THE PROGRAM

What is the Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC)?

BIYSC is an international summer science program that aims to stimulate scientific talent among young people from all over the world. It is meant to encourage their enthusiasm for pursuing scientific research and careers in science. BIYSC is intended for undergraduate students from 16 to 18 years old. It has been designed with the aim to offer the participants a world-class experience by allowing them to work in English in small groups, on different scientific and technological challenges proposed by international research centers based in Catalonia, who are involved in cutting-edge research.

The program also offers its participants the possibility to enjoy the company of peers that share their same passion, attending scientific lectures given by leading researchers, and debating and discussing with them the most successful discoveries and scientific advances that are taking place worldwide.

How is the program developed?

The seventh edition of the BIYSC will take place in Barcelona from July 2nd to 12th 2024. During the 10-day program, students participate in one of the research projects offered (10-15 students per project) and work with the scientists on their project of choice. The academic program is demanding, about 6 hours a day. This does not mean that there is no time for other activities or free time, but BIYSC is more than a summer camp. Here participants have to work hard and in the end, they will appreciate how much they have learned.

The research projects offered at BIYSC encompass different areas of theoretical and experimental sciences, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, biology, mathematics, biomedicine, biochemistry, genetics, neuroscience, astrophysics, biotechnology, engineering, etc. The projects’ content is adapted to students aged between 16 to 18 years old (10th to 12th grade*) and the vehicular language of all projects is English. Each project is led by a team of scientists, who will be responsible for guiding the students through their research and transmitting their passion for science, and encourage, engage, and stimulate the participants’ scientific interest and abilities.

Besides the research activities, there will also be conferences given by invited speakers and leisure activities (out-door games, guided tours, excursions, movies, debates, etc). The staff team of the program will lead most of the leisure activities. Finally, the Opening and the Closing ceremonies will take place at the start and at the end of the program, respectively; and on the last day of the campus, the participants will also present their project to the rest of the groups, researchers, and other guests.

* Grades corresponding to 4th grade of ESO, 1st and 2nd grade of baccalaureate in Spain.

Where is the BIYSC held?

The activities within the two-week program will be concentrated in Barcelona.

During the program, the accommodation will be at a college residence, located in a privileged campus setting closely connected with the heart of the city downtown. During these days, participants will take part in the different research projects, which are held in the research centers distributed around the city. All leisure activities during those days also will take place in Barcelona, and the Opening Ceremony will be held at the UNESCO World Heritage Site La Pedrera (Casa Milà), the headquarters of Science Academy - Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation.

Our participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy the BIYSCience Sessions, scientific dissemination lectures, and debates; as well as making the final presentation of their project’s results before the Closing Ceremony on the last day of the campus, when families and researchers are invited to attend. 

Find out here more information about the Accommodation.

What is the cost to participate at BIYSC?

The cost assumed by the student for participation at BIYSC is 3.100€. The total cost of the stay includes accommodation and meals from July 2nd to 12th 2024, the material used in each of the projects, transport to the research centers, activities and programmed visits, remuneration of the researchers, lecturers, and staff, and accident and civil responsibility insurance.

Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation will consider providing scholarships for selected local students based in Catalonia with difficulties to meet the cost of tuition. 

What are the requirements to attend BIYSC?

  • Being between 16 and 18 years old during the summer program.
  • Good academic record, which must be accompanied by an eagerness and motivation to participate in the program. We look for talented and curious young people who, apart from having good academic results, have a genuine interest in scientific research.
  • Good command of the English language.
  • Intention to pursue a career in science.
  • Commitment to make the most of the opportunities offered by the program. 

Find out here more information about the Candidates’ Profile.

How are the participants chosen?

We look for young people with interest, curiosity, and commitment to science. To find them, we are guided by the personal statement and motivation letter that applicants write and where we expect them to show their interest in science, their personal and school projects (hobbies, participation in science contests or fairs, awards received, reading habits, musical instruments played, etc.) and everything they consider to make them suitable candidates for this opportunity. The answers to the questions in the application form are also important, as well as academic records, and the assessment and feedback received from the school teachers in charge of the recommendations.

Find out here more information about the Selection Process.

Do participants need to know English?

English is very important in science and it is the only vehicular language during the program. Therefore, a good level in English it is an essential point for the selection and absolutely necessary to attend BIYSC.

Do I get a certificate of attendance?

Yes, all participants are issued with a certificate after completing the program.

Can I get a supporting letter to help me obtain a VISA?

Yes, please contact us if this is your situation.

What time should I arrive on the arrivals day?

On Monday, July 2nd, 2024, participants should arrive before 3 p.m. local time at the residence a- where the BIYSC Staff Team will be waiting for them to do the check-in. At least one staff member will be waiting for participants arriving at the airport, train or bus station for their pick-up. No student will be left alone at any time. There will be a bus shuttle service from Barcelona Airport scheduled. Students arriving later than 3 p.m. will have to arrange transportation to the residence on their own. 

What time should I leave on the departures day?

On Friday July 12th, 2024, participants will be able to leave the residence after the final presentations at Closing ceremony.

There will be a bus shuttle service only for students to Barcelona Airport. 

We advise participants to get the departure flight or train from 7 p.m. onwards and not before, to have enough time if needed.

What do participants from the last edition say?

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

Where is the accommodation?

During all the program (July 2nd to 12th 2024), the students will live at Aleu Student Residence located in a privileged setting closely connected with the heart of the city downtown.

Find out here more information about the 2024 Accommodation.

Can I stay for extra nights before and/or after BIYSC?

If booked in advance, rooms in the residence may be available only for participants for international non-European flights who need to arrive one day earlier or leave one day later. All arrangements must be made directly through the BIYSC Team. The cost of the extra nights is at the participant’s own expense. Early arrivals or late departure participants will have to make their own travel arrangements to and from the residence because no pick-up services will be provided outside program dates.

To check availability, please contact us well in advance at contact@biysc.org

Will I be sharing a room?

No, the residence offers individual rooms with a private bathroom for BIYSC participants. 

Do I need to bring towels or sheets?

No, the residence provides clean towels and bedding, which are changed on a regular basis or as needed.

Are there laundry facilities?

Yes, the residence provides this service at an extra cost.

Can I keep my belongings safe?

Yes, rooms will be kept closed, but be mindful of your access card key and your valuables and belongings during the day.

Is there internet access?

Yes, free Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and throughout the residence premises.

How many meals do we have in a day?

Three main meals per day are included (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Breakfast is around 8 a.m., lunch around 1 p.m. and dinner around 8 p.m.  (depending on the scheduling of each project, mealtimes may vary slightly to better accommodate activities and logistics). Breakfast and dinner are in the residence. Lunch will be provided at restaurants in the research centers where the different projects are developed. 

What happens if I have special dietary requirements?

Dietary requirements can be catered for if participants fill in their dietary needs on their personal BIYSC account tabs. In case of have a serious dietary requirement or allergy we recommend you bring provisions with you.

OTHER QUESTIONS

Can I visit family and/or friends in Barcelona during the program?

No, you cannot. We advise you to visit family and/or friends before or after the program. Leaving the program is forbidden, and it will be punished with immediate expulsion. No one from outside the program may be invited to the program venues, including accommodation.

Can my family attend?

Family members are not allowed to be present during the program but may be invited to attend the Closing ceremony.

How much spare time is there?

BIYSC offers a full program with a very busy schedule. However, there is also some free time which can be used to participate on leisure activities or relax inside the residence premises. 

How much spending money do I need?

All meals, program activities, and transports are included in the participation fee. Extra money may be required for snacks or souvenirs.

Is there a dress code?

Most research projects require students to dress in long trousers and closed shoes while in the lab as well as wear a lab coat. However, also bring clothing and footwear appropriate for hot weather. Participants can dress smartly for the Opening ceremony, but it is not compulsory.

What if I am homesick?

The staff is available 24 hours a day to help with any problems you might have.

Who do I turn to if I have problems during the program?

Each participant is given a buddy member of the staff to be their contact. Staff are experienced enough to deal with any problems, as they all have been in your position before. They are available 24 hours a day, and a program coordinator is on-site at all times and can be reached on the emergency telephone number, which will be given to you upon arrival.