FameLab is back!

Competition heats in November 2013

Beltane is delighted to help host the Scottish heats of FameLab 2014!

FameLab is a science communication competition aimed at scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians aged twenty-one or older. Entrants can be from universities, schools and industry.

Competitors have three minutes to present on any scientific, engineering, mathematical or medical topic. They cannot use PowerPoint or other electronic presentations, and can only make use of limited props. All entrants will be judged on the three FameLab criteria of Content, Clarity and Charisma.

Although FameLab is a competition, the idea is not to eliminate failure but to encourage all participants. Judges are experts, but friendly ones, and the experience is fun as well as challenging!

Oh, and if you win the UK final, you get £1,750.

FameLab 2014 timeline

  • Monday 11th November, 10am-12pm: Training for Edinburgh heat competitors at Teviot Row House (map)
  • Monday 11th November, 1-3pm: Edinburgh heat at Teviot Row House
  • Tuesday 12th November, 1.30-4.30pm: Aberdeen training at Satrosphere (map)
  • Tuesday 12th November, 6pm onwards: Aberdeen heat at Satrosphere
  • Saturday 30th November, 2-4pm: Scottish final at Summerhall, Edinburgh (map)
  • February 2014: Weekend masterclass for winners of regional heats
  • Spring 2014: National (UK) final
  • 3-8 June 2014: International final as part of Cheltenham Science Festival

Entering the competition

You enter the competition by registering with FameLab directly.

Come and watch

If you’d rather just be in the audience, you can just turn up on the day, but it would help us if you registered in advance.


Training for competitors will be available on the morning of 11th November (Edinburgh) and 12th November (Aberdeen). This will be provided by Michael Hargreaves of Voice in Action.

It is not obligatory to attend the training, but it is strongly encouraged – even experienced professors have learned something new from Michael.

Once you have registered for FameLab, the people organising your heat will be in touch with you about training. Please note that the Edinburgh training will take place 10am-midday on Monday 11th November at Teviot Row House.

Video entry

If you cannot attend one of the regional heats, you can submit a video entry instead. Videos need to be up to three minutes long, contain no editing or special effects, not involve other people or excessive props, and have no background music (unless the music is what you are talking about). Information on how to submit a video entry will be available from FameLab shortly.


If you are thinking about entering the competition and would like advice on any aspect of the process, please do get in touch with the Beltane team.