Advising an i GEM team poses unique challenges due to the inherent difficulties of mounting and completing a new biological project from scratch over the course of a single academic year; the challenges in obtaining financial and structural resources for a project that will likely not be fully realized; and conflicts between educational and competition-based goals.
This article shares tips and best practices for i GEM team advisors, from two team advisors with very different experiences with the i GEM competition.
In contrast, the ULV team recruited team members only from the Biology department and did not perform mathematical modeling or hardware design, although a mathematics professor served as co-advisor to build a base for future collaboration.
Both teams have been greatly aided in the recruitment of students by offering i GEM participation as an academic course or in fulfillment of their thesis project (ULV).
ULV is a small, regional, liberal arts university with undergraduate-level STEM departments.
In this Commentary, we provide practical advice for i GEM team advisors based on our own experiences in the competition (Fig. Recruiting a team of motivated, interdisciplinary students willing to spend 8 months on a single project is challenging but crucial to the success of an i GEM team.
A dedicated laboratory bench and access to molecular biology equipment are also essential. (A) Team composition of the 2015 TUD and ULV i GEM teams.
Each team is eligible to win a bronze, silver or gold medal by meeting a series of objective criteria ( and additional special prizes are awarded to teams that excel in specific project areas (