<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Young scientists, researchers and engineers, here’s your chance to make yourselves heard, especially if you are the kinds who can demystify complicated scientific subjects by making them easy to understand and interesting. For the first time, the British Council in India is accepting applications for FameLab, it’s international science communication training programme.“It’s a training programme in a competition format to get people to talk about science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine,” says Sharon Memis, Director West India, British Council. “It’s a bit like The X-Factor but with an intellectual slant.”Conceived as part of the Cheltenham Festival in 2005, FameLab partnered with British Council in 2007. More than 7,000 researchers from 30 countries across Europe, Asia and Africa have participated in the global competition thus far. The 2017 edition of FameLab is open to Indian participants for the first time, the deadline for which is November 15, 2016. “The year 2016 has been celebrated as the UK-India Year of Education, Research and Innovation, so it became the right time to bring this event to India now,” says Memis.The nine British Council offices across India have reached out to academic institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISERs), as well as to private universities. While officials at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre were unaware about the competition, Memis says they’ve already received 220 applications from India.To participate (see below), applicants will have to upload a three-minute video in which they’ll have to present a concept from their field of study in a manner that enthrals the viewer and the panel of judges. “Make it funny, make it dramatic, make it jaw-dropping, eye-opening, lightbulb-poppingly brilliant,” advises Memis. “It’s about how creative a participant can get. A panel of judges will shortlist those who can shine in content, clarity and charisma. Therefore the presentation has to be scientifically accurate, easy to understand and presented with a wink and a smile.”Following regional workshops and regional finals, a shortlist of 120 applicants will be selected, who will win a spot on the science communication workshop by Indian and UK facilitators. Three final winners will emerge from the national finals to be held in January 2017.Last year, the competition winner was Dr Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam from University Putra Malaysia. The cancer researcher defeated 26 finalists for his explanation of the cell cycle and why a disruption in it leads to metastasis of cancer tumours. His presentation highlighted the importance of science communication in making public health issues accessible to commoners as well as creating awareness of how cancers can be prevented through lifestyle changes. “Veerakumarasivam’s talk was informative and inspiring, winning the judges over on content, clarity and charisma,” adds Memis.How to apply for FameLab— Researchers, scientists, engineers over 20 years of age have to fill an application form available on www.britishcouncil.in/famelab website and attach a short video of their presentation. Applications are open until 15 November 2016 on the website— A panel of judges will review the applications and come up with a shortlist of the top 30 participants from four regions — North (8-10 December at IIT Delhi), South (27-29 November at University of Kerala), East (4-6 December at KIIT Bhubaneswar) and West (13-15 December at IIT Bombay) India.— These 120 applicants will then be part of a two-and-a-half day residential workshop on science communication conducted by expert Science Communicators from the UK along with Indian facilitators.— Winners from the regional rounds will also win a masterclass training programme before completing at a national final. The national winner will compete at the FameLab International Grand Finals in June 2017 at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK.

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Scientists & researchers, here’s a chance to test your communication skills