Dr Samantha Donnellan reaches FameLab finals

News article 4 Apr 2019

LSTM’s Dr Samantha Donnellan has made it to the final of FameLab UK which will be held as part of the Cheltenham Science Festival in June.

A communications competition designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering concepts into three-minute presentations, FameLab sees contestants from around the world take part armed only with their wits and a few props to enlighten and excite the audience.

As part of the FameLab heats and regional finals, Dr Donnellan had to prepare two three-minute presentations without the use of Powerpoint. Her engaging style and effective use of props to present her work studying drug action on intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis in an understandable way resulted in her reaching the final of the competition.

FameLab was started in 2005 in the UK by Cheltenham Science Festival and has since grown to become a global competition which has seen more than 5000 young scientists and engineers participating in over 25 different countries.  Finalists take part in a communication masterclass in the lead up to the festival in preparation for the finals, at which a panel of scientists, journalists, writers and public figures will decide on the winners. Judging is based on accurate and well-balanced content, the clarity of communication and their charisma. The winner of the FameLab UK competition will be entered into the FameLab International Grand Finals.

On reaching the finals Dr Donnellan said: “'I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Science Communications Masterclass and the national FameLab final, it will be a great opportunity to learn from other science communicators.”

Public Engagement Manager Dr Elli Wright said: “Dr Donnellan has been a prolific communicator at LSTM, taking part in a number of public engagement activities including Pint of Science 2018 and Radio Merseyside’s SciFri - an LSTM led initiative which sees academics from across LSTM and local universities talk about their research on BBC Radio Merseyside.  We are very proud of Dr Donnellan achievements and looking forward to seeing her talk in June at the national final of FameLab.   By engaging with the public, academics like Sam can tear down barriers between science and the rest of society, build confidence and have more doors open to them.”