International Group Project



Imagine, discuss, and propose the future of biology
through current worldwide biological challenges!

Human beings in the 21st century are facing various challenges that are more global and interdisciplinary than ever in history. We believe that biology is a key academic field in resolving these highly complicated issues and sustainably developing our society, as it deeply encompasses both knowing ourselves and knowing our surroundings.

Through the IBO Challenge 2020 International Group Project, we aim to provide students with valuable opportunities of imagining, discussing, and proposing the future of biology together with fellow young biologists across the world. Students will be able to form life-long relationships with other IBO community members and obtain extensive professional feedback on their proposal.

Event Details – To Be Updated

Group Structure

Each group will consist of a maximum of four students, all representing different countries. Utilizing online communication tools (emails, messages, video calls, etc.), each group will tackle a unique project that focuses on a task and topic of their choice (see Tasks and Topics below).

Project Facilitators, selected from IBO2020 volunteers, will oversee the project in each group. They will also work as a bridge between the students and the IBO2020 Organizing Committee (organizer).

Tasks and Topics

Prior to the event, each student will select a) the task they would like to carry out and b) what topic area they would like to focus on. Based on these preferences, we will aim to match students with others interested in the same tasks and topic areas.

Tasks (Choose One)

  1. Plan and propose a creative experiment on a selected topic.
  2. Discuss and propose how biology can address a selected topic.

Topics (Choose One)

  1. Infectious Diseases
  2. Biodiversity and Oceans
  3. Genome Editing
  4. Evolution

Project Deliverables

At the end of the project, all groups must create and digitally submit their proposal in either of the following two forms. Within each form, there are no layout or format requirements.

  • PowerPoint: maximum 4 pages
  • Poster (in PDF format): maximum 1 sheet

While groups can include photos or other static visual aids in their proposal, they cannot include videos. Proposals must be written in English.


Top Groups:

After careful evaluation by professional scientists, we will announce and award several groups with top performances. Some attractive prizes (TBA) may be awarded!

All Groups:

Proposals from all groups will be posted on our official website. In addition, all groups will receive feedback on their proposals from scientists specialized in their selected topic.

How to Participate

All students who participate in the IBO Challenge 2020 exam will automatically be enrolled into the group project. In addition, we accept students from IBO countries that will not participate in the exam portion of IBO Challenge 2020 (see below for more details).

During the IBO Challenge 2020 Country/Personal Registration, we will ask each student’s preferences on tasks and topics (up to three). While optional, students can also submit several keywords to describe their specific interests within a topic for better group matching, as each topic is very broad. With consent, we will ask for students’ email addresses so that the Project Facilitators can reach out to group members.

Important Information to IBO Country Coordinators:
It is possible for your students (maximum four students per country) to participate in the group project even if your country does not organize the IBO Challenge 2020 exams. We will not charge participation fees to countries that only take part in the group project. Students who only participate in the group project will, however, not receive participation certificates from IBO Challenge 2020.

Important Dates

31 July: Deadline to submit information related to the group project via Country/Personal Registration

After the Exam (12 August in local time zones): Group assignment will be announced

31 October: Deadline to submit the final proposal

WANTED: Project Facilitators

We will recruit Project Facilitators from formerly accepted IBO2020 volunteers. Project Facilitators will guide, energize, and deepen group discussions with highly motivated and passionate students from all over the world.

The Project Facilitator application will be open in mid-to-late June and be sent to all accepted IBO2020 volunteers. Just as for students, we will ask each applicant’s task/topic preferences to make the discussion just as meaningful for Project Facilitators.