The Foundation for the WA Museum has opened applications for the science communication training program and competition FameLab Australia 2024. Early career researchers have until Sunday 7 April 2024 to submit their application.
FameLab is the world’s leading science communication competition created by Cheltenham Festivals, UK. Since 2007 the competition has gone global in over 35 countries, with more than 40,000 young scientists participating to date. FameLab is recognised as being a powerful tool in identifying and nurturing new voices of science, with previous alumni developing careers in science communication.
The Foundation for the Western Australian Museum is the producer of FameLab Australia. The focus of FameLab Australia is to promote excellence in science communication for early career STEM researchers in universities and industry. The competition is open to early career STEM researchers currently completing postgraduate studies or who are within five years of completing their postgraduate degrees.
FameLab Australia has a focus on STEM in recognition of the role of research to drive innovation and economic prosperity for contemporary economies. FameLab equips early career researchers with skills that are directly relevant to their career and improve their public speaking, media skills, pitching and presentation skills. FameLab develops them into science advocates who can confidently communicate with industry, grant bodies, government and employers, as well as engage young Australians to take up STEM subjects and careers.
Participants undergo an in-depth science communication training program, and learn to communicate their science research in just three minutes. Contestants are judged according to the 3 Cs of FameLab: Content, Clarity, and Charisma.
In 2023, 76 applicants from across Australia received science communication training, with 48 scientists shortlisted to compete in 4 regional, online Semi-finals and receiving further training.
Out of the 48 semi-finalists, 12 finalists were selected, who received further masterclass training and then travelled to Perth for an immersive, intensive multi-day science communication workshop and the live Final at WA Museum Boola Bardip.
Olivia Carroll, an immunologist and microbiologist representing the University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, was named the 2023 Australian FameLab winner and competed in the online FameLab International Final in November 2023. As the Australian FameLab winner, Olivia won a trip to the Cheltenham Science Festival 2024.
Wayne Lubbe, the Foundation’s FameLab Project Manager commented, “FameLab is such an incredible journey. For the participants, it’s a year of professional development, learning valuable new skills, and sharing their research with the world, while also having fun and making new friends. And for us at the Foundation, the experience is no less rewarding. We get to uncover the best up-and-coming science communication talent from around the country, and watch them develop into world class science storytellers. It’s great to be part of this transformative journey and I’m thrilled that FameLab 2024 has now kicked off!”
Key Dates – FameLab Australia 2024
February: FameLab Australia 2024 applications open
7 April: Applications close
April: Online science communication workshop for all applicants; 21 April video submission deadline (for shortlisting)
May: Semi-finalist selection and training
17-21 June: Online Semi-finals
July: Science communication masterclass
24-27 September: Intensive science communication workshop in Perth
26 September: Australian FameLab Final held live in Perth and livestreamed
November: Online FameLab International Final
For more information, visit https://www.fwam.com.au/the-foundation-s-impact/education-learning-and-outreach/famelab-apply