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New frontiers await scientists in every field of research, whether on land, under the sea, or in space. From our origins as humans to the origins of our Solar System, from species’ interactions in an ecosystem to Earth’s interaction with the Sun, from climate change to the possibility of life elsewhere in the Universe, sheer curiosity and passion for knowledge will always keep us at the cutting edge of exploration.

In today’s media-intensive environment, your ability to convey your science can reshape the face of science exploration and discovery.

FameLab asks…how are you exploring Earth and beyond?

Let's Talk Scientific Exploration!

At regional heats throughout the US over the next two years, join early career scientists from numerous disciplines and compete to convey your research or related science concepts. Each contestant has the spotlight for only three minutes. No slides, no charts, just the power of words and any prop you can hold in your hands. A panel of experts in both science and science communication will do the judging.

Winners from the FameLab Exploring Earth and Beyond regional competitions will face off in April, 2016 for a grand prize and the chance to compete with peers from around the world at the FameLab International Final in the UK in June, 2016.

Beyond the competition element, the heart of FameLab is to improve your communication skills! At each preliminary event there will be a workshop with training in the principles and practices of good communication.

FameLab USA: Season Three
Event Dates and Locations

Preliminary Regional Heats:

December 14-15, 2014, San Francisco, CA
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

April 16-17, 2015, Stony Brook, NY
Stony Brook University

May 30, 2015, Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix ComiCon

June 13-15, Chicago, IL
AbSciCon 2015


Anatomy of a Famelab Regional Heat

  • Choose an “Exploring Earth and Beyond” topic, concept, and/or research area; this can include but is not limited to the topic of your own research.

  • Prepare TWO three-minute oral presentations. They may address the same topic, but if they do, they must be notably distinct. Small props are welcome, but no electronic media including slides or charts are allowed. A printed image is not a prop!

  • All competitors will deliver their first presentation to the judges first thing in the morning on the day of the heat.

  • After a lunch break, the group participates in a science communication workshop.

  • Winners of the morning competition round will advance to the evening round where they will present their second piece to both the judges and a public audience.

  • All contestants are invited and encouraged to attend the evening final round to cheer on their fellow communicators and reap the benefit of all the judges’ feedback!

  • A winner and several wild cards are chosen from each regional heat. Ultimately, the regional winners and a few of the wild cards will emerge as the ten finalists who advance to the FameLab Final in DC in April, 2014. The winner of the FameLab final will advance to the FameLab International Final in the UK in June, 2014.

Preparing for and Participating in the Online Heat

Can’t make it to any of the regional heats? No problem! FameLab will include an online heat, allowing you to compete from home.

  • Register through this website (see below) and select “online” from the dropdown menu when selecting the heat you wish to participate in.
  • You will receive a follow up email from FameLab organizers with further direction on how and when to send us your video.
  • Your video should:
    • be up to three minutes long (content after this time limit will not be judged)
    • no editing or special effects
    • no other people or excessive props
    • not contain any background music
  • Recording quality will not be assessed.
  • Online competitors advancing to the online final may be asked to submit a second three-minute piece.

Are YOU Eligible?

Famelab is focused on identifying and cultivating new talent from within the science community! Here’s who’s eligible:

  • Those actively doing research in fields such as:

    Anthropology, Archaeology, Astrobiology,
    Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biology,
    Climatology, Conservation, Ecology,
    Geography, Geology, Heliophysics,
    Paleontology, Planetary Science, Oceanography

  • Graduate students (both MS and PhD)
  • Postdoctoral fellows and early career researchers within 5 years of receiving PhD or MS
  • Upper division, advanced undergraduate students and mid-career scientists will not be turned away, but the focus is on early career.
  • International (non-US citizen) scientists who are currently working and studying in the US are welcome.
  • Science communication students and professionals are NOT eligible.

Click here to register.