Judging/Medals

Medals allow us to celebrate the accomplishments of our iGEM teams. Through medals, we highlight the underlying principles of iGEM: respect, community, and honesty.

The three levels of medals, from lowest to highest are Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with each medal building upon the next. Through the bronze we appreciate the hard work and effort you have put into participating in iGEM, the silver celebrates your accomplishments, and with the gold we delight in your excellence.

We do not limit the numbers of each medal and all teams can earn a medal; teams are only competing with themselves to achieve the medal criteria.

Updates for 2021

Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, we understand that many campuses and laboratories remain closed or are allowing very limited access to facilities. Teams can achieve a Bronze, Silver, or Gold medal without doing laboratory work.

What if we can access our laboratory?

If your team has access to the laboratory this year, you can still submit your laboratory work for medal criteria. In particular, you can: contribute new data to an existing Part (Bronze #4), design and build a new Part and show that it works as expected (Silver #1), or make a new Part that improves the function of an existing Part (Gold #2). Lab work could also be used in your modeling work (Gold #3) and to help show that your whole system works (Gold #4).

New for 2021: Gold Medal Update

For 2021, teams must convince their judges that they have achieved three (3) of the Gold criteria (in addition to the Bronze and Silver criteria) to win the Gold medal. Please see the various options for the Gold medal criteria in the table below.

Celebrating Your Work

A Bronze medal is awarded to those teams that have participated in iGEM 2021, presented their work, and made a contribution for future teams.

A Silver medal is awarded to those teams that have addressed these key pillars of an iGEM project: engineering success, collaboration, and human practices.

A Gold medal is awarded to those teams that have shown excellence in multiple areas beyond the Silver medal.

Convincing the Judges

Through your work and documentation, it is your responsibility to convince the judges that your team has achieved each of the medal criteria you are working towards.

Be clear and direct when you present your work. Your judges will review the information you provide on your wiki pages, video presentations, and Judging Form (including any Part pages you may add there). Your judges will also interact with your team and ask your team questions during the Giant Jamboree. The judges will use all of this information to inform their evaluations and decisions.

Documenting Your Work on Required Wiki Pages

For the medal criteria, you must document your work on the Required URLs as shown in the table below. For your own pages, please replace "YourTeamName" with your team name to find the page on your wiki.

When working with Parts, you must also document your work on the relevant Part's Pages on the Registry.

Part Requirements

If you are working with DNA Parts this year, new Parts must be either BioBrick RFC10 or Type IIS compatible.* This means the sequences of your Parts cannot contain the restriction enzyme sequences used in the assembly method you have chosen to be compatible with.

You must clearly document all of your work for each Part on the Part's Main Page on the Registry (see the Registry Document Parts page for instructions). This documentation should include the engineered design of the part (with relevant background / source information), detailed experimental design, and experimental characterization data.

*If you cannot follow one of these assembly standards for your one or more of your Parts, please send a detailed email explaining your situation to hq [AT] igem [DOT] org.

Competition Requirements: Deliverables

As a reminder, in addition to the deliverables listed in the Bronze medal criteria, every iGEM team is responsible for completing the other required deliverables listed below. Failure to complete these requirements may impact your team’s chances at winning medals and prizes during the Giant Jamboree.

Medal Criteria


BRONZE All criteria must be met
Number Name Explanation Guidance
1 Competition Deliverables Complete the following Competition Deliverables:

• Wiki
• Presentation Video
• Judging Form
For guidelines for each of the deliverable, please see the links below:

Wiki
Presentation Video
Judging Form

You can also directly navigate to these links from the Competition Deliverables page (https://2021.igem.org/Competition/Deliverables).
2 Attributions Describe what work your team members did and what other people did for your project.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Attributions
For guidelines for this deliverable, please see the link below:

Attributions

Some other questions to help guide you:
• What did each team member work on during your project?
• Did you get help from outside sources, such as technicians or other faculty members?

Notes:
• This is not about literature citations (put these throughout your wiki!)
3 Project Description Describe how and why you chose your iGEM project.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Description
For guidelines for this deliverable, please see the link below:

Project Description

Some other questions to help guide you:
• Why do you believe your project is a useful application of synthetic biology?
• What are your project goals and how will you achieve them?
• What work outside or inside of iGEM inspired your project?

Notes:
• You can also describe how COVID-19 impacted your project
4 Contribution Make a useful contribution for future iGEM teams.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Contribution
Some ways to achieve this include:
• Add new documentation to an existing Part on that Part's Registry page:
   • This could be new information learned from literature
   • This could be new data collected from laboratory experiments
• Build upon an existing software or hardware tool
• Document troubleshooting that would be helpful to future teams
• Create a 3D printed piece of hardware and document how to make it

We invite you to also think outside of these areas for your contribution.
SILVER All Bronze criteria must be met, plus all Silver criteria must be met
Number Name Explanation Guidance
1 Engineering Success Demonstrate engineering success in a part of your project by going through at least one iteration of the engineering design cycle. This achievement should be distinct from your Contribution for Bronze.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Engineering
Engineering success can be achieved by making an effort to follow the engineering design cycle:
Design → Build → Test → Learn → Design...

• We invite you to think about ways to tackle and solve one or more of your project's problems and use synthetic biology tools to generate expected results.
• If you are unable to get into a lab, how would you design your experiments, evaluate the outcome, deal with unexpected results, and plan further steps?
• See the Engineering Hub for additional guidance on engineering success.

Notes:
• For teams who can get into lab, you can design and build a new Part and show that it works as expected (documentation must be on the Part's Pages on the Registry)
2 Collaboration Collaborate with one (or more) 2021 iGEM team(s) in a meaningful way.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Collaborations
Some ways to achieve this include:
• Mentor a team (or be mentored by a team)
• Troubleshoot a project
• Host a (virtual) meetup
• Model/simulate a system
• Validate a software/hardware solution to a synthetic biology problem

We invite you to also think outside of these areas for your collaboration.

Visit the Collaborations page to post and find collaborations.

Notes:
• This can be a one-way collaboration where one team benefits from another team
• Simply filling out a survey for a team is not enough to demonstrate a significant interaction.
3 Human Practices Explain how you have determined your work is responsible and good for the world.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Human_Practices
Some questions to help guide you:
• What values—environmental, social, moral, scientific, or other—did you have in mind when designing your project?
• Which resources or communities did you consult to ensure those are appropriate values in the context of your project?
• What evidence do you have to show that your project is responsible and good for the world?

Notes:
• You should draw on personal reflections, background research, and/or engagement with communities relevant to your project.

Please visit the Human Practices Hub for more information on how to carry out Human Practices work.
4 Proposed Implementation Explain how you would implement your project in the real world.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Implementation
Some questions to help guide you:
• Who are your proposed end users?
• How do you envision others using your project?
• How would you implement your project in the real world?
• What are the safety aspects you would need to consider?
• What other challenges would you need to consider?

Notes:
• Teams already think about some of these issues for the Safety Form
• This will encompass engineering, safety, and implementation
GOLD All Bronze and Silver criteria must be met, plus at least three (3) Gold criteria must be met
Number Name Explanation Guidance
1 Integrated Human Practices Demonstrate how your team responded to your human practices reflections, research, and/or engagement. You should show how your activities impacted your project purpose, design and/or execution.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Human_Practices
Some questions to help guide you:
• How did your Human Practices work inform and shape your project at different stages?
• How did your team choose to respond to your Silver medal work? How did your Silver medal Human Practices and Proposed Implementation inform your ethical, technical, safety and/or communication decisions?
• How did you decide which needs or values to prioritize in your project’s design? What compromises, if any, did you choose to make and why?
• How did your team “close the loop” between what was designed and what was desired?

Please visit the Human Practices Hub for more information on how to carry out Human Practices work.
2 Improvement of an Existing Part Make a new Part that improves the function of an existing Part. This improvement must be distinct from your work for Bronze and Silver medals.

Team to enter the Existing Part Number and the New Part Number in their Judging Form.
Some things to consider when designing and showing your improvement:
• Your experiments should be done with both the improved part and the original part as a control
• The sequences of the new and existing parts must be different
• Adapting the part to a different assembly standard does not count as a functional improvement
• See the Engineering Hub for details on how to measure your parts
• You must document the improvement on the Registry on both the existing and new part pages. See the Registry Document Parts page for instructions

Notes:
• This criteria was kept in as an option for teams who could get into the lab.
3 Project Modeling Use modeling to gain insight into how your project works or should be implemented. Explain your model's assumptions, data, parameters, and results in a way that anyone could understand.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Model
Some ways to achieve this include:
• Deterministic, exploratory, molecular dynamic, and/or stochastic models
• Explore the physical modeling of a single component within a system
• Utilize mathematical modeling for predicting function of a more complex device

Notes:
• This could be either a new model you develop or the implementation of a model from a previous team.
• The work should be substantial and show excellence.

Please see the Software Tools page for resources that may help with your modeling.
4 Proof of Concept Expand upon your Silver medal work for Proposed Implementation and develop a proof of concept for your project.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Proof_Of_Concept
A proof of concept usually consists of experiments or prototypes that demonstrate that your project is likely to work in a relevant context.

• Your Proof of Concept should reflect your project as a whole, not just a single aspect or component
• Depending on your project, this criterion may require labwork. Software- or hardware-based projects may not require labwork for a successful proof of concept
• All activities must follow iGEM Safety Committee rules and policies
5 Partnership Collaborate throughout the year with at least one other 2021 iGEM team on a set of shared objectives related to both of your projects. This partnership should go beyond a Silver medal collaboration.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Partnership
Some questions to help guide you:
• How did your collaborative work inform and shape your project at different stages?
• How did each team in the partnership benefit from the collaboration?
• How did your teams work together throughout the season?

Notes:
Compared to the Silver Medal Collaboration criterion, partnerships should be more central to the success of both teams' projects and teams should be working together throughout the season (not a single interaction).

A Partnership and the Silver Medal Collaboration may be done with the same team(s).
6 Education & Communication Develop and implement education, science communication, and/or outreach materials related to synthetic biology.

All activities must follow Safety policies for Human Subjects Research.


Required URL: 2021.igem.org/Team:YourTeamName/Communication
Some questions to help guide you:
• How did you determine the type of materials you produced?
• Who is your target audience and how will your materials be used by that audience?
• How will your materials encourage an open dialogue with your audience?
• How did you make your materials accessible to a wider audience?

Notes:
• The work should be substantial and show excellence.

7 Excellence in Another Area Demonstrate excellence in another area related to synthetic biology.


Team to enter a URL in their Judging Form. The URL must be from the Team's wiki pages.

Please note: You cannot re-use a URL from any other medal criteria. You cannot count your work twice for this criterion and another medal criterion.
Surprise us! For this criterion, your work should be something that does not fulfill another medal criterion

• The work should be substantial
• The work does not have to directly relate to your project (for example, art and design, entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, broad synthetic biology policy, etc.)
• Your wiki documentation should demonstrate the connection to synthetic biology
• All activities must follow iGEM Safety Committee rules and policies
Questions?

If you have questions, please email us at judging AT igem DOT org . We love hearing from teams. Best of luck with your projects!