FameLab International Science Communication Competition

What is FameLab?

FameLab is an international science communication competition that challenges contestants between the ages of 21 and 35 to present a scientific concept/topic of their choice to the general public with clarity and charisma. Contestants have only three minutes to present their concept/topic, without slides and with only the props they are able to carry onto stage.

The competition is held in over 25 countries, including South Africa, and culminates in the winner of each country final participating in an international final at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham, UK in July 2017.

For more information about the competition, visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/about/famelab.

SKA SA Heat, Cape Town, 10 November 2017

SKA SA, in collaboration with the British Council, Jive Media and SAASTA, will host a FameLab heat in Cape Town on Friday, 10 November 2017.

The heat is open to tertiary education students and young professionals studying or working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in South Africa. Presentations for this heat must communicate concepts/topics in astronomy, big data, computer science, engineering, space sciences, or any other HartRAO or SKA-related field.

Science Communication Training

A science communication training session in preparation for the heat will be held in Cape Town on Wednesday, 18 October 2017. Places are limited, so apply now! In the event that enough interest is received from Gauteng, a science communication training session will be scheduled in the province on Wednesday, 25 October 2017.

Participating in the FameLab training and/or heat is a great way to develop and perfect that three-minute elevator speech about your research or work in STEM.


There are loads of prizes up for grabs, but (are you ready?), the winner of the SKA SA heat will win a Master Class with international trainers in South Africa. Enter now!

Enter now!

Apply to participate in the science communication training or the SKA SA FameLab Heat via email at mlephaila@ska.ac.za. The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 4 October 2017.

Enter the SKA SA FameLab heat by registering online (select the Square Kilometre Array [SKA] heat from the drop-down menu). The closing date for applications is Monday, 30 October 2017.

Video Entries

SKA SA will accept video entries from HartRAO and SKA SA interns, Young Professionals and staff in Hartebeesthoek, Klerefontein and Rosebank; SKA SA bursary students outside Cape Town; and postgraduate students outside of Cape Town working on research directly related to astronomy and/or HartRAO and the SKA. Three participants will be selected and brought to Cape Town to participate in the heat on Friday, 10 November 2017.

Upload your video onto YouTube, Vimeo or another video hosting site and copy the link. You do not have to list the video as ‘public’, you may upload it as ‘hidden’ or ‘private’, if you prefer. Then send an email to mlephaila@ska.ac.za to tell us about yourself, your chosen topic and why you should be selected, and paste the link to your submission in your email (videos attached to an email will be deleted). Please use the subject “FameLab Video Entry”.

The closing date for video entries is Monday, 30 October 2017.

Videos should:

be no longer than three minutes (content will not be judged after this time limit)
contain no editing or special effects
have no background music (unless this is what you are talking about)
not involve other people or excessive props (follow the guideline ‘props they can carry on stage’).
We are not assessing video/filming quality, we simply need to be able to hear and see you clearly, so feel free to submit entries filmed on a smartphone or camera.


Additional information about the SKA SA heat is available from mlephaila@ska.ac.za.

Nozipho Gumbi, 2016 FameLab South Africa winner, at the 2016 Famelab International Final held during the 2016 The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, Cheltenham, UK.


Additional information about the SKA SA heat is available from mlephaila@ska.ac.za.