FameLab in Sweden?FameLab is a brilliant and fresh popular communication event, where enthusiasts deliver a scientific message in 3 minutes, without slide.

Since 2005, where the format arrived at Cheltenham Science Festival, the contest has spread all over the world. But not in Sweden. Yet.

With the local support of the British Council and the enthusiasm of the British Embassy in Stockholm, we are planning the very first FameLab in the country. And, yes, it will be a blast.

We are now looking for former FameLabbers, nerds and communicators who wanna create the task force of people to ORGANIZE the event.

Your time will be given for free, but the glory will last forever. We need at least one responsible for each of the following institutions: Karolinksa, Stockholm University and Royal School of Technology. You will collaborate with other enthusiasts and network with leading personalities in the world of media and science communication.

Find below more material that you can use to fetch collaborators and get inspired.

If interested, contact me in any way: twitter, facebook, Google+, email: ricc.guidi@gmail.com, phone: +46727104624


Here is a letter ready to land to some big-windows office at Karolinska Institutet, where I got potential interest:

As leading medical institute in the world, Karolinska has the mandate to a close relationship with citizens and to maintain an active public engagement.

In this regards, we strongly encourage Karolinska to support a new communication format design to become the golden standard for popular science outreach: FameLab.

FameLab is a popular science communication contest firstly introduced at Cheltenham Science Festival in 2005 (UK), where scientists are challenged to deliver a complex scientific story to a general audience in three minutes, power-point free. As simple as it sounds, FameLab has quickly become established as a diamond model for successfully identifying and mentoring scientists to share their enthusiasm for their subjects with the public.

This contest has been successfully exported to almost all European countries, that hold national competitions every year.

The British Council (a UK not-for-profit organization) has been FameLab sponsor since 2007, and with the help of old FameLab contestants, it is mandate to spread the contests to other countries in the world. And Sweden is on the line. The British Council has shown clear interest to export the model here, but Karolinska has the name needed to pitch the format to a new audience, and the interest in making this event coming to life.

We are a small but determined task force of enthusiast nerds determined to bring FameLab to this country. Our first task is to create a “pilot competition” in Stockholm, hijacking the local universities network to recruit competitors. The winners of the first selection will be giving a real show to the public, in a fresh and funny outreaching event in the heart of the city.

We hope to have triggered your curiosity in this European pop science contest, and wish to see you soon to share our enthusiasm on the project.

Sincerely Yours

Riccardo Guidi

 Here comes the plan of the event:

========== “FameLab Stockholm – the Pilot” ==========

OVERVIEW: “FameLab Stockholm” is the pitch of the FameLab competition, the UK talent scouting for the next generation of science communicators. Competitors will apply to run into one of three shows hosted by the three biggest public university in Stockholm region: Karolinska, KTH and Stockholm University. The entry criteria and the show format will be the same as regular FameLab local selection (see details below).

The best 9 performers (three from each local selection) will receive a unique masterclass in science communication, in preparation for the Stockholm final: a golden standard outreaching events in the heart of the town.

The competition will develop in 4 phases:

1) open call for local selection / launch of FameLab

2) local heats at the three main public university in Stockholm: KI, KTH and SU

3) MaserClass for the finalist

4) Stockholm big final



– find a university responsible (UR) for each local selection: Karolinksa, KTH and SU

– win the support of the communication offices of each university will support the initiative


Local selection will be announce both centrally (via media partner support) and locally (each university will ensure coverage among its students/employee). The central communication strategy should aim primarily to outreach institutions not involved in selection (other university/business in stockholm region, Uppsala…).

Contestant can apply only once, and only to one of the three universities. Application from everyone is welcome, as long as older then 21 and with a study subject or job that relates to science, medicine, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM areas).

The days for the open call and the local selection (see below) will be decided centrally, in harmony with the need of each university and UR. The open call will be 3-4 weeks long. A careful plan for social media engagement should be done to maintain energy around the competition entry. The registration will be online only, and the registration form will be designed centrally. The UR will have access to the registration database.


Although guidance will be provided, the management of the local selection should be entirely delegated to the UR and her/his team. The selection will be done inside the academic buildings, will be open to the public and will be sponsored locally and centrally.

action point for local selection:

  1. find place
  2. find a host
  3. find judgers
  4. finger-food
  5. promote the event within their institution, to students and employee that wanna participate the competition AND to those who wish to attend.

An host for the show will introduce the FameLab concept, the judgers and the contestants. Contestants will perform their 3 minutes presentation according to rules.There will be 2 extra minutes of questions from the judgers at the end of each performance. Performance will be evaluated following the criteria: content, clarity, charisma.

At the end of each local selection, 3 winners + 2 substitutes (4th and 5th place) from each university will be chosen, and the winner will be elected to access the masterclass + the Stockholm final.

OBS: FameLab encourage local selection to be taped, as “filming each presentation adds an edge of professionalism and excitement for the contestants.


Winners of local heats will receive a train in communicating science. The workshop is active and emphasises developing skills and through a mixture of talks, exercises and activities deals primarily with the skills of ‘being on your feet’ in front of a live audience.

The winners from local selection will be kindly invited to attend the workshop, and this should be seen as necessary for them in order to access the Stockholm final.

action point for the workshop:

  1. the masterclass dates shall be de decided before the local competitions.
  2. book venue
  3. food
  4. schedule speakers and design the communication experience
  5. material

Individual university may be asked to suggest speakers from their own departments.


The winners will present in front of the general audience. The 9 contestant will present, and they will have to bring a new presentation of 3 minutes. The show should last 2-3 hours, and entertainment during judgers decision (usually it takes up to 20 minutes) should be planned.

Action point:

  1. venue and food
  2. host of the event
  3. find solid media partner (FameLab recommend at least two local media to sponsors/adv the event)
  4. photographer/video makers.

The winner will receive a prize and interviews from media partners and interested journalists.


Open call/launch –> 1 month –> local selection at universities [1-2 weeks, not overlapping] –> 1 month –> masterclass –> 2-3 weeks –> final

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