Synthetic Biology

based on standard parts
iGEM 2015
The iGEM 2015 competition season is over! Visit for more information.

Join iGEM Headquarters!

Are you interested in working for a small (but growing) nonprofit that's at the cutting edge of synthetic biology education? Do you want to use your iGEM experience and skills to make iGEM better for all participants? Come work for iGEM Headquarters! Join our close-knit, fun, collaborative team to help run the iGEM competition and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts.

For all positions:

  • Previous participation in iGEM is required (including students, instructors, judges, or other participants)
  • Non-US residents are welcome to apply
  • Location: iGEM Headquarters, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

What is iGEM Looking For?

We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic people who want to make iGEM better for all participants. If you want to help us run the competition as it currently exists, if you want to improve various facets of iGEM's program, if you want to take iGEM in exciting new directions and develop entirely new facets... we want to hear from you!

We have some specific roles in mind, but we're open to receiving applications from anyone who's participated in iGEM before and has interesting ideas to strengthen iGEM's program. We believe strongly in hiring the right people, not the right combination of science/technology keywords. iGEM has been around for ten years; how could your skills and passions help iGEM keep developing for the next ten years?

Previous participation in iGEM is required. If you have been a team member, instructor, judge, or other participant, we invite you to apply!

Why Work for iGEM?

iGEM is the cutting edge of synthetic biology: Our program has been described as "a whole research career in a summer", and our Giant Jamboree is the biggest synthetic biology event in the world. Working at iGEM lets you take a place at that cutting edge, and work with a wide variety of people who are all passionate about this exciting new technological field.

Collaborative office culture: iGEM Headquarters is a team just like any other iGEM team. We are a close-knit group that values everyone's ideas and contributions, and we all work together to make iGEM happen. Working here, you will have chances to lead or contribute to a wide variety of projects.

Full benefits: iGEM offers a comprehensive benefits package including health and dental insurance, paid vacation time, and... (more details about our benefits here)

How to Apply

Please email your cover letter and CV to jobs (AT) igem (DOT) org. Include the position of interest in the Subject line of your email. Only applications including both a cover letter and CV will be considered.

Available Positions


As an intern, you would spend a year or more working on various projects to make iGEM better. A few possible projects are listed below, but we want to hear your ideas for how you could strengthen and improve the various facets of iGEM's program.

  • Start date: flexible, January-March of current year preferred
  • Duration: 12-15 months, with possible conversion to permanent employee
  • Requirements:
    • Previous participation in iGEM required
    • Completion of undergraduate/bachelor's degree
  • Possible projects include:
    • Developing educational materials for first-time iGEM teams
    • Improving alumni involvement & networking among iGEM participants
    • (insert 1-2 more possible intern projects, spanning the full range of our operations, e.g. would be good to have a software example)

Fellow (Programmer)

The iGEM program relies heavily upon its websites (, $, and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts). These websites, and the databases that lie behind them, allow us to serve teams and academic groups across the world. As a programmer, you would work closely with two other members of iGEM HQ to develop new webpages/features and improve/maintain existing software. A few possible projects are listed below, but the strongest applicants for this position should also have independent ideas for how to strengthen various parts of iGEM's program.

The key languages/technologies we use most are: MediaWiki, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for front-end website development / Perl and MySQL for back-end database development. Proficiency with any of these technologies is preferred. However, we believe in hiring the right person, rather than the right combination of tech buzzwords, and this position includes opportunities to learn as you go.

If you helped develop any iGEM team wikis, please include links to those wikis in your application, and describe which parts of each wiki you worked on. Please also include your username in your application.

  • Start date: Flexible
  • Duration: Permanent position
  • Qualifications:
    • Previous participation in iGEM required
    • Master's degree or equivalent work experience
    • Experience with common web programming technologies such as HTML, CSS, Javascript
    • Bioinformatics knowledge a plus
  • Possible projects include:
    • Designing, building, and maintaining dynamic web pages on *
    • Creating internal tools & workflows for development, testing, and release of code
    • Automated curation of the Registry of Standard Biological Parts
    • Developing resources, educational materials, and templates to help iGEM teams without expertise in web design

Laboratory Technician

iGEM relies on teams being able to receive parts, submit parts and to know parts in the Registry are likely to work. We have developed a great quality control system in house and we are looking for a qualified technician to help us operate and continue to develop this system.

  • Start date: Flexible
  • Duration: Permanent position
  • Qualifications:
    • Previous participation in iGEM required
    • Master's degree or equivalent work experience
    • Experience with managing biological repositories or large sample collections
    • Experience with automated laboratory robots a plus
  • Possible projects include:
    • Maintaining plasmid repository as frozen glycerol stocks
    • Fulfilling biological sample requests from external groups
    • Processing incoming plasmid samples for addition to repository
    • Assisting in manufacture of the annual DNA distribution kit

If you don't fit any listed positions, but you're motivated to make iGEM better...

Contact us! We are open to hearing new ideas about how your skills and talents could help improve iGEM. Even if you don't fit any of the listed positions, there may be a place for you on our team!

iGEM Foundation

Dedicated to education and competition, advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of open community and collaboration.

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