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Mentors Network

The iGEM Mentors Network is live!

We are happy to announce the Mentors Network is now open to mentors and mentees! Whether you’re looking for some advice from troubleshooting your cloning to improving your modeling or human practices, we may have just the mentor for you! In addition to your projects, remember to leverage your iGEM experience as a career development opportunity! Has iGEM helped you solidify your interest in your current career track, or perhaps sparked your interest in another one? Our mentors in your area(s) of interest can give you more insight into these careers. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of iGEM, mentors do not need prior iGEM experience. Remember, the Mentors Network is here to serve all iGEMers, whether you’re on a new team this year, or if you were on a team from 2004, you are welcome to tap into the expertise provided by the Mentors Network!

Introduction to the Program

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that dedicates its efforts to the advancement of synthetic biology through the development of a collaborative open community. The annual global iGEM Competition trains students of all ages and backgrounds in the power of science while paired with social responsibility.

Though based on competitive projects, the iGEM Network doubles as an experiential learning opportunity that exposes students to multiple career paths including science communication, entrepreneurship, science policy, and social impact, in addition to cutting edge synthetic biology techniques. Because of the importance we place on students, we present the iGEM Mentors Network, an online community of experts created by iGEMers for iGEMers.

Aspects of the Program

Benefits All Around

This structured opportunity to connect iGEMers with experienced professionals provides an infinite resource for iGEM activities and individual iGEMers. What may begin as a mentee seeking advice on cloning a gene can easily lead to an informational interview with the mentor. Mentors receive reciprocal benefits such as connecting with prospective collaborators, serving the community, and identifying and recruiting new hires into their respective organizations. Mentors advising teams participating in the current competition year will also be included as co-authors for posters and presentations. Based on the career exploration opportunities described above, it is important to recognize that the iGEM Mentorship Network is uniquely positioned to provide connections across multiple disciplines - a benefit to both mentors and mentees.

Unique Strategy

Participation for both mentees and mentors is simple and straightforward. Mentors join by completing a profile documenting their areas of expertise and time commitment. Mentees then contact us describing the advice they’re seeking. The Mentors Network will then contact an appropriate mentor after receiving a request from current iGEMers or iGEM alumni. There is no limit to the number of times you contact the Mentors Network, though we may connect you with different mentors to evenly spread time commitments. We highly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. Even if your last iGEM experience was over a decade ago, we assure you that you are still a part of the iGEM Network, which continues to grow in number and diversity.


The iGEM Foundation will not be responsible or liable in any way for any unsatisfactory mentor or mentee behavior or conduct. Contact info will be kept confidential and will only be shared between reasonably paired mentors and mentees. Advice shared between mentor and mentee may not be reflective of any organization or institution with which either party may be affiliated.


If you have any questions or want to know more information about iGEM Mentors Network, simply shoot an email to