What is FameLab UK?

FameLab UK is a science communication competition and sees the best new voices in science from around the country compete against one another to be crowned the UK's greatest science communicator and go on to represent the UK 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 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 3-minutes to 'wow' the judges and the audience and leave them wanting more: 

  • Participants have three minutes to present any scientific (including social sciences), technology, engineering, mathematical or medical topic of their choice
  • Participants cannot use a notes, PowerPoint, other electronic presentation or audio recording
  • Participants can only use the props that they can carry onto stage themselves
  • Participants should prepare and present a different talk for each stage of the competition

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 partner organisations who will be recognised as a Regional Hub Organisation for FameLab in their region of the UK. These partners will be trained and equipped with all the resources they need before beginning recruitment. Participants will apply centrally by selecting the hub nearest to them.

Hub Organisations will then run training for all applicants in preparation to take part in their Regional Finals. Regional winners go on to compete at a FameLab UK Final, hosted live at Cheltenham Science Festival. The FameLab UK winner will also represent the UK at the FameLab International Final. 

FameLab has given me the opportunity to be creative when explaining my research. I am more confident speaking to the public while sharing knowledge and the excitement I feel for my research. The training and opportunities provided will help me through my academic and (possibly) even a non-academic career

Bethany Facer, North West, FameLab UK finalist 2024 

Other FameLab projects: