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FameLab International 2021: celebrating 15 years of partnership as the final global edition takes place this November

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On 9 June 2021 at Cheltenham Science Festival online, FameLab UK will choose the British representative who will compete against finalists from 24 countries in the FameLab International Online Final.

2021 marks the 15th and final year of the FameLab International competition delivered globally in partnership with the British Council. This year’s event will offer an exciting programme of interactive online heats – and a celebration of the partnership which has led to a global science communication phenomenon.

With over 40,000 participants, 200+ partner organisations giving support to FameLab in more than 35 countries, and a global reach in the millions, FameLab International has been a hugely successful programme.

15 years ago, science communication was in its infancy. The idea of creating a competition to train and equip early-career scientists with the tools to communicate with the general public came from the first Cheltenham Science Festival Directors Kathy Sykes and Frank Burnett. Adrian Fenton, Senior Consultant for Science at the British Council commented “Science is a key part of understanding our world, impacting on all cultures globally, so nurturing individuals’ skills to explain science effectively has been a significant achievement through FameLab International.”

15 years on, the world of sci comms is transformed. We can look back with pride at what FameLab has achieved and look forward to new challenges to take on.

Ali Mawle, Director of Learning and Public Engagement at Cheltenham Festivals

“FameLab has built trust between scientists, researchers and the public and strengthened relationships between early-career scientists around the world. Countless people have contributed to the programme’s success and to the creation of a global FameLab family which will endure.”

The British Council will continue to support the UK’s international reputation for science and research by creating opportunities for collaboration between UK scientists and international counterparts. Cheltenham Festivals remains committed to working collaboratively, championing the next generation of STEM professionals and providing a platform for new talent. Both organisations are keen to sustain the legacy from FameLab, in supporting the development of early career researchers including entrepreneurship and innovation skills. Having had such a fruitful and productive collaboration, there remains the potential for new creative joint ventures in the future.

The FameLab International Final will be held in November 2021.