Prepare a 3-minute talk

Participants give a 3-minute talk based on an interesting science topic that is designed to be understandable to a general public. A jury will question participants after each talk, and will provide feedback when possible. Participants are evaluated on content, clarity and charisma. You can use minimal props, however there is no set-up time allowed for props/equipment. Power Point presentations are not permitted.

Details for Preparation

FameLab could be classified as a milestone in my life. I learned tremendously about myself, communication, my own style, perceiving myself and topics from an outsider perspective, value of feedback and an iterative process. I gained a lot of confidence in presenting anything

Oskari Vinko (National Winner)

Language requirements

At regional competitions, participants may speak in German, French or English, however, all talks must be given in English at the national final.

How many stages are there?

There are two main stages, which involve national Regional Heats/Semi-Finals and Finals in Switzerland. Then a global Final, hosted at the Cheltenham Science Festival.

Semi-finals / Regional Heats

In Switzerland participants can register for one of the three semi-finals. Up to ten performers from the regional heats will advance to the master class and the Switzerland final. If there is a large number of participants in the regional level, the competition may be divided into two preliminary rounds in the morning and afternoon, and a final round in the evening. All participants would need to prepare two 3-minute presentations. They may address the same topic, but presentations should not be identical.

National Finals

National finalists must deliver a different talk on a new topic, applying the skills they acquired during the master class. The finals will be held in front of a public audience, who will determine the winner of the audience prize. At this event the judges decide who will represent Switzerland at the international FameLab competition in Cheltenham.

Semi Finals
(Regional Heats)
Master Class
(for Finalists)
National Finals
Global Finals

Who can apply?

Eligible participants must be between 18 and 35 years old and studying or working in STEM subjects (natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics) or social sciences (anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, linguistics, politics, psychology and sociology) in Switzerland.

This includes:

Journalists, broadcasters, public relations specialists and performers who work in the field of science and engineering are not permitted to enter the competition (but write about it of course). Previous FameLab semi-finalists who attended the master class are also excluded from registering for a second time.

What's the prize?

All semi-finalists will be invited to attend a two-day master class in science communication. They will work with UK and Swiss media trainers and communication experts to develop their presentation skills. All national finalists will also benefit from local media coverage.

The Swiss FameLab winner will compete in the FameLab International competition organized by Cheltenham Science Festivals. The FameLab international competition takes place in a virtual format in November. Regional winners will also be rewarded with a small prize.

What I mostly gained from this experience is that inside every one of us exists a lot of potential and we just need to spend some time unearthing them. Nothing grows in the comfort zone, one need not be afraid of sharing what you’re passionate about with others.

Ossama Khalaf (National Winner)