What is FameLab International?

FameLab International is a science communication competition and sees the best new voices in science from around the world compete against one another to be crowned the world's best science communicator at FameLab International. 

Aims of FameLab

  1. Encourage and enable science-related researchers to communicate their work with the public in an engaging and exciting way 

  2. Create an active, international community of science-related researchers who are confident and skilled in communicating their research with the public ​ 

  3. Facilitate an international network of trainers and institutions sharing resources, best practice and opportunities to support science communication 

  4. Find and support the next generation of Cheltenham Science Festival speakers​  

The Competition

Researchers from across the globe gather online or live to compete to vie for the title of world’s best science communicator. 

The rules of FameLab are few but crucial and are the same no matter the stage of the competition.  

Participants have three minutes to 'wow' the judges and the audience and leave them wanting more: 

  • They have three minutes to present any scientific (including social sciences), technology, engineering, mathematical or medical topic of their choice

  • They cannot use notes, PowerPoint, other electronic presentation or audio recording

  • They can only use the props that they can carry onto stage themselves

  • They should prepare and present a different talk for each stage of the competition, to show range and knowledge of their topic.

FameLab Eligibility

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

including social sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics or subjects, including specialist science teachers with a science degree


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

People who apply science

including social sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics – for example, patent clerks, statisticians, computer technicians, consultants to industry

Postgraduate students

of science including social sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics (over 21) 

People who apply science in the armed forces or government bodies

including social sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics

People who apply science in industry or business

including social sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics


Cheltenham Festivals works closely with international partner organisations who will be recognised as a Country Host Organisation for FameLab in their country. These partners will be trained and equipped with all the resources needed before they begin recruitment. Each country will run FameLab independently while still supported by Cheltenham Festivals. National winners then go on to compete at the FameLab International Final

FameLab has been a great chance to meet inspiring people who are doing and communicating wonderful research around the world. Learning from each other, encouraging each other and building networks that will last into the future has been a brilliant experience, and one that I’ve been very lucky to be a part of

Tim Gordon, FameLab International Winner 2019 

Other FameLab projects: