About FameLab

FameLab is the only international science communication competition designed to give scientists and engineers the skills, confidence and opportunities to share their enthusiasm for research with the public. Participants from around the world engage and entertain you armed only with their wits and a few props – the result is an unpredictable, enlightening and exciting way to encourage your curiosity and find out about current research.

FameLab was started in 2005 in the UK by Cheltenham Science Festival. Since the beginning of our partnership with the British Council in 2007, over 10000 scientists and engineers from 31 countries have participated, with country winners coming together for the International FameLab Final, usually held at Cheltenham Science Festival each June. The result is a vibrant global network of scientists and engineers engaging with international audiences.



The rules of FameLab are few, but crucial:

• You have 3 minutes to present any scientific, engineering, mathematical or medical topic of your choice
• You cannot use a PowerPoint, other electronic presentation or audio recording
• You can only use the props that you can carry onto stage yourself (there will be no time for set up)
• If you make it through the Heats to the Regional Final you have to prepare a second presentation (which can be on the same topic but must be demonstrably different in content)

A judging panel of 3-5 judges will have up to two minutes to ask questions after each presentation. They will determine the winners on the basis of three judging criteria: quality of content, clarity of presentation and charisma.

• Content: The content of the presentations MUST be scientifically accurate. If the topic chosen has controversy or uncertainty around it, then the presentation must acknowledge the opposing views. The scientific topic presented should be well chosen to suit the audience.
• Clarity: Clarity is critical for effective science communication. The structure of the talk is important; as well as making sure the audience and judges can follow the talk and are left with an understanding of the scientific concept chosen. The talk should be aimed at an adult, lay audience.
• Charisma: The audience and judges should be left inspired and enthused about science. The presenter must have that hard-to-describe but unmistakable quality of charisma. The winner will be the one who makes the science easy to listen to, entertaining and exciting. Who is not only able to communicate the science but who can share their passion for it.

FameLab Academy

FameLab Academy is a schools initiative which seeks to revolutionise science communication in schools.



For the UK competition, entrants must be 21 years old or older, studying or working in science, engineering, technology, medicine or mathematics, and based in the UK while participating.


FameLab is trying to find people who want to talk about their science, not the people who have already shifted into science communication or promotion as a full-time career.

We welcome:

• Lecturers in science, mathematics or engineering subjects, including specialist science teachers with a science degree.

• Researchers who use existing research or meta-studies – they don’t have to be getting their hands dirty

• People who work on applying science, technology or mathematics – for example, patent clerks, statisticians, computer technicians, consultants to

• industry…

• Postgraduate students of science, mathematics or engineering (over 21)

• People who apply science, mathematics or engineering in the armed forces or government bodies

• People who apply science, engineering or mathematics in industry or business


Sorry we can’t accept people who are:

• Press or PR officers, even for science-related organisations

• Artists who work on science-related themes

• Performers whose shows are about science or engineering

• Science centre staff who work exclusively or mainly with the public

• Journalists and broadcasters (as their main or only job)

• Non-specialist school teachers

• Please contact famelab@cheltenhamfestivals.com if you are unsure about your eligibility.

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