Friday 10 April 2015

The British Council in Vietnam today announced the introduction of the FameLab competition in Vietnam. 
FameLab is a science communications competition for young scientists, engineers and researchers and has attracted more than 5,000 young participants from over 25 countries. The FameLab final in Vietnam on 22 April 2015 aims to find a Vietnamese representative to attend the FameLab international final in London in June. 

FameLab was started in 2005 in the UK by Cheltenham Science Festival and has quickly become established as a model for successfully identifying, training and mentoring scientists and engineers to share their enthusiasm for their subjects. FameLab contestants are required to engage and entertain the audience by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three-minute presentations.

To date FameLab has partnered with the British Council to bring this global competition to international prominence. In the United States, the British Council and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) acted as co-sponsors to deliver the competition to scientists, researchers and students.  

Since January this year, British Council in Vietnam has worked with the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU Hanoi), the top comprehensive multi-disciplinary academic and research centre of excellence in Vietnam, to organise FameLab locally. The competition targets lecturers, researchers and teachers as well as individuals with a passion for research and an interest in science. The 12 contestants with the best speeches from the qualifying rounds will attend a training course in science communications skills with Malcolm Love. Malcolm is a UK specialist in public engagement in science and is chief trainer for Famelab and Famelab International. The contestants will then compete in the final round on 22 April 2015. 

The FameLab final round jury includes Professor Mai Trong Nhuan, Senior Specialist of VNU Hanoi, journalist Ta Bich Loan who is VTV6’s Chief Editor and Dr Dam Quang Minh, Rector of FPT University. 

Joining today’s press conference were Professor Dr Nguyen Huu Duc, Vice-President of VNU Hanoi and Cherry Gough, Director of the British Council in Vietnam. They appeared alongside Malcolm Love and Ta Bich Loan.

Malcolm Love worked as journalist, then as experienced television producer and occasional presenter for the BBC. As a specialist in the public engagement of science, Malcolm also taught science communication for 13 years at Birkbeck College, London.

Malcolm’s master class for Vietnam FameLab’s 12 best contestants will include elements on body language, science story telling, being interviewed and the skills required for a three-minute talk.

The 2015 FameLab International Final will feature winners of FameLab competitions held in countries across five continents. The winner from Vietnam will join competitors from Australia, Benelux, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. All will be represented in the International Final at Cheltenham Science Festival in the United Kingdom. 

In addition, two second prizes and a ‘most popular’ prize will be awarded at the final round. These contestants will receive a scholarship to a myClass course at the British Council in Vietnam. This is a new and flexible English course where students can choose class date, time, topic and teacher to best suit their interests and schedule.

The FameLab final will take place at Nguy Nhu Kon Tum Lecture Hall at VNU Hanoi, 19 Le Thanh Tong, Hanoi. In addition to its impressive architecture, the lecture hall has witnessed historic development of higher education in Vietnam. It has honoured generations of Vietnam’s leading lecturers, scientists, professors, doctors and scientific academics. The lecture hall is considered the ideal space for young scientists and young people to express their enthusiasm and passion for science. 

Cherry Gough, Director of British Council Vietnam said: ‘The British Council is proud to have cooperated with Cheltenham Science Festival since 2007, to help FameLab go global to over 25 countries, and this year to Vietnam. 

FameLab is a chance for scientists from all disciplines to develop the skills they need to share their passion for science with others in an innovative and exciting way. The best science communicators from Vietnam will attend the FameLab International Final in London, to make new connections, exchange ideas and test out their communications skills in an international forum. 

In 2014, the FameLab International Final united finalists from more than 20 countries, from whom ten were shortlisted to compete in the International Grand Final. I hope that this year the top ten will include representatives from Vietnam, and I’d like to wish the 12 Vietnamese finalists every success in the final round here on 22 April.’

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact:

Mr Vu Hai Dang
Communications Manager 
British Council Vietnam
20 Thuy Khue, Hanoi
T +84 (0)4 3728 1920 ext 1957
F +84 (0)4 38434962  

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. 

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.  

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