In this project, we gather extensive organizational and performance data from digital traces (open lab notebooks), questionnaires and app-based self-reporting across 3,000+ interdisciplinary teams participating in the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) synthetic biology student competition. Using this data we study how team interactions and team diversity impact the performance of iGEM teams and the learning experience of the students. How do students collaborate? How are subgroups formed? What is the frequency of interactions with mentors/PIs? How do these interactions lead to better learning (skill spreading), productivity (BioBricks produced / project size), creativity (project uniqueness) or just success in the competition (medals, prizes, winners)?
We are currently partnering with iGEM teams to conduct a quantitative, large-scale study, using self-report surveys. More information can be found on the iGEM TIES website along with visualisations from the 2020 pilot study!