The CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee is inspiring the next generation of neuroscientists

For the first time in its history, the 2021 Canadian National Brain Bee will be a virtual event.  High school students from across Canada will compete online on Friday, June 4th and Saturday, June 5th 2021. The Friday event is a competition between brain bee regions from coast to coast. The winners for each regional brain bee will advance to the national competition on Saturday. The students will be tested on their knowledge of neuroscience and their skills at patient diagnosis. Topics will cover memory, sleep, intelligence, emotion, perception, stress, aging, brain-imaging, neurology, neurotransmitters, genetics and brain disease, to name just a few.

The Regional Brain Bee competitions on Friday will include Yukon, Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Windsor, London, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, New Brunswick, Halifax, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

“It is always exciting to meet these excellent high school students who have prepared so well for the challenges of this competition. Our desire is to inspire the next generation of neuroscientists,” says Dr. Judith Shedden, professor in McMaster’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and chair of the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee Committee.

The CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee is supported nationally by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

“We are honoured to once again support this competition, which allows for bright young students in Canada to gather and demonstrate their knowledge of the brain,” says Dr. Samuel Weiss, Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. “It is important to stimulate interest and passion for neuroscience among talented students who represent the future in this field.”

Winners will receive trophies and scholarship awards of $1,500, $1,000 and $500. The first-place champion will win an internship in a neuroscience laboratory and a Canadian Association of Neuroscience (CAN-CAN) annual meeting registration. The champion will represent Canada at the International Brain Bee, which will also be a virtual event in 2021.

More information can be found at

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 156,000 alumni in 140 countries.

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada’s health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.