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BBSRC backs UK team at 2009 International Biology Olympiad

17 November 2008

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the UK’s principal public funder of bioscience research and training, has announced that it is sponsoring the UK team for the 2009 International Biology Olympiad which will take place in Tsukuba, Japan. The Olympiad is a prestigious international competition to find the most talented young biology students.

The British Biology Olympiad aims to stimulate and challenge thousands of aspiring young scientists in Year 12 and Year 13. Entrants will take part in three rounds comprising both theory and practical examinations, which begin in January 2009. From these a team will be selected to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad and BBSRC will provide support for the UK team for the next three years.

BBSRC is also supporting the Biology Challenge - a new national competition for Year 9 and Year 10 students aimed at encouraging pupils to maintain an interest in biology during and after their GSCEs.

BBSRC Chief Executive, Professor Douglas Kell, said: "BBSRC is committed to supporting future bioscience talent and the British Biology Olympiad is a great opportunity to encourage school students to expand their interest in biology. The Biology Olympiad and the Biology Challenge will give pupils the opportunity to stretch themselves and compare their achievements with others across the UK.

We are proud to the backing the UK team at the 2009 International Biology Olympiad. We wish them every success in representing UK bioscience."


Notes to editors

The British Biology Olympiad (BBO) is an annual competition for post-16 year-old students. It is part of the International Biology Olympiad (IBO).

The closing date for entries to the BBO is Friday 19 December 2008.

The Biology Challenge is a new competition for Year 9 and Year 10 pupils in the UK. This competition is designed to enable pupils from all types of schools to enjoy taking part and for as many as possible to be rewarded for their participation.

Registration for the Biology Challenge closes Friday 16 January 2009.

The International Biology Olympiad 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 participating country sends four students, who are the winners of the respective national competitions. They are to be accompanied by two team leaders as representatives of each country.

Next year marks the 20th International Biology Olympiad, to be held in Tsukuba, Japan 12-19 July 2009.


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £420M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299