International Brain Bee

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A doctor holding a dummy of a human brain

International Brain Bee

Since its establishment, the International Brain Bee has encouraged the academic pursuit of neuroscience by thousands of students, many of whom go on to seek professions in the field. Through a three-tiered competition, the International Brain Bee encourages student involvement with neuroscience.

Students begin by signing up for a Local Brain Bee, and the champions of that competition participate in their country’s National Brain Bee. Each year, National Brain Bees sends a competitor to the International Brain Bees Association World Championship to represent their organization.

What is the mission of the International Brain Bee?

What exactly is the mission of the IBB? The mission of the IBB is to inspire students to seek professions in neuroscience and to encourage them to learn about the brain so that they may contribute to the treatment of brain illnesses and the search for remedies for these conditions.

What is the history of IBB?

What is the background of the International Brain Bee? Dr. Norbert Myslinski, a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland in the United States, was the person responsible for establishing The Brain Bee as a competition for high school students in the field of neuroscience.

In conjunction with the Canadian Annual Neuroscience Meeting and in partnership with the Canadian Association for Neuroscience and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health, and Addiction, the first Brain Bee competition to be held outside of the United States took place in Montreal, Canada. This event was also the first of its kind to take place outside of North America.

Because of the exceptional investments of time and resources made by volunteers, the IBB has evolved from a community-based endeavor into a thriving educational and outreach organization that operates on a worldwide scale.

Early in 2018, the American Psychological Association (APA), the Dana Foundation, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), and the Society for Neuroscience joined forces with the Brain Bee Founder to lend their support to the formal establishment of the IBB as a non-profit educational organization.

View of a hologram of a brain.

These five major organizations are all dedicated to brain research and education. The Brain Bee Founder is also a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

The core organization of the International Brain Bee formally connects the activities at the local, national, and international levels and shows the Brain Bee as an initiative that is internationally connected.

The Alzheimer’s Association is now a Governing Partner of the International Brain Bee.

What is the IBB logo?

What is the International Brain Bee logo all about? The Brain Bee logo is a combination of a brain on top and a bee on the bottom, which reflects the name of the competition: the brain represents the primary focus of the competition, and the bee represents the coming together of competitors for a competitive environment that is both challenging and educational.

The stinger of the bee is a symbol of wisdom and education since it is said to resemble the quill or tip of a pen. Additionally, the two lobes of the brain look a lot like the traditional sign of the heart, which represents a burning desire to help other people.

It starts first with Local Brain Bees

The local Brain Bee level is made of grassroots chapters, which are often established through universities or research organizations in cities, states, provinces, or other geographic regions. These chapters are open to students of all ages and range in ability from beginner to expert.

Due to the unique structuring of each local chapter and, correspondingly, the composition of local chapters within each region, the format may exhibit variations.

View of two students using a laptop on a table.

The majority of regional Brain Bee contests use either the book Brain Facts or Neuroscience: The Science of the Brain as their primary source material. These are brief documents that serve as an introduction to neuroscience and give some background information.

Please keep in mind, however, that the local Brain Bees are all coordinated in their own unique ways. You are strongly urged to get in touch with the local Brain Bee in order to obtain particular information on the competition’s format and how to be ready for it.

National Brain Bees

Individual preparation goes into each National Brain Bee competition. The individuals who come out on top in their respective national Brain Bee competitions are given the opportunity to compete in the IBB World Championship.

International Brain Bee World Championship

The International Brain Bee World Championship is an intellectual competition with the goal of fostering a sense of camaraderie among its participants.

Students must triumph in the Brain Bee competition at the highest level available in their nation or region in order to be considered for entry for the World Championship.

The topics are derived from that taught in universities and medical schools, and it calls for careful preparation on the reader’s part. It is anticipated that all participants will show support for one another for the entirety of the event, both during the contest portions and in between them.

The organizers of the IBB have said that they have the right to alter any aspect of the tournament at any point in time.

What are the competition sections in IBB?

Where may one find the IBB’s various competition sections? After qualifying for the competition, student participants will receive from their National Coordinators expanded and updated regulations as well as study material for each competition area.

A teacher talking to a female student holding her book.

The Academic and Competition Advisory Committee prepares, updates, and distributes the rules and resources on an annual basis (ACAC).

Competitors will be given an overview of the regulations at the start of each section. Each segment has a time restriction for each question.


Students will either work with entire and sectioned human brains or with comprehensive graphical depictions during the neuroanatomy test.

Knowledge of the anatomical location, the origin of the main input fibers, the destination of the main output fibers, grey matter nuclei, white matter tracts, the key neuronal types, and their connections, and the primary functions is necessary for each of the major brain structures.

Students should be prepared to be tested on any structure included in the IBB study guide during the Neuroanatomy Section. During the tournament, no list or word bank will be supplied.


In this art of International Brain Bee competition, human tissues will be presented under microscopes during the neurohistology segment, or students will be shown representative recorded photos. Students must identify the structures by name and/or define the tissue’s main functions.

Each microscope slide will include a thin segment of any of the human tissues listed in the IBB study guide. Students should be able to identify by name the structures and substructures, the origin of the main input fibers, the destination of the main output fibers, and the function of the shown cell type/tissue.

Written Test

The questions on the written test can be answered in either a multiple-choice or short-answer format. The questions cover the entirety of the material presented in the study guide.

Young woman writing on a table.

If the question is a multiple-choice one, with more than one correct response available, or if it is a single-choice one, with only one correct response available, the kind of question is noted above each question.

Patient Diagnosis

Patients’ video footage will be exhibited with their written medical histories. To help with the diagnosis, students may request the results of three lab or imaging examinations.

The video will depict the patient’s motor and/or other visual symptoms, as well as a brief textual history as recounted by the patient. Each disease will be presented in a standardized format (no rare forms of the disorders). Students will be asked to diagnose the patient after selecting three diagnostic tests.

Live Judging

The best performers in the first four test parts will qualify for the Live Judging Session after the National Champions compete in the first four exam sections. During this session, the judging panel will ask the group questions. Students are allowed 30 to 90 seconds to compose and register their responses. The judging panel will analyze and score each response independently.

The points earned during the live judging are added to the points earned during the previous competition parts to determine the final ranking.

The Live Judging Session is intended to function as an elimination round. The student receives one strike for each incorrectly answered question. The pupil is disqualified after two strikes. The session will continue until just one contestant remains.

Scores are assigned based on how many questions were successfully answered.

Rules and Assistive Tools Overview

Each student participant is expected to maintain a high level of integrity during the International Brain Bee. Cheating will be treated with zero tolerance and will result in automatic removal from the competition.

The event will be properly run and will ensure that everyone has a nice and fair experience. As the competition date approaches, student candidates will be provided with more detailed guidelines.

Personal writing devices, such as pens, pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpeners, may be brought into the examination rooms by contestants. A translation dictionary without notes may also be utilized by pupils from non-English speaking backgrounds. Before each exam segment, all translation dictionaries will be verified.

Mobile phones, programmable calculators, other electronic devices, and any other written materials are not authorized. Possession of such things in prohibited places may result in disqualification immediately.

What are the prizes in the International Brain Bee?

All competitors will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment. In addition, the top three winners will receive a monetary award and a medal. Partners also provide additional awards.

1st place

The recipient shall receive cash of $3,000 USD and a personalized plaque.

2nd place

The recipient shall receive cash of $2,000 USD.

3rd place

The recipient shall receive cash of $1,000 USD.

Special Award: IBB Neuroanatomy/ Histology Award

The IBB Neuroanatomy/ Histology Award will be given to the highest student in the IBB World Championship’s neuroanatomy/ neurohistology component. The prize acknowledges the significance of neuroanatomy/histology in understanding the brain.

It consists of a US $100 reward and a book highlighting Nobel Laureate Santiago Ramn Y Cajal’s creative brain images and contributions to neuroscience.

Linda J. Richards, Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Edison Professor of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, endowed the prize. Dr. Richards has served on the International Brain Bee Board of Directors and is the founder of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge.

Who are the 2022 IBB winners?

Who are the International Brain Bee winners of 2022? Helen Li, who hails from Canada, has taken the top spot in this competition. Anmol Bhatia, who competes for the United States, came in second place, while Ugne Birstonaite, who competes for Lithuania, came in third place.

Helene Li

Helene Li is in the ninth grade at Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ontario. She is in the International Baccalaureate program there. Math and biology are the subjects she likes best at school. She plays volleyball and the piano when she has free time.

She is very interested in neuroscience because she wants to learn more about the brain and how it works. She also wants to find new ways to treat serious illnesses and make people’s lives better. Preparing for the Brain Bee has helped her become a better student. She has laid the groundwork for her future studies in neuroscience and actively looked for better ways to study that will help her for years to come.

Helene hopes that one day, she will be able to help neuroscientists all over the world with their work. She is proud to represent Canada at the International Brain Bee 2022, which is a once-in-a-lifetime event. She is also looking forward to putting her knowledge of neuroscience to the test with her peers who are also interested in the subject and making friends for life.

Anmol Bhatia

Anmol is a third-year student at NJ’s Watchung Hills Regional High School. When he learned how hard it was to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, he became interested in the brain. He has also placed in the top half of the USABO twice, won a gold medal at the British Biology Olympiad, and won two gold medals at the International Medicine Olympiad.

When he’s not studying biology, he likes to play on the Varsity Tennis Team at his high school and coach the middle school MathCounts Team. He likes to play table tennis, sing, and listen to music in his free time. Because of the Brain Bee, he is now interested in how the brain becomes addicted to substances. He wants to study medicine to help people with substance use disorders find a way to get better.

Ugne Birstonaite

Ugne Birstonaite is a high school student at Vilnius Vytautas Magnus Gymnasium. She is 17 years old. After hearing a talk about lucid dreams, she became interested in neuroscience for the first time. Ugne is especially interested in molecular biology and behavioral neuroscience. After she graduates from high school, she wants to study biochemistry and then specialize in neuroscience.

One of her interests is degenerative diseases, and she wants to help us learn more about them. She likes to listen to music and play the violin and piano when she’s not in school. She loves to travel, and one day she hopes to go to Iceland. Ugne is proud to be representing her country, Lithuania, at the International Brain Bee. She thinks this will help her reach her goals in science.

Who are some of the governing partners of the International Brain Bee?

Who are some of IBB’s partners in running the prestigious competition? Below are some of the governing partners that help run the International Brain Bee:

American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the biggest scientific and professional organization in the United States that represents psychology. Nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, physicians, consultants, and students are members of the APA.

APA seeks to enhance the production, communication, and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and connections with 60 state, territory, and Canadian provincial associations.

DANA Foundation

The Dana Foundation is a private charitable organization that promotes research on the brain through the provision of funds, the publication of scholarly works, and the implementation of educational initiatives.

Alzheimer’s Association

Accelerating research on a worldwide scale, promoting risk reduction and early diagnosis, and ensuring the highest possible levels of quality treatment and support are the primary focuses of the Alzheimer’s Association as it works to eradicate Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Their dream is to see a world free of Alzheimer’s disease and every other kind of dementia. Visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at www.alz.org or contact the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800.272.3900 for additional information.

AdmissionSight is willing to help

The International Brain Bee’s mission is to get more students interested in neuroscience careers by highlighting the importance of studying the brain and how it works so that they can aid in the diagnosis, care, and potential cure for brain disorders.

While on the topic of being well informed and perhaps wanting to enter into a prestigious school with a solid neuroscience program, you should seek the guidance of professionals who work in the subject of college admissions, such as those who work at AdmissionSight, in order to increase your chances of being accepted.

AdmissionSight has become the most trusted name in the field of college admissions advice as a result of its more than a decade of expertise assisting students just like you in gaining admission to the colleges of their first and second preferences.

Please get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can schedule an initial consultation that will be provided free of charge.



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