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Developing talents, advancing research
Published:  1 Feb 2024

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

Falling Walls Lab MSCA 2024 is now accepting submissions that showcase the quality, diversity and passion of the most innovative minds participating in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).

Male presenter giving a public speech in front of the business audience.

What is Falling Walls Lab MSCA?

The Falling Walls Labs competition is an opportunity for MSCA fellows to present their projects and innovative ideas to the scientific community through 3-minute talks. During the talks the speakers explain how their research helps to break down walls in science and society.

Academic and research institutions around the world organise their own competitions at local and regional level under the supervision of Falling Walls Lab. The winners compete at the Finale in Berlin.

When and where is it?

The competition will take place on 18 and 19 April 2024 in Mons, Belgium, as part of the MSCA conference organised with the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The competition is co-organised independently by the European Commission and the Walloon Region, the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, the Flemish Government and the Federal Public Planning Service Science Policy (BELSPO), in conjunction with the Falling Walls Foundation.

Why should you participate?

Falling Walls Lab is a world-wide pitch competition and networking forum. It provides a stage for breakthrough ideas from science, business, arts, and society.

The goal of the Falling Walls Foundation is to promote exceptional ideas and to connect promising scientists and entrepreneurs from all fields on a global level. It is a stepping-stone for the next generation of researchers and innovators.

The winners of this event will meet in the annual Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin in November 2024 to compete with winners from other Falling Walls Lab competitions organised by different academic and research institutions.

Your goal – a three-minute pitch on your brilliant idea and research

MSCA Fellows will have a stage to present their solutions and ideas to address some of today’s most pressing challenges of our time.

In three minutes, the selected MSCA fellows will present their research topic, innovative project, social initiative, business model or ideas.

The pitch will be made in front of peers, a panel of experts from academia and business and the general public. The participant will then answer live questions from the jury.

Take  inspiration from the Falling Walls MSCA 2022 winners, Thomas Hutschalik and Miguel Fernandez de Ullivarri.

What’s in it for you?

It's an extraordinary opportunity to practice intersectional skills such as communication and outreach.  Participants will be invited to take part in coaching sessions with experts.

They will practice their communication and storytelling skills before the competition. They will learn tips for presentations and speeches and receive personalised advice from a professional coaches.

The organisers will also help participants prepare their presentation.

Do you fit the 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.

By the deadline, applicants must be fellows taking part in an MSCA project including

  • Doctoral Networks/Innovative Training Networks
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships/Individual Fellowships
  • Staff Exchanges/Research and Innovation Staff Exchanges
  • MSCA4Ukraine

Please note that, unfortunately, people who were selected to participate in previous editions or MSCA pitch competitions 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 can you apply?

The deadline for applications is 23 February 2024, 12:00 CET.

To apply, you will need to

If your application is successful, the European Commission will contact you to arrange your participation. The organisers will cover your main travel and accommodation expenses and meals during the conference.

If you have any questions, please write to

What do winners get?

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 (November 2024), 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 (November 2024), 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 “brain-dates” 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

The ultimate prize - Breakthrough Winner of the Year

The finalists from the  local labs (including the MSCA finalist) will compete to become one of the ‘Breakthrough Winners of the Year’ at the  Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin.

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 in November 2024, which also hosts leading experts, changemakers, and luminaries, including Nobel laureates and Leibniz Prize winners on the day


Tagged in:  MSCA fellows
Published:  1 Feb 2024