Frequently asked questions
What is the International Brain Bee?

The International Brain Bee (IBB) is a neuroscience competition for high school students around the world. The aim of the Brain Bee is to motivate students to learn more about the brain and to inspire them to pursue careers in neuroscience.

The competition consists of a written test and an oral quiz, where students are asked questions related to various topics in neuroscience, including brain anatomy, neural pathways, neurological disorders, and neuroscience research. The winners of each Local Brain Bee competition advance to their national competition, and the winners of each National Brain Bee competition compete in the International Brain Bee World Championship.

The International Brain Bee has grown to include participants from over 50 countries and has become a major event in the neuroscience community. The competition not only provides students with the opportunity to learn about the brain but also fosters collaboration and communication between students, educators, and scientists from around the world.

How can I participate in the International Brain Bee World Championship?

To participate in the IBB World Championship, you will need to qualify through a National Brain Bee. First, you need find a local chapter in your area or region. You can do this by checking the list of participating countries on our website. If there is a local chapter in your area, you can contact them directly to inquire about participation.

Once you have registered for the competition, you will need to prepare for the written and oral exams. Normally, Brain Bees provide study materials, including textbooks, articles, and online resources, to help students prepare for the competition.

If you are interested in participating in a Brain Bee, it is important to start preparing well in advance and to stay motivated and committed to your studies. The competition can be a challenging but rewarding experience, providing you with an opportunity to learn more about neuroscience and to meet other students who share your passion for the brain.

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What are the age requirements to participate in a Brain Bee?

Brain Bees are typically open to high school students who are between the ages of 13 and 19. You may need to meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being enrolled in a high school or having a certain level of knowledge in neuroscience.

Where do I find the closest Brain Bee near me?

You can find the closest Brain Bee near you on our website. Once you have identified the country or region that you are located in, you can contact the Local Brain Bee chapter for more information on how to participate.

Alternatively, you can search for Local Brain Bee competitions using online search engines or social media platforms. You can also check with your school’s science department or science club, as they may have information on Local Brain Bee competitions. It’s important to note that not all countries or regions may have a Local Brain Bee chapter, so you may need to travel to participate in a competition.

How can I participate in the IBB World Championship if I am a student from a non-participating country?

If you are a student from a non-participating country and are interested in participating in a Brain Bee championship, you may contact established Local/ National Brain Bees (see here) geographically near you. However, there is no guarantee that they will accept participants from outside the country.

It is important to note that the IBB is not able to accommodate independent competitors from non-participating countries without going through all of the qualifying steps at Local and National Brain Bee level.

I am living in a non-participating country, how can I start a National Brain Bee there?

Starting a National Brain Bee in a non-participating country can be a great way to bring awareness about neuroscience and brain research to your community and provide an opportunity for students to engage in learning about the brain.

To start a National Brain Bee in your country, you can follow these steps:

  1. Check the International Brain Bee website to ensure that there are no existing National Brain Bee chapters in your country. If there are, you may want to contact the local chapter to see if you can get involved.
  2. Find a group of dedicated individuals who share your passion for neuroscience and are interested in helping you start a National Brain Bee. This can include students, teachers, researchers, and other members of the community who are interested in supporting brain research and education.
  3. Contact Ionut Dumitru (contact infromation)to inquire about the process for starting a National Brain Bee in your country. He will be able to provide you with guidance and support on how to organize and run a successful competition.
  4. Identify potential sponsors and partners who can provide financial and logistical support for the competition. This can include local universities, research institutions, and companies that have an interest in supporting science education.
  5. Develop a plan for organizing the competition, including identifying a venue, recruiting participants, and arranging for judges and volunteers.

Starting a National Brain Bee can be a challenging but rewarding experience, providing you with an opportunity to make a difference in your community and help promote neuroscience education and research.

If you are a student wishing to participate in the Brain Bee, you cannot be involved in the organization of the competition.  However, you can encourage local teachers and researchers to start a Brain Bee.

How can I get involved if I am too old for the IBB World Championship?

If you are too old to participate in the International Brain Bee World Championship, there are still many ways to get involved in the organization and support its mission to promote neuroscience education and research.

Here are some ideas:

  • Volunteer: The International Brain Bee relies on the help of volunteers to organize and run its competitions. You can reach out to your Local Brain Bee chapters to inquire about volunteer opportunities.
  • Mentor: You can also get involved by mentoring younger students who are interested in neuroscience and brain research. You can offer to help them prepare for the Brain Bee or provide guidance and support as they explore the field of neuroscience.
  • Spread the word: Help promote the Brain Bee and its mission by sharing information about the organization and its events on social media or by hosting information sessions at your school or community center.
  • Attend events: Attend Local Brain Bee events or other neuroscience-related events in your area to stay connected with the community and learn more about the latest developments in the field.
  • Donate: Consider making a donation to support its mission and help fund future competitions and educational initiatives.

By getting involved in the Brain Bee community, you can continue to promote neuroscience education and research and make a positive impact on the lives of young students who are interested in this field.

I have contacted a National Brain Bee listed on the IBB website but did not get a response, what should I do?

Please note that all National Brain Bees are organized independently from the IBB. 

Local and National Brain Bees are all run by volunteers who have full-time jobs and other responsibilities. These volunteers dedicate their time and effort to organizing and coordinating outreach events like the Brain Bee on top of their regular commitments.  They may therefore not be able to respond to all inquiries immediately or not regularly respond outside of registration periods for their annual competitions.

Please be patient and keep checking their website for updates on future competitions.