Tuesday 28 October 2014


Are you Northern Ireland's brightest science star? You've just three minutes to impress …

The British Council, in conjunction with the inaugural NI Science Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival, will host the final of Northern Ireland’s FameLab competition at The Black Box, Belfast on Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

Held annually in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, FameLab sees the top new voices from the world of science and engineering deliver short three-minute pieces on bizarre and pertinent science concepts – anything from why men have nipples to how 3D glasses work. Presentations are then judged according to FameLab’s golden rule – the three Cs: Content, Clarity and Charisma.

The winner of FameLab Northern Ireland will then go through to the National Final on April 22, 2015 at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

To enter, you’ve got to be passionate about science, engineering, technology or mathematics and be able to communicate this effectively in less than three minutes. Contestants, who should be working or studying in one of these scientific fields, will then need to upload a short video to YouTube which inspires, excites and engages the public with modern science.

These submissions will then be whittled down to just 10 who will compete to be crowned the winner of FameLab Northern Ireland. 

According to Jonathan Stewart, Deputy Director at British Council Northern Ireland, there are many reasons to take part in this global communication competition.

He said: “By entering FameLab you will begin a journey with like-minded people, explore your own potential and, most of all, have a fantastic time. Globally more than 4000 individuals studying or working in STEM have taken part. The result is a vibrant network of exciting scientists and engineers engaging international audiences but also engaging with each other, broadening each other’s views of what it means to be working in science right now.

“If all that isn’t enough you could also win a place on an all-expenses paid communication master class, a trip to Cheltenham Science Festival, as well as various prizes if you make it through to our live final at the Black Box.

“The British Council is proud to bring such a prestigious competition to Northern Ireland in conjunction with the NI Science Festival and we look forward to seeing how creative the scientific community can be.”

Speaking about the competition, Chris McCreery, the Director of NI Science Festival said:

“The NI Science Festival is delighted to welcome FameLab as a keystone event for our inaugural festival.  As the impact of science on society increases with every new discovery, it is vital that the public understand new developments in science.  This requires scientists to have both the skills and desire to communicate their work. 

“The festival is passionate about connecting people to the wonders of science and the world class scientific research taking place in Northern Ireland.  We aim to encourage more people to connect with science and FameLab is the perfect platform to find, train and excite a new generation of science communicators.”

2014’s FameLab International winner was Padraig Flood, from  the Netherlands, who discussed improving photosynthesis to prevent food scarcity.

He said: “FameLab is fantastic, it opens a direct dialogue between scientists and the public, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it last year.”

If you feel you’re up to the challenge, you need to submit a video to YouTube and email the link along with the application form to famelab_ni@britishcouncil.org. The application, along with terms and conditions, can be found at nireland.britishcouncil.org. Deadline for applications is midnight, December 31 2014.

For more information on British Council Northern Ireland or FameLab, visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org of follow on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI


Notes to Editor

  • The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, English, science, sport and governance and last year we engaged face to face with 18.4 million people and reached 652 million. We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm’s length from government. Our total turnover in 2009/10 was £705 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government was £211 million. For every £1 of government grant we receive, we earn £2.50 from other sources. For more information, please visit: http://nireland.britishcouncil.org or follow us on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI
  • The NI Science Festival celebrates the wonders of science, technology, engineering and maths. The 11 day festival, held between February 19 and March 1 2015, will focus on providing young people, adults and families with a wide range of interactive workshops, inspirational talks and exciting hands-on activities. For more information visit http://www.nisciencefestival.com. 

About the British Council

For further information please contact: 

Claire McAuley T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Claire.McAuley@britishcouncil.org Twitter: @BCouncil_NI