Competition/Rules of Conduct

2. Rules of Conduct

On this page you will find: 2.1 Prevent harm, 2.2 Uphold values, 2.3 Be intellectually honest, and 2.4 Treat everyone with respect.

All members of our community are expected to abide by our Rules of Conduct. These rules apply to everyone involved in iGEM, including team members, team instructors, judges, committee members, After iGEM participants, and iGEM Headquarters staff.

Conduct in the iGEM Competition is overseen by two committees of external experts: the Safety and Security Committee and the Responsible Conduct Committee. Failure to follow the Rules of Conduct may result in serious consequences, up to and including ineligibility for awards and disqualification from the competition. It is unacceptable to claim you broke the rules because you were unaware of them.

2.1 Prevent harm

All iGEM projects, and likely all of synthetic biology, could potentially cause harm, whether to iGEM teams, their colleagues, participants in their research, their broader communities, or the environment. As part of preventing harm, teams must follow all of the iGEM's Safety and Security Rules throughout the competition.

  • Teams are responsible for identifying possible risks from their projects and managing them appropriately. This is a key part of being responsible synthetic biologists.
  • Team PIs are responsible for ensuring their team complies with all relevant international, regional, national, local, or institutional rules, regulations, laws and policies.
  • The iGEM Safety and Security Committee oversees and reviews all of the safety concerns throughout the competition. They provide support and advice for teams but are also the ultimate arbiter for this rule.
  • iGEM maintains a Safety and Security Hub to help teams identify and manage risks, and a Human Practices Hub to help teams consider how their work interacts with the world.

Failure to follow iGEM's Safety and Security Rules can lead to immediate disqualification from the competition. It can also result in referral to the Responsible Conduct Committee.

2.2 Uphold iGEM’s values

Every iGEM participant is expected to uphold iGEM’s values at all times. Remember that iGEM teams are ambassadors for the global synthetic biology community. What your team does this year may have a large impact beyond the competition.

iGEM maintains a Human Practices Hub and a Diversity and Inclusion Hub to help teams to uphold our values as they engage with iGEM, their local communities, and the larger world.

Failure to uphold iGEM’s values will be brought to the attention of the Responsible Conduct Committee.

2.3 Be intellectually honest

Be intellectually honest. Describe your accomplishments accurately, and do not take credit for the work of others.

Use the Project Attribution page to clearly state who conducted what work, including the work done by each team member, the team instructor(s) and mentors, members of the public, other iGEM teams, and any other people who contributed to your project. You should note which parts of the project were derived from the scientific literature throughout your project documentation.

We treat any and all failure to uphold intellectual honesty by anyone associated with a team, including students, advisors, or faculty members, as a form of cheating. All such cases will be brought to the attention of the Responsible Conduct Committee.

2.4 Treat everyone with respect

All iGEM participants are expected to treat everyone with respect. You must recognize and consider the perspectives, experiences, and dignity of others. You must be sensitive to the inherent worth of all human beings and the consideration that they are due. This includes teammates, instructors, advisors, other teams, judges, Headquarters staff, stakeholders, and members of the public.

We have a zero tolerance policy for physical violence and verbal abuse. This includes harassment over social media as well as in person. Any instance of violence or abuse during the competition and at the Giant Jamboree should be reported immediately to a member of iGEM Headquarters Staff.

All reports of violence, abuse, harassment, or other seriously disrespectful conduct will be brought to the attention of the Responsible Conduct Committee.