iGEM 2019 Judging Applications

On this page you will find information on: Judging at the Giant Jamboree, Who Should Apply to be a Judge?, Why Should You be an iGEM Judge?, Application Process Judge Benefits, and the Judge Application

The iGEM 2019 Judging Application is Closed

Judge applications for the 2019 Giant Jamboree are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied!

Judging at the Giant Jamboree

Judging in iGEM is a lot of fun, but it does require a strong commitment. iGEM teams work incredibly hard on their projects over the summer, so we need judges who are also committed to work hard to evaluate them and who are willing to take part in the whole process of iGEM judging. If you can spend time learning about the judging process during the summer, evaluating team wikis the week before the Jamboree, and attending the Jamboree from October 31-November 4, 2019, we would love to have you on board!

We need judges — both experienced and new — who really understand iGEM. We are aiming to recruit a judging panel that reflects our teams’ experience, so if you have previous iGEM experience we want you to apply!

As we approach the Giant Jamboree, we will provide educational resources to help judges learn how to evaluate teams (or provide a refresher, for those who have judged before), and we will help you get up to speed if you are selected.

Judges at a team's poster during the 2018 Giant Jamboree

Who Should Apply to be a Judge?

We're looking for:

  • iGEM alumni who want to stay involved, including professionals, graduate students, and post-docs
  • iGEM PIs, instructors, and advisors, both current and past
  • People who have judged iGEM in the past
  • Professionals in the synthetic biology, biotechnology, and engineering industries
  • People who have experience in complimentary areas, such as the humanities, art and design, and software

If you have colleagues who you think should apply, please feel free to direct them to this form.

If you are a student on a 2019 iGEM team, you can't apply to be a judge this year. But you can apply when you graduate and become an iGEM alum!

Why Should You be an iGEM Judge?

Judging at the annual iGEM Giant Jamboree is an incredibly fulfilling and worthwhile experience for all judges, whether you're returning as a veteran judge or are a new judge this year. Some of the benefits include:

  • Contribute to the iGEM Community: By volunteering to judge at the Giant Jamboree, you will contribute to what will be the most meaningful opportunity that these students experience in synthetic biology. Providing feedback to these dedicated students can be life changing for them as they continue through their academic career and beyond.
  • Networking: Much like the iGEM teams, you'll have the chance to connect with people from around the globe, to expand your synthetic biology community, and to form new collaborations beyond the Giant Jamboree. You will meet fellow judges, students, and other professionals from around the world and different walks of life.
  • Learn About New Technology: You will learn about the latest cutting edge work being done in synthetic biology from student teams who are driven to excel and who test the boundaries of synthetic biology through their projects.

Application Process

This year we are accepting applications on a rolling basis. We will be evaluating applications at the end of each month starting in May and will contact applicants approximately two weeks after the evaluation period. Status notifications (1. invitation to judge, 2. invitation to serve as a reserve judge, 3. invitation to re-apply, or 4. decline for 2019 with an invitation to apply next year) will be sent in the middle of each month, beginning in June, until our quota is full (expected by August). We encourage you to apply early to increase your chances of being selected!

You can apply to be a judge before knowing if you can fully commit to attending the Giant Jamboree. Applicants who are invited to join the judging panel will be asked to confirm their acceptance. We can also provide an official invitation letter if you require that to secure funding and/or permission from your institute to participate as a judge.

Once we have reached our quota of judges, we will close the application and add a notice to this page.

Giant Jamboree Attendance

If you are selected as a judge, you MUST attend the iGEM 2019 Giant Jamboree in Boston (October 31-November 4) in person. We are unable to support remote participation for judges due to the nature of the interactions you will have with the teams throughout the event.

If you can only attend a portion of the Jamboree, this may make judging your assigned teams a challenge. We will work with you to try to accommodate your schedule constraints as best as possible, but we may rescind your invitation to judge in favor of another applicant who can attend the entire event. This will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Judge Benefits

Instructor judges (current team PIs, instructors, and advisors) will receive a 50% discount on their Jamboree attendance fee.

Judges who are not affiliated with a team will receive free Jamboree attendance.

We are also excited to offer free childcare for all of our judges throughout the Giant Jamboree!

iGEM currently cannot provide travel funding for judges to attend.


Please email traci [AT] igem [DOT] org and/or vinoo [AT] igem [DOT] org if you have questions!

Judge Application Form

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1. General Information

Full name: -

Username: -

1. Email

2. Age


To be eligible to become an iGEM judge, you must be at least 23 years old as of March 31, 2019. We also expect judges to have completed their undergraduate degree before the Jamboree takes place.

3. Gender

4. Institution

5. Institution type

6. Position

7. Region Where you currently live/work :

8. Number of years of iGEM experience as a:

2. Jamboree Information

Please complete this section as well as you can. You will be asked to check or update this information prior to the Jamboree.

1. Sweatshirt Size:

2. Are you available to attend the entire Giant Jamboree from October 31 - November 4, 2019, in Boston?

2.1 If not, please indicate which days/times you are available to attend.

Day Morning Evening
October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

3. Conflicts of Interest

There are many possible reasons why you might be unable to judge some teams impartially. For example if you are a PI or instructor for the team, if the team comes from a school that you attended, or a school where you work or if you mentored or advised the team informally.

These situations could lead to a conflict of interest and iGEM takes conflicts of interests very seriously. Judges are not permitted to evaluate teams for which they have a conflict of interest. If you are a PI or instructor, your first responsibility is to your team, and we will schedule your judging assignment so that you are able to attend your team's presentation.

To select multiple teams, use Ctrl-click or Cmd-click. Don't recognize a team name? Look it up in the Team List.

1. Team Affiliations:

Please select any teams you are officially affiliated with (i.e. you are listed on the team roster as a PI, Instructor, or Advisor).

2. Conflicts of Interest:

Please select any teams for which you have a conflict of interest for another reason. (For example, a team that you mentored informally, or a team from the university where you were an undergrad student.)

3. If you have any other conflicts of interest that are not indicated above, please describe them:

4. Motivation

Please answer these questions in detail.

Did you apply to judge last year? View your answers from last year. Please note we have changed some of the questions for 2019.

1. Why do you want to be a judge in iGEM?

2. What professional experience do you have that you believe is relevant to iGEM (e.g., synthetic biology, hardware, software, human practices)?

3. How important is scientific and/or engineering success to overall team success?

4. What are the synthetic biology principles that iGEM participants should learn during their project?

5. Track Preferences

iGEM teams compete in several "tracks", based on the topics of their projects. Please see the Track page for more information on each track.

When we assign judges to teams, we will try to assign you your first preferences wherever possible. However, we can't anticipate how many teams will be in each track, so it may not always be possible to assign you your first choice. Therefore, you can indicate how you feel about each track. The more first choices you select, the more likely it is that you will be assigned teams in those tracks. If you are unable to evaluate teams in some track areas (software, for example), please put "Avoid" for those tracks.

Please indicate how highly you prefer each track. You may select multiple first, second, and third preferences.

Track First Second Third Neutral Avoid
Food and Nutrition
Foundational Advance
High School
Information Processing
New Application

Thank you!

Thank you for filling out this form. We look forward to picking a strong judging team for 2019!


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