Introduction to Judging
Judging in iGEM is an essential component to the iGEM Competition. Judging allows us to recognize and celebrate the efforts, accomplishments, and excellence of our teams. During the Giant Jamboree, each team’s work is evaluated by a panel of judges. Through the judging process, teams earn medals, prizes, and awards that help to acknowledge and celebrate their months of hard work. Judges are entrusted with evaluating the team projects. Through their work, judges help the iGEM community celebrate the teams’ accomplishments during the Giant Jamboree.
When judges evaluate your team, they will look at your wiki, Registry Pages (if applicable), watch your presentation video, view your poster, and ask you questions during your assigned judging session at the Giant Jamboree. All of this information is used during your evaluation.
Judging Workflow for Teams
There are two major parts of the judging workflow for teams: first, teams need to learn about the medals, prizes, and awards that they can achieve this year and the rubric that is used to evaluate their work, and, second, teams need to document their projects and highlight the work they carried out towards earning those medals, prizes, and awards.
Part One: Learning
Together with each of your teammates and instructors, you need to learn about the judging criteria that you will be evaluated on by your panel of judges. This is done by reading through all of the content provided for the Medals, Awards, and Rubric as you begin your iGEM project. By reviewing this material at the start of your project, this ensures that you can ask questions as early as possible.
Learning about and understanding this material should be the responsibility of the entire team and not a single person.
Medals celebrate the accomplishments of all our iGEM teams. Teams only compete with themselves for a medal. The three levels of medals, from lowest to highest are Bronze, Silver, and Gold. You can learn about this on the Medals page.
In iGEM, awards and prizes are selective and celebrate excellence in a given area. We have three major categories of awards and prizes: (1) Grand Prizes, (2) Track Awards, and (3) Special Prizes. You can learn more about this on the Awards page.
The judges use a scoring rubric to evaluate your team’s overall project and any special prizes that you have nominated your team for on the judging form. You can learn more about this on the Rubric page.
Part Two: Documenting
Through documenting your work, it is your responsibility to convince the judges that your team has achieved the medal and/or awards you are working towards. This means that all of your documentation must be clear and thorough. The documentation that has the biggest impact on judging includes your entire team wiki (which includes the Standard URL Pages), Registry Part Pages (if applicable to your team), and the judging form. Other ways you will document your work include your team videos and your team poster.
Your Team Wiki is how you and your teammates will communicate your entire project to the world. You can begin editing your wiki pages after your team registration is approved and you can continue editing the pages until the Wiki Freeze. You can learn more about this on the Team Wiki page.
Standard URL Pages
We have created Standard URL Pages in your wiki template for the medal criteria and some of the special prizes. If your team wants to be evaluated for a medal and/or special prize, you must document your work related to the medal criteria and/or special prize on these Standard URL Pages. You can learn more about this on the Standard URL page.
If your team worked with Parts this year, you must clearly document your work (background information, modeling data, experimental data, etc.) on the Part's Main Pages on the Registry. Judges will only evaluate the work shown on these Registry Pages for your Parts. You can learn more about this on the Add a Part to the Registry page.
Each team must create a poster for their project. You can learn more about this on the Poster page.
The Judging Form is the primary way you will communicate your team's achievements with the judges. You can learn more about this on the Judging Form page.
Waiting Until the Last Minute
Do not wait until the last minute when it comes to key judging deadlines like the wiki freeze, editing your judging form, and creating Registry part pages (if applicable). Your team should work on these items throughout the iGEM competition and not just in the day(s) leading up to the deadline. The freezes are very important deadlines for judging and no extensions will be granted, no exceptions.
By waiting until the deadline is close to begin editing the wiki pages, part pages, and judging form, this often leads to mistakes with no time to correct them, like the following:
- Incomplete, incorrect, or missing information on your wiki pages, judging form, and/or registry pages
- HTML or CSS errors that make the wiki pages unreadable
Consider using the day of the deadline to review your documentation and judging form, and to only make small changes, like correcting spelling mistakes.
Changing the Standard URL Address
The most common mistake we see every year is when a team changes the URL address for the Standard URL Pages. If your team edits the URL address, the page will not be linked to your team’s Judging Form and the judges will not be able to evaluate your team for that medal criteria and/or special prize. The Standard URL addresses should not be edited.
Team Example has done great Human Practices work and plans to use their work for their Silver Medal #3 criterion, Gold Medal #1 criterion, and nominate themselves for the Integrated Human Practices award. These two medal criteria and special prize all link to the same Standard URL page on the Judging Form, which is: https://2021.igem.org/Team:Example/Human_Practices
The team decides to create a new page and document their work on the following URL: https://2021.igem.org/Team:Example/human_practices
By changing the capitalization of “Human” and “Practices”, they have altered the Standard URL address. The lower case address is invalid and will not be linked to their Judging Form. Their work will not be evaluated as a result.
Multiple People Editing the Judging Form, the Same Wiki Page, or Registry Page
Only one person should edit the Judging Form at a time. If there are two or more people editing the Judging Form at the same time, changes will not be saved correctly. This may result in missing information on your Judging Form.
Just like the Judging Form, only one person should edit a wiki or registry page at a time. If there are two or more people editing a page at the same time, changes will not be saved correctly. This may result in missing information on your wiki or registry page.
Failure to Review the Judging Form
Make sure you set aside enough time to fully review the Judging Form prior to the Judging Form Freeze. Teams should review the completed Judging Form together and click through all of the Standard URLs (and Part Pages, if you worked with parts) on the Judging Form to make sure your team has documented your work on the correct pages. This should be a team activity since the Judging Form reflects the work you’ve done as a team and should not be the role of a single person.
During this review, you may discover that you made a mistake on your team wiki and need to edit a Standard URL Page to fix it. This will take time, so please make sure you review your Judging Form three (3) days (or more) before the freeze deadlines so you have enough time to fix these mistakes.