Dubbed the ‘World Cup of the science world’, FameLab International science communication competition is set to take place this November.

This is the final time the competition created by Cheltenham Festivals will be delivered globally in partnership with the British Council. 

Researchers from the science, engineering, maths and technology fields representing 23 countries will connect online and 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 research 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:

  • Rogério Martins, Portugal: author and broadcaster 
  • Tara Shine, Ireland: environmental scientist and policy adviser 
  • Julia Wheeler, UK: journalist who regularly chairs events at Cheltenham Science and Literature Festivals

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 2021 are young scientists and researchers representing Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the UK. 

In true international tournament style, the national representatives will first compete in semi final heats on 10-11 November, with the winners going head-to-head in the International Final on 25 November which will be streamed on the FameLab YouTube channel

Judge Julia Wheeler said:

‘I’m really excited about being a judge in the FameLab International Online Final.'

'The thing I love about FameLab is the energy and enthusiasm of the FameLabbers – and the wonderful way in which they are able to distill complicated concepts and ideas down into something we can all understand. The work and the research they are sharing offer just a snapshot of something that’s much, much bigger.’

2021 marks the 15th and final year of the FameLab International competition created Cheltenham Festivals and delivered globally in partnership with the British Council, involving over 40,000 participants and more than 200 partner organisations giving support to FameLab in over 35 countries. 

While this International Final draws this successful collaboration to a close, Cheltenham Festivals will continue to operate FameLab in the UK and is in discussions with international partners to deliver the format overseas.

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

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

'We are enormously grateful to British Council for such a fruitful and productive global collaboration over 15 years and we look forward to the next chapter.’

The judges for the FameLab International Online Final are Rogério Martins, Tara Shine and Julia Wheeler. 

About FameLab International

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

FameLab International 2021 Online Final

The online events will be streamed live on the FameLab YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/famelab

  • 10-11 November at 4pm UK time: Semi Finals
  • 16 November at 12pm UK time: Announcement of Finalists 
  • 25  November at 4pm UK time: International Final

About Cheltenham Science Festival

Cheltenham Science Festival 7-12 June 2022

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.  

 Cheltenham Science Festival is part of Cheltenham Festivals – a charity delivering a pioneering year-round educational programme culminating in four internationally-acclaimed Jazz, Science, Music and Literature Festivals. Cheltenham Festivals co-creates experiences which bring joy, spark curiosity, connect communities and inspire change.

For more information, please visit the Cheltenham Science Festival website.