The FameLab, Cheltenham Festivals and British Council logos
Dubbed the ‘World Cup of the science world’, the FameLab International science communication competition will be broadcast live on YouTube this November.

FameLab International is back this November, which will see researchers from the science, engineering, maths and technology fields representing 20 countries compete on the virtual stage to vie for the title of world’s best science communicator.

The pressure is on as each competitor will have just three minutes to communicate their specialist knowledge with the audience in an accessible and engaging way - and will be watched by a global audience as well as a panel of expert judges including geneticist and BBC presenter Giles Yeo, structural engineer Roma Agrawal and science rapper Jon Chase.

Judges and audiences alike will cast votes for their favourite talks and determine who will take home the glory and coveted title of international champion.

Battling it out in FameLab International 2020 are young researchers representing Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Korea, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the UK.

In true international tournament style, the national representatives will first compete in semi final heats on 11-12 November, with the winners going head-to-head in the international final on 26 November which will be streamed on the FameLab YouTube channel.

Through the competition’s 15-year history, FameLab has become a much-celebrated part of the UK science scene with involvement from well-known scientists including Vivienne Parry, Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Jim Al-Khalili.

Every year the people behind the FameLab International Final - Cheltenham Science Festival and the British Council - join forces to bring together young scientists from all over the world as part of their shared charitable mission in education and public engagement in science. And communicating cutting edge scientific research and concepts in simple and accessible ways is more important than ever before.

Dr Giles Yeo, a geneticist at the University of Cambridge and presenter on BBC’s Horizon and Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, and a judge in the FameLab International semi final says: ‘In these days of rampant anti-intellectualism, there has never been a more important time to celebrate excellence in science communication. I am excited to see what these talented scientists have in store!’

FameLab International 2020 judges
An expert panel of judges will help decide the global winner at the FameLab International 2020 Online Final.

FameLab International 2020 event heats and judges

FameLab® is a competition owned and created by Cheltenham Festivals in the UK. The British Council has license to deliver the competition overseas.

The online events will be streamed live on the FameLab YouTube channel at

11 November at 4pm UK time: Semi Final 1 
Talks from competitors representing Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Qatar, South Africa, Thailand and the UK.
Judges: Christina Melidou, Suzi Gage and Sheena Cruickshank.

12 November at 4pm UK time: Semi Final 2 
Talks from competitors representing Australia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Switzerland, Brazil, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ireland and Spain.
Judges: Nadia El-Awady, Giles Yeo and Martin Coath.

16 November at 12pm UK time: Announcement of finalists

26 November at 4pm UK time: International Final
 Jon Chase, Roma Agrawal and Eduardo Sáenz De Cabezón.

About Cheltenham Science Festival

Cheltenham Science Festival  8 – 13 June 2021
Cheltenham Science Festival is a celebration of the wonder of everyday science in the world around us. It creates unique experiences by giving audiences access to ground-breaking scientists to debate, discuss and explore. In 2020 the Festival presented a 6-day digital Science Festival streamed for free on the Cheltenham Festivals YouTube channel which was viewed over 75,000 times.

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