Research on the International Biology Olympiad


Identifying and supporting talented students in biology is essential for science and the economy. The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) plays an important role in promoting biology as a field (outreach) as well as advancing outstanding future biologists (talent development). The IBO is an annual competition for secondary school students (http://www.ibo-info.org/). Currently, over sixty countries send students to compete in theoretical and practical biology tasks.


The project IBOint at the IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education initiates, conducts, and coordinates collaborative research studies about different aspects of the IBO.


Research about the IBO takes place at different levels, including

  • Items: analysis of national selection and international competition items
  • Participants: motivation, preparation
  • mentors/alumni: support, careers
  • organizational: selection processes in different countries, rewards
  • technical: technology-enhanced assessment and inquiry; technology for event management; database of items


The goals of these research projects are to gain a deeper knowledge about the IBO and to inform further development of the organization.