The Competition

3 Levels of Competition




Local Brain Bees

The local Brain Bee level is comprised of grassroots chapters, which are generally organized through universities or research institutions in cities, states, provinces, or other geographic regions. Each local chapter, and also each region's local chapters, are organized individually, so format may vary.


Most IBB local rounds are based on either the Brain Facts or Neuroscience: The Science of the Brain books. These are brief, introductory materials that offer an introduction to neuroscience. However, please note that each local Brain Bee is organized individually. Please contact your local Brain Bee for specific information as to how the competition will be run, and how to prepare.

Find a Chapter

Under Development

Regional Information

Regional Brain Bees are usually held at the scope of a country or territory. Each regional Brain Bee is organized individually. Please contact your region's coordinator for more information regarding your regional Brain Bee.

Participating Regions

International Competition Structure *


A neuroanatomy practical exam with human brain tissues. 90 seconds are granted at each station to provide structure names and/or basic functions.


Video footage of patients will be shown alongside a written medical history. Students may request results from two lab or imaging exams to aid in the diagnosis.

Live Q&A

The judging panel will pose questions to the group, occasionally with projected visual components. Students are given 30-60 seconds to write their answers.


A 30-question multiple-choice and short-answer quiz, to be completed in 30 minutes. Some questions will involve data and graphical analysis and reasoning.


Human brain and nervous tissues will be displayed under microscopes for 45 seconds. Students must identify the structures by name and/or describe the basic functions of the tissue.


Students will have 30-60 seconds to look at each MRI scan, and identify the indicated structure or space. All MRI scans will be either of the brain or of the spinal cord.

Prepare *

Prizes *

1st Place

  • $3,000 USD
  • IBB Championship Trophy (held for 1 year)
  • Summer Research Internship coordinated by SfN

2nd Place

  • $2,000 USD

3rd Place

  • $1,000 USD

Top 10 Competitors

  • Engraved Trophy

All Competitors

  • Medal, Participation Bag, and Certificate of Participation

* Please be advised that aspects of the competition may vary from year to year.