We organise the regional heats and final of FameLab UK – a brilliant competition to find the new voices of science, technology, engineering and maths. The most engaging, creative and daring individuals in science battle to surprise and fascinate a general public audience with unbelievable facts and unforgettable performances. They are also watched by three judges and have just three minutes to impress on a STEM topic of their choice. Powerpoint slides and lecture notes are not allowed! Oxford competitors have a great record of making it to the final (and doing really well.) In 2019 Sam Hatfield, an atmospheric physics PhD student at the University of Oxford, won the Oxford Heats and went on to be named Runner Up in the competition’s national finals held at the Cheltenham Science Festival. In 2018 Lucy Guille, a junior doctor based in Bristol, came through the Oxford Heats to become overall FameLab UK winner, and in 2016 our heats generated both the eventual winner Kyle Evans and the runner-up Jase Taylor.
The judges will be looking for the 3C’s when watching the performances – content, clarity and charisma.
Content – Does the talk have structure and a creative narrative?
Clarity – How does the contestant bring the topic to life and make it easily understandable?
Charisma – How does the contestant interact with their audience (body language, eye contact, delivery?)
The competition launches in November with heats and a regional final in Spring and the UK final in June.
Top Tips from 2018 Oxford and UK overall winner, Lucy Guile
- If you use a prop, make sure it’s big enough for the audience to see. Familiar objects used in unexpected ways can help people engage with your talk
- Make sure your talk comfortably fits into the three minute limit – allowing yourself to speak a comfortable pace is more valuable than shoehorning in one more point!
- Something that you genuinely find interesting and are excited to talk about