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Launch a Falling Walls Lab

The Falling Walls Lab is an innovative format for academic institutions to showcase the quality, diversity, and passion of their next generation of top researchers. 100 aspiring scientists present their research projects to their peers, a distinguished jury, and the general public, promoting ideas and fostering interdisciplinary networks – in 3-minute talks.

If you are interested in hosting a Falling Walls Lab at your academic institution, please contact us via lab@falling-walls.com. We will then be in touch once we have reviewed your proposal. The following walk-through will provide you with insights and recommendations on how to organise the event:


The first step is to inform us about the planned date of your Falling Walls Lab your event can be listed on our website as soon as possible. The Falling Walls Foundation does not demand any license fees, yet we ask you to secure a high standard in the selection of participants and jury to ensure the integrity of the competition. If this is at question, we may withdraw your permission to host a Lab.


You are free to host a Falling Walls Lab individually or together with neighbouring universities and academic institutions. Potential co-hosts can help distribute the call for applications and nominate jury members. Please inform us who your partners are.


Reserve a lecture hall equipped with a video projector. 100 seats are usually sufficient for participants, the jury, media and audience. Please inform us about your venue.


Invite Bachelor and Master students, PhD candidates, post-docs, young professionals and junior professors (18 years or older). All disciplines are welcome, including the arts, humanities, natural and social sciences. The easiest ways to distribute a call for applications are email lists, social media, your website, press releases and posters. Usually this requires a great deal of effort, we therefore suggest you to start early. The goal is to have a minimum of 15 participants well-balanced in terms of discipline and gender.


The jury should not have less than 6 members. It should be comprised of highly respected representatives of academia and business. You should aim for gender-balance and an interdisciplinary mix. Please appoint a jury chair. Gather all jury members for a briefing on their role and the scoring system. After the Falling Walls Lab, the jury convenes to choose the winner. If the jury fails to agree, the chairperson moderates the discussion until a final decision has been made. The evaluation criteria are (a) the breakthrough factor (how new and outstanding is the proposed idea?), (b) relevance and impact (how relevant is the idea for the discipline and beyond?) and (c) structure/performance (how convincing is the presentation?).


To facilitate your work, all applications for your Falling Walls Lab will be handled on our website. We collect the applications and update you regularly. Once we’ve sent you the final list of applications, a pre-jury committee at your institution should select the participants for your Falling Walls Lab.


Every participant has exactly 3 minutes to present – this is what makes every Falling Walls Lab fast-paced and exciting. Every scholar should prepare 3 PPT-slides: 1 introductory slide including name, institution and title of presentation, and 2 content slides. To guarantee fair and efficient time management, we suggest appointing a moderator who intervenes in case a presenter exceeds his/her time limit. The event should be open to the public.


The winner of your Falling Walls Lab is automatically admitted to the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin on 8 November 2019. We will cover his/her hotel stay in Berlin for 8 – 9 November, including the attendance at the Falling Walls Conference (via scholarship). The winner’s travel expenses to Berlin and back have to be covered by the hosting institution. The hosting institution has to inform us once the coverage of the winner’s travel expenses has been confirmed.


Our aim is to keep costs as low as possible without compromising the quality of the event. We welcome you to acquire suitable supporters for your event. Before you apporach a prospective supporter or partner, you must seek final approval by the Falling Walls Foundation. We do not cover any expenses you might have.


The Falling Walls Lab is great fun. It brings together bright minds with groundbreaking ideas that spark discourse and have great potential to impact our future. So please, have fun!

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