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Published:  21 Feb 2022

Showcase your research at the Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition - now open!

The Falling Walls Labs competition is an opportunity for MSCA fellows to present their innovative ideas and projects to the scientific community

Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions 2022 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).

The Falling Walls Lab MSCA competition takes place on 24 May 2022 as part of the MSCA conference organised in the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Through 3-minute talks, speakers explain how their research helps to break down walls in science and society.

The competition is co-organised independently by the European Commission and Université PSL – Paris Science & Lettres, in conjunction with the Falling Walls Foundation.

Networking forum

Falling Walls Lab could be described as a world-wide pitch competition and networking forum. It provides a stage for break-through ideas from the worlds of science, business, arts and society.

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. It provides a stepping-stone for the next generation of researchers and innovators.

Academic and research organisations around the world organise their own competitions at local and regional level under the supervision of Falling Walls Lab.

The winners of each local event meet to compete in the annual Falling Walls Lab Finale in November.

Three-minute pitch

In a 3 minute video, selected MSCA fellows will present their research topic, innovative project, social initiative, business model or ideas. They will then answer live questions from a high-calibre jury.

The pitch is made to peers, a jury of experts from academia & business and the general public.

MSCA fellows will have a stage to present their solutions and ideas to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. It's an opportunity to practise intersectional skills such as communication and outreach. 

Although the event will be broadcasted online and allow for remote participation, contestants will be given the option to attend the event physically in Paris (subject to the national COVID-19 containment measures in place).

Coaching sessions

Participants will take part in coaching sessions to practise their communication and storytelling skills in advance of the competition. They will learn tips for video presentations and speeches and receive personalised advice from a professional coach.

The organisers also help competitors to record their final professional video pitch.


Entry requirements

We are looking for 15 excellent communicators from all disciplines, with exciting research topics, new ideas and discoveries.

Fellows from all Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are encouraged to apply. This includes early-stage and experienced researchers and staff working in research and innovation.

Applicants must be MSCA fellows taking part in an MSCA project (including ITN, IF, RISE and COFUND) by the deadline.

Unfortunately, people who were selected to participate in previous editions may not apply again.

To apply, you must also fulfil at least one of the following conditions

  • currently enrolled in university and/or currently a postdoc
  • received a Bachelor’s degree no more than 10 years ago
  • received a Master’s degree no more than 7 years ago
  • received a PhD no more than 5 years ago

Note that an MD (medical degree excluding 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 deadline for applications is 21 March 2022, 12h CET (Brussels time). To apply, you will need to

  • to submit your application, follow this link to the page for Falling Walls Lab Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
  • record a short, spontaneous two-minute video in English of you, explaining briefly and in plain words, your research topic, innovative project, social initiative, business model or idea and how your MSCA project supports it and then follow this link to a web form you can use to submit your video

If your application is successful, the European Commission will contact you and arrange your participation.

Win prizes

Falling Walls Lab MSCA will nominate 3 finalists plus an audience prize. All 4 finalists will receive a prize.

The first place winner of Falling Walls Lab MSCA will

  • win a trip to Berlin, Germany (travel and accommodation included)
  • participate in the global Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin (7 November 2022), where they will compete to become the Breakthrough Winner of the Year in the Emerging Talents category
  • receive a ticket to the prestigious Falling Walls Science Summit (7-9 November 2022), where leaders from science, industry, and policy meet and discuss which walls will be the next to fall in science and society
  • take part in an exclusive extended programme. In past years, extended programme events have included a Springer Nature event on science publishing, an ‘Insights into German Research’ information session and science excursion, a networking dinner and more
  • get access to inspiring “braindates” with other Falling Walls’ Science Summit participants
  • increase the global reach and visibility of their project by having their pitch video in the Falling Walls content library
  • join the global Falling Walls community platform, Falling Walls Connect

Breakthrough Winner of the Year

The finalists of local labs (including the MSCA finalist) compete to become one of the ‘Breakthrough Winners of the Year’ at the finale. If you are successful, you will

  • win a cash prize
  • earn the ‘Breakthrough Winner of the Year’ title in the Emerging Talents category of Falling Walls
  • present your project on the Falling Walls Breakthroughs of the Year stage on 9 November 2022, which also hosts leading experts, changemakers, and luminaries, including Nobel laureates and Leibniz Prize winners on the day

Questions and contacts

If you have any questions about the Falling Walls Lab MSCA, please send an email to

Published:  21 Feb 2022