Many of us rather avoid making plans for the near future as much as possible because of the uncertainty of the current crisis. At iGEM, however, we are convinced that working on the future is more important than ever. Recently, engineering students can register for the postgraduates Tech Innovations in Ventures and Teams and Innovation and Entrepreneurship, two programs from the KU Leuven, each consisting of 60 credits that can be taken during or after the master program. Students who choose to take one of these postgraduates have the unique opportunity to enroll in one of KU Leuven's teams, which is undoubtedly a fantastic experience.
Starting this year, it will be possible to join the iGEM KU Leuven team, a multidisciplinary team of students with a passion for finding innovative solutions to current world problems using synthetic biology (in this case, feel free to think towards combating the Coronavirus). Participating in this competition is an opportunity for students to think completely out-of-the-box in finding solutions for environmental problems, medical problems, and so on. On top of that, with the support of professors, they will be able to fully develop their idea and present the project to a jury of experts.
Until last year, the iGEM team from KU Leuven went all the way to Boston for this, but due to the Corona crisis, this year's presentation of the project will unfortunately take place domestically. However, this does not stop our members from doing their utmost to keep the project on the right track this year as well!
Now that we have undoubtedly got you excited about participating in iGEM, it's time to share what we can offer postgraduate students from our iGEM team.
Currently, the iGEM team of KU Leuven is legally part of Technovation Hub vzw, an organization that supports all the student teams of KU Leuven. At iGEM, however, we are ready for the next step: turning our team into a non-profit organization so that decisions can be made more internally. On top of that, it also brings some financial benefits. The full-time help of a postgraduate student would be more than welcome to set up and run the vzw.
This same person could also be involved in the search for sponsors and partners from the business world, the government, universities, etc. In order to maintain the relationship with these institutions, partner events will take place throughout the year, which will be organized with the help of the student.
Entrepreneurial and creative minds are certainly desirable in the team, especially for the position of idea developer: we are looking for a student who would like to take on the leadership role in finding a suitable project for the competition, and help to steer its development in the right direction.
May 12th from 16-19h, an online member recruitment will take place, where interested students can introduce themselves in an informal setting to the representatives of the KU Leuven student teams. We look forward to seeing you in the iGEM room! Make sure to follow the event on Facebook to stay informed.