iGEM Project Course 2017

iGEM 2017

We are looking for students to participate in our 2017 EPFL iGEM team (our ten year anniversary team). The core faculty advisors in 2017 are Prof. Maerkl and Dr. Grisoni, with occasionally one additional adjunct advisor. We will consider students irrespective of their background, as we are hoping to build an interdisciplinary team consisting of Biologists, Engineers, Computer Scientist, Physicists, and Chemists (and whoever else is interested in learning about synthetic biology and bioengineering).

For more information on iGEM and past projects see:

What you will get out of iGEM:

  • you will learn about synthetic biology (through lectures, lab work, and by participating at the iGEM Jamboree)
  • you will receive intensive practical training in molecular biology lab techniques (PCR, cloning, cell culturing, etc.)
  • you will gain insight into the specific project the team will be working on (this of course is not yet determined)
  • you will learn how to conduct basic biological research outside of a classical course laboratory setting. In other words, you will learn how to conduct independent, goal-oriented research.
  • you will represent EPFL at the international iGEM competition

What are the requirements

  • iGEM project participants are expected to attend all introductory lectures given in the Spring term
  • participants must be present for a majority of time from February to September, including the summer ! (this part is extremely important, see next point)
  • significant presence in the lab is of utmost importance during the summer break. This equates to a full-time job (with working hours of 40+ hours a week)!
  • knowledge in Biology is not a requirement!

Application Procedure

As positions on the team are limited we may have to select students if the pool of applicants exceeds 10-12 students. In order for us to select the most qualified applications we will require the following information:

Please include:

  • Your name
  • Your field of study (your major)
  • Your year of study (2nd year Bachelor, 1st year Masters, ....)
  • Your GPA (grade point average)

Review a 2016 iGEM project (iGEM website):

  • the EPFL project can't be reviewed!
  • length of the review should be 1 page: 12pt Arial, double spaced
    • summarize the project
    • why did the team choose to work on this particular project, i.e. what is the rationale behind the project, what did the team try to accomplish and why
    • criticize the project: Did the team manage to accomplish their goals? What worked, what didn't and why? Did the team choose a good approach; could you think of other ways to accomplish their goals?
    • How would you expand on the project? New applications, different approaches, etc.

Note: We understand that many of you will know little if anything about synthetic biology. We also know that we have applicants from a wide variety of majors (biology, engineering, comp sci, etc.), and we will evaluate your iGEM project review accordingly.

Please put all the information into a single PDF document! (word users can save documents as PDF)

Please note that even in the case that 10 or less students apply for iGEM, the above information is still a pre-requisite for becoming a member of the team and therefore has to be submitted.

Submission Info

The deadline is December 15th @ midnight (in my inbox) !!
Send your document by clicking


(don't change the subject heading of the email!)
Late submissions will not be considered.