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Are you a PhD student or postdoc, under 40, and would you like to learn how to explain your research to the general public.. in just three minutes? Join FameLab! A unique opportunity to work on your soft skills, including special training.


Boost your career with FameLab!

Participating in FameLab sharpens your presentation and communication skills. Being able to communicate clearly about your research offers benefits when applying for grants, helps you with outreach (something that many grant providers ask for), and enhances your teaching skills. In short, it can give your career a nice boost.

If you choose to participate in FameLab you will be offered at least one training. For all candidates there is a training in Storytelling. What is a good story? Which elements should be in it? How can you grab the attention of an audience? What tricks can I use to get complicated points across?

Tips & tricks from the Dutch winner of last year! 

The first training this year has a special perk. Last year astronomer Athira Menon from our faculty managed to reach the international finals, and came in 2nd worldwide! She will talk about her experiences with FameLab, and give her most important tips & tricks. After the first training, depending on the number of candidates, a selection will be made; the eight best candidates can go on to theater training and the Amsterdam Heath.

There are also prizes to be won. The winner of the Amsterdam Heath receives a 2-day Master Class at the Royal Dutch Society for Arts and Sciences (KNAW) by leading science communicators. And the winner of the national final receives a fully paid trip to the UK to participate in FameLab International.

UvA astronomer Athira Menon (centre) managed to reach the international finals, and came in 2nd worldwide!

About FameLab

FameLab is an international competition for young scientists who are interested in science communication. Researchers from all over the world bring their best 3-minute pitches in an Idols-like setting. You make your pitch on a stage, without slides. A jury of professionals selects the best participants based on the three FameLab criteria: content, clarity and charisma.

The international final of FameLab is in June during the Cheltenham Science Festival in England. Before that time, there are multiple national and regional finals. For the region of Amsterdam the final (aka the Amsterdam Heath) is organized by the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science together with the Medicine Faculty of the Amsterdam UMC.

Dutch final 2019

Who can join?

The following (international) criteria have been established for participation in FameLab:

  • You are between 21 and 40;
  • PhD student or PostDoc;
  • Your research falls within the internationally defined domain of STEM (including physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer science, technical sciences and medical sciences);
  • If you want to join the Amsterdam final, you either have to work at the UvA Faculty of Science or the Amsterdam UMC.

Important dates

The application deadline is this year from the UvA Faculty of Science February 26. Please note, this is currently not correct on the international FameLab website.

The dates for the training sessions and regional finals are:

  • Training Storytelling and preselection FNWI - Friday 28 February, 11:00 - 15:30, Science Park 904, Amsterdam;
  • Theater training - Monday 9 March, 12.00 - 16.00, Spui25, Amsterdam;
  • Amsterdam Heat - Tuesday 17 March, 6.30 pm - 10.00 pm, Spui25, Amsterdam;
  • Dutch National Final – Wednesday 13 May, Tivoli, Utrecht.

Would you like to participate, but can’t make it to the training dates? Ask for alternative options.

Registration & questions

Are you interested in joining? Send an e-mail to Nadine Böke, science communications officer of the UvA Faculty of Science, She will provide you with all the further information. You can also contact her for questions.