(Syllabus) Olympiad: Biology

(Syllabus) Olympiad: Biology


1 Introduction

1. Introduction

The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is a competition for secondary school students. Their skills in tackling biological problems, and dealing with biological experiments are tested. Interest in biology, inventiveness, creativity and perseverance are necessary.

Every member country sends four student competitors, who are the winners of the respective national competitions. They are to be accompanied by two team leaders as representatives of each country.

2. Aims of the IBO

The IBO is a competition for secondary school students who are interested in biology. In bringing together gifted students, the IBO challenges, stimulates students to expand their talents, and to promote science as a career. The objectives of this competition are to:

  • Stimulate active interest in biological studies;

  • Promote networking and understanding between biology students;

  • Promote and exchange ideas about biology education

3. History

The first international biological competition between Czechoslovakia and Poland from 1985 to 1989 provided ground for the future IBO proper. The positive experience during international Olympiads in other natural sciences and mathematics led to the idea of starting an international biology Olympiad. So UNESCO asked the former Czechoslovakia to take the initiative. Six interested countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Poland and the Soviet Union) founded the IBO in 1989 (Prague and Brno) and participated in the first IBO, which was held in Olomouc in July 1990. Notwithstanding some initial difficulties, this Olympiad was a great success and it was decided to continue with the IBO. In subsequent Olympiads the number of participating countries increased rapidly.


Immediately after the first Olympiad, a Coordinating Centre was established in Prague and every November, a meeting of appointed coordinators (Advisory Board) assembles in this Centre to prepare new proposals and improve regulations, the content, and preparations of future Olympiads, etc.

A list of countries involved in the IBO is presented in Appendix V.

2 Structure of the International Biology Olympiad

IBO bodies

2.1 Coordinating Centre (CC)

The CC acts as the secretariat of the IBO1 and fulfils the following functions:

  • Provides information for all member countries and related international institutions (UNESCO, IUBS, etc.)

  • Coordinates the Advisory Board and the General Assembly, in a non-voting capacity;

  • Ensures preparation and distribution of materials to these meetings;

  • Promotes contacts with other non-IBO member countries;

  • Coordinates the invitation of observers from other non-IBO member countries by the future host country;

  • Accumulates relevant documentation about the competition;

  • Registers and updates addresses of coordinators, their deputies, observers and of institutions taking part in the IBO;

  • Collects materials and information regarding the IBO and other biological competitions, including descriptions of National Biology Olympiads or similar competitions used to select IBO competitors;

  • Presents a yearly report about its activities and the financial situation at the General Assembly.

The CC fulfils these activities in collaboration with the IBO Steering Committee, IBO member countries and other organizations in accordance with the aims of the IBO. It organizes the annual IBO Advisory Board meeting. The CC will send an invoice to each country as a PDF by the end of March for members to pay the IBO membership fee.

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Courtesy: Olympiad HBC

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