FameLab (AMC PhD Program)

Information about the course FameLab.


Communicating science to a lay audience is a growing priority for researchers worldwide. By doing so, they not only change the common stereotype of the scientist as “the geek in the white lab coat”, but also justify funding for their research, and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.


    Famelab is a training in presenting your research for a lay audience and an exciting competition to pitch your research. The training focuses on presenting your research in a common language understandable to a non-scientific audience, e.g. by using analogues and props. The format of the competition is similar to talent shows on TV. Contestants have just three minutes to charm the audience and jury with clear scientific content, without use of audiovisual presentations. Presentations are judged on three criteria: Content, Clarity and Charisma.

    Participants in the training are free to enter the competition, or just follow the training.

      Scheduled dates:

      Amsterdam UMC training and pre-heat

      • 4 February 2020 (training workshop)
      • 5 February 2020 (training workshop)
      • 26 February 2020 (Pitch competition/pre-heat)

      FameLab regional Amsterdam training and heat

      • t.b.a.

      FameLab national Final

      • 13 May 2020 (Tivoli - Vredenburg, Utrecht)


      The Famelab competition is organized in regional heats for a limited number of contestants, and Dutch and national finals. The AMC Graduate School organizes a training and pre-heat for Amsterdam UMC PhD candidates. Participants get a training in science communication from experts of the Internal and External Communication AMC. The training is an excellent preparation for the exposé prior to the defense ceremony. The Amsterdam UMC pre-heat is also the selection for the Amsterdam heat. Preparing a pitch as a home assignment is part of the training.

      Training: All Amsteram UMC applicants will get a training in science communication and receive feedback on their pitches prior to the pre-heat. The training will be given by AMC Internal and External Communication.

      Pitch competition: A maximum of 16 candidates will give their pitches at the pre-heat in front of a jury and a live audience. In case the number of applicants exceeds this number, a selection will be made. The Amsterdam AMC jury members have backgrounds in biomedical sciences and science communication.

      A maximum of 8 candidates will be selected in the pre-heat for the Amsterdam UvA heat. Please note that the pitch at the pre-heat must differ from the pitch at the heat, but can be on the same topic. This is a clear invitation for improvement after the pre-heat!

      Target Audience:

      Amsterdam UMC PhD candidates (both locations AMC and VUmc).


      The course is given in English.


      A participation certificate is issued. Attendance is registered.

      Study load:

      28 hours, which is comparable to 1.0 ECTS points.

      Number of participants:

      Maximum 8 per training session, max. 16 for pitches.


      No charge for registered AMC and VUmc PhD candidates. Other employees of the AMC or AMC Medical Research BV (<40 yrs of age) can participate free of charge provided slots are available.

      Course Coordinator:


      More information:

      From the course coordinator or AMC Graduate School /graduateschool@amc.uva.nl / E2-172 / tel. +31 (0)20 - 566 4618.


      AMC Graduate School E-mail: graduateschool@amc.uva.nl Tel: +31 (0)20 - 566 3108