA distribution)
  • primary PI information (including email address and phone number)
  • secondary PI information (including email address and phone number)
  • primary student contact information (email address, phone number) -- optional
  • resource description details (including PI/instructor names, laboratory space information, team composition (if available), financial resources information)

Once you have filled in all the necessary information, you can submit your application. Note that this is an application - your information will be sent to iGEM Headquarters (HQ) and we will review it and either accept it or contact you for more details. This is a manual process, not automatic, so it may take a day or two! We will be as efficient as possible when it comes to accepting iGEM team applications.

Team Region

The region (Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America) that your team will be participating in will be automatically selected based on the address information entered when completing the team application.

However, please note that in 2018 there are no Regional Jamborees; all teams will be competing at the iGEM 2018 Giant Jamboree.

Adding a Secondary PI

To add a secondary PI, the primary PI must add the user to the team roster. To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. First, make sure the secondary PI has a user account.
  2. Log in to
  3. Go to the Team List and click on your team name.
  4. Halfway down your Team Information page, in the Controlling Team Membership box, click on Add A Member.
  5. Search for the user you want to add using their full name, not user name.

Alternatively, the secondary PI can join the team using the Join A Team page.

See the Team Requirements page for details on why teams need to have both a primary and secondary PI.

Since HS rosters are controlled by iGEM HQ -- see below -- HS secondary PIs cannot be added by the primary PI. Instead, secondary PIs must join the team directly using the Join A Team page.

Managing Team Roster

The team roster can be built up in three ways:

  1. The team PIs (except HS PIs; see below) will receive a team registration code that they can provide to team members. Team members can then create user accounts and add themselves to the team roster with the registration code by joining the team at
  2. When team members create their user accounts, they will be able to join an existing iGEM team as pending members if they do not have the registration code. Team PIs and instructors will be able to accept pending memberships by logging in and going to the Team Information page.
  3. Team PIs can also manually add team members to the team roster by inputting their user names into the Team Information page. In order to do this, the team members must have already created their user accounts. This last method of adding team members is the most time-consuming since the PIs will need to select from a list of all matching user names.

To view your team roster, go to the iGEM 2018 Main Page, and click on the list icon in the upper right corner to view the drop-down navigation menu. Click on "2018 Teams" to view the complete list of teams, and then click on your team name.

For high school teams, iGEM HQ has to manage the roster instead of the team PIs because we require consent forms for all participants. Your team members should join as pending members using the Join a Team page and once iGEM HQ receives their respective consent forms, we will approve their application to join the team. Because the high school teams are typically comprised of minors, we must be more strict with membership and permissions.