PhD candidates Tjitske van Engelen and Joen Hermans win FameLab Amsterdam

10 March 2017

A professional jury of scientists and science communication professionals chose UvA PhD candidates Tjitske van Engelen and Joen Hermans as the winners of the Amsterdam heat of FameLab. FameLab is an international competition in science communication for young scientists. The heat was jointly organised by the science and medicine faculties of the UvA.

Tjitske van Engelen is a PhD candidate in Experimental and Molecular Medicine at the Academic Medical Centre and held her talk about research on biomarkers for sepsis. Joen Hermans is a PhD candidate at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences and did his pitch about the importance of chemical research for the conservation of art.

Winnaars Famelab 2017

Chair of the jury Maartje Raijmakers and the winners of FameLab Amsterdam 2017: Tjitske van Engelen and Joen Hermans. c:Peter Lowie

By winning the Amsterdam heat Hermans and Van Engelen qualified for the national finals of FameLab on 3 May at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. Prior to the finals, they will receive a two-day masterclass from top trainers in science communication, in order to enter the stage with optimal preparation. During the national finals they will compete against ten other contestants for a place in the international finals in Cheltenham, United Kingdom, in June. 

Joen Hermans

Joen Hermans Photo:Peter Lowie


FameLab is an initiative of the British Council and has become one of the largest competitions in science communication in the world. In the competition young scientists (aged 21-40) in the natural sciences, technology and medicine take up the challenge to give a lively and creative three-minute pitch of their research topic to a general audience. 

Tjitske van Engelen

Tjitske van Engelen Photo:Peter Lowie

The Amsterdam heat

The Amsterdam heat took place on 9 March in Spui 25, the academic cultural center of the University of Amsterdam. In total 17 young scientists participated, who were selected in pre-heat sessions on both locations. The jury, consisting of professor Maartje Raijmakers, press officer Johan Rheeder and science journalist Dirk Wolthekker judged the contestants on the three FameLab criteria: content, charisma and clarity. 

One of the Amsterdam winners of last year, Bert Vercnocke, won the national final and took part in the international final in the UK. 

Published by  Faculty of Science