Detailed Rules

How does the competition work?

FameLab promotes exciting and engaging science and engineering talks that are entertaining for the public. Participants give a 3-minute talk that is 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. In Switzerland participants can register for one of the two semi-finals. At the semi-finals a total number of ten participants is selected to compete at the Swiss FameLab final. At this event the judges decide who will represent Switzerland at the international FameLab competition in Cheltenham.

Minimal props are allowed but there is no set-up time or assistance. Power Point presentations are not permitted. At regional competitions, participants may speak in German, French or English, however, all talks must be given in English at the national final. Up to ten finalists from the regional heats will advance to the master class and the Swiss final. National finalists must give a different talk, applying the skills they acquired during the master class. The semi-finals and finals will be held in front of a public audience, who will determin the winner of the audience prize.

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 prepare two 3-minute presentations. They may address the same topic, but should not be identical.

Who may participate?

Eligible participants must be between 18 and 35 years old and studying or working in science in Switzerland. This includes students, researchers, private and public sector employees, teachers, technicians and anyone working in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. This includes biology, biotechnology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, medicine, pharmacy, physics, psychology, robotics, astronomy, etc.

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

What can you win?

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 at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. The trip will be funded by the FameLab Switzerland partners. Regional winners will also be rewarded with a small prize.