IGEM:IMPERIAL/2006/Instructors Feedbacks/Before summer

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Stuff done and learnt during our first iGEM summer


Soon after deciding to go for the iGEM competition, we started to advertise. However, it was already around Easter.

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What we planned ...
  • Formatting the announcement as a flyer
  • Setting-up the flyer around Campus
  • Sending flyer to undergrad mailing list (2nd and 3rd years)
  • Putting flyer into internal college Newspaper
What happened ...
  • Because it was already easter, many students had already a placement.
  • We got 20+ applications.
  • Mostly thanks to email sent on the mailing lists
  • Also friend of a friend worked
  • No one spotted the ad in the newspaper or around campus.
  • We had a better response from Biology undergrads than engineering. 'Synthetic Biology' was still low profile in the Imperial engineering faculty. Using 'Biological engineering' could have helped.
Next time ...
  • We will start earlier the advertissment (around Xmas)
  • Use of mailing list + targetting student Reps to spread the word
  • Give short introduction at the beginning of a lecture during term.
  • Of course, having done it once is going to help us too. Students from last summer are keen to give seminars and be our ambassadors for next year.


Recruitment

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What we planned ...
  • To apply, students had to submit an Essay about Synthetic Biology (200-300 words) + CV.
  • Short listed cndidates were invited for an interview (15min Presentation of a iGEM 2005 project + their ideas about future extensions + questions)
  • We wanted to have a well balanced team between engineers and biologists.
What happened ...
  • Interviewing process was long and tedious but worthwile.
  • Having the students to present a former iGEM project helped them to touch on Synthetic Biology concepts.
Next time ...
  • We will manage better a waiting list if some students are dropping out.


Workspace

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What we planned...
  • booking some teaching lab space.
  • booking a permanent meeting room (tables, white board, video projector).
  • making sure to have a computers booked.
  • granting building access in the different faculties.
What happened ...
  • We had 2 working environments: a 'base camp' and a wetlab.
  • In the 'base camp', we had a meeting area + video projector and 5 computers to access Wiki and do presentations, simulations ...
  • In the wetlab, it was a standard teaching lab (level 0 containment). However we were missing easy access to -80C freezer but we had a useful blackboard.
  • Most of the equipments we were using were spread around campus.
  • White board was great but we lost some info from time to time. Need to take pictures of white/blackboards.
Next time ...


Funding

Advertisement Recruitment Workspace Funding
What we planned ...
  • Money from University/private partnerships
  • from private partners
  • our budget
    • Student funding: 8 * 1600 = 12800 pounds
    • Lunches: 10 * 150 = 1500 pounds
    • Lab stuff:
    • Jamboree:
What happened ...
  • We managed to get money from Engineering and Biology Faculties.
  • We didn't investigate at all private fundings.
  • We didn't plan enough in our budget for social events or trips to visit other UK teams.
Next time ...
  • Getting the team to raise money before the summer (especially for social events).
  • As a break the ice type of work, the team could come up with a marketing campaign and approach companies. Get events sponsorised or team T-shirts paid.


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