MBV4910IGEM – International Genetically Engineered Machine
This is a unique course in the department of biosciences. MBV4910iGEM is meant for students from all fields of study who are interested in participating in iGEM, an international competition in synthetic biology. The students will work as a team to:
- design and plan a project suitable for the iGEM competition
- execute a project using “biological parts”
- engage with the public and with the media about their project
- recruit sponsors for funding the project
- collaborate with other teams from all over the world
- document all aspects of their project in an online Wiki system provided by iGEM
- participate in the final presentation of the project at the iGEM finals in Boston, USA
More details about the iGEM competition, the principles of synthetic biology, and the achievements of previous iGEM teams can be found here
After completing the course the student should:
- Have a broad understanding of the principles of synthetic biology
- Be able to work in an interdisciplinary team to solve problems
- Be able to communicate scientific results, written and orally, to a broad audience
Registration to MBV4910iGEM is a two-step process. In a first step, interested students must contact Professor Dirk Linke (email@example.com), and will be invited to the initial team meetings. In these meeting, the students learn more details about the iGEM competition, and at the same time start a discussion on the type of project they would like to pursue.
In a second step, after the supervisors appraise individual students motivation, and after a project outline has been decided, the students can officially sign up for the course with the study administration.
This course requires a minimum of 5 students to be part of the the team. However, team sizes of 7-10 students are more optimal.
Students are responsible themselves for acceptance of the course as part of their masters study program (different rules might apply in different departments or faculties). The course teachers are available to help in this process.
Please contact Dirk Linke to register your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org before February 1st. A short motivation letter should be included.
Recommended previous knowledge
All masters students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences can apply for the course.
The course will consist of a student-driven interdisciplinary project in synthetic biology. Supervisors will guide the students, which are expected to find necessary information to execute the project on the internet and in the scientific literature. The students have to attend regular meetings (at least every 2 weeks, starting in February), and have to be willing to work on their project also during the summer break. While the overall work plan is very flexible and can be adjusted to the needs of the team members, please note that the main practical laboratory work and work with the wiki will have to be performed in May to October (including July).
There is no formal exam. “Successful” completion of the course exam will consist of two parts:
Part one is complete submission of the materials required for the iGEM competition, and each student must demonstrate his/her individual contribution to these materials and to the general team effort. Part two is the successful participation at the iGEM Jamboree. Teams are expected to achieve at least “bronze” standards based on the iGEM judging rules.
Language of examination
The course, the iGEM jamboree, and all online documentation that is needed for the course is in English.
Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.
Resit an examination
Due to the special setup of the iGEM competition, there is no opportunity to resit parts of the course. If a student cannot participate in the iGEM Jamboree (e.g. for health reasons), he/she must contact the supervisors as soon as possible. Appropriate arrangements may be made.
The course is a pass/fail course, and is evaluated based on a long-term project effort. Withdrawing from the course is possible, but partial credit is not given if the course is not completed.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.