Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition now open – Pitch your research!

Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions is now accepting entries which showcase the quality, diversity and passion of the most innovative minds taking part in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Falling Walls Lab is a world-class pitch competition, networking forum, and a stepping stone for the next generation of researchers, innovators, trailblazers, creators, and visionaries.

Organised independently by the European Commission in conjunction with the Falling Walls Lab, by pitching their research, MSCA fellows will be able to practise their transversal skills such as communication and outreach, drive their innovations and access new collaborations.

The aim of the Falling Walls Foundation is to promote exceptional ideas and connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from all fields on a global level. Under its supervision, academic and research organisations around the world organise their own competitions at local and regional level. Each year, in November, the winners of each local Falling Walls Lab meet to compete in the Falling Walls Lab Finale.

The Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition will take place online-only on 30 September 2021.

Three-minute pitch

Selected MSCA fellows will present – in 3 minutes each – their research topic, innovative project, social initiative, business model, or idea through a video pitch to peers, a jury made up of experts from academia and business, and the general public. MSCA fellows will have a stage to present their solutions and breakthrough ideas to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

The Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition will take place online-only on 30 September 2021.

Before the competition, participants will take part in coaching sessions to practise their communication and storytelling skills, get tips for video presentations and speeches and receive personalised advice from a professional coach. We will also help competitors to record a professional video pitch.

Entry requirements

We encourage all MSCA fellows to apply, including early-stage and experienced researchers. We are looking for 15 excellent communicators with exciting research topics, new ideas and discoveries, in all disciplines.

To apply you will need to be an ongoing MSCA fellow by the application deadline and fulfil at least one of the following conditions:

  • Be enrolled in university and/or be currently a postdoc, or
  • If you are a PhD candidate you should have received a Master’s degree no more than 7 years ago, or
  • If you have a PhD, you should not have received it more than 5 years ago. An MD (medical degree excl. a doctoral dissertation) is considered equivalent to a Master’s degree. A Dr. med. (medical degree incl. a doctoral dissertation) is considered equivalent to a PhD.

How to apply

The application deadline is 4 July 2021. To apply you will need to:

  • Submit your application by following the official link for Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • Send a short, spontaneous video in English (max. 2 minutes) of yourself explaining briefly your research topic, innovative project, social initiative, business model, or idea and how your MSCA project is supporting it. Submit your video through by using this form on EU Survey.

If your application is successful, the European Commission will contact you and organise your participation through its contractor.

What’s the prize?

Falling Walls Lab MSCA will nominate three finalists plus there is an audience prize. All finalists will get a prize.

The first place winner of Falling Walls Lab MSCA will

  • Win a trip to Berlin, Germany (travel and accommodation included)
  • Receive a ticket to the prestigious Falling Walls Conference in Berlin (7-9 November 2021), where leaders from science, industry, and policy-making meet and discuss which walls will be the next to fall in science and society
  • Participate in the global Falling Walls Lab Finale (7 November 2021) in Berlin, where you will compete with 100 other winners of local and regional labs to become the ‘Breakthrough Winner of the Year’ in the ‘Emerging Talents’ category of Falling Walls
  • Take part in an exclusive extended programme incl. a pitch training
  • Participate in a Springer Nature event on science publishing
  • Participate in an ‘Insights into German Research’ science excursion
  • Gain access to inspiring brain-dates with other Falling Walls Conference participants
  • Increase their innovative project’s global reach and visibility with a pitch video in the Falling Walls content library
  • Join the global Falling Walls community platform Falling Walls Connect

Breakthrough Winner of the Year

At the Falling Walls Lab Finale, one hundred finalists compete to become one of the ‘Breakthrough Winners of the Year’. If you are the lucky one, you will:

  • Win a cash prize
  • Be awarded the ‘Breakthrough Winner of the Year’ title in the Emerging Talents category of Falling Walls
  • Present your breakthrough project on the grand stage of the Falling Walls Conference (9 November 2021) before a global audience of industry leaders, decision-makers, investors, and international media representatives

For more information

Questions and contacts

For any questions about the Falling Walls Lab MSCA, please send an email to contact: EAC-MSCA-COMMUNICATION@ec.europa.eu.

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