Call for budding scientists to enter global contest
If we are to fully maximise Northern Ireland's economic potential it is crucial that we inspire more of our young people into Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.
One way we can do this is by working directly with the public to engage them with scientific subjects that affect our society. This includes through the global science competition, FameLab.
Now in its second year, the competition, which is run by the British Council in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Science Festival and Cheltenham Science Festival, is out to find Northern Ireland's next big science star.
We want as many scientists and engineers with a passion for public engagement to enter and, through FameLab, they will not only engage with the public, but also develop their career and connect with thousands of like-minded scientists around the world.
We hope that, in turn, FameLab can promote Northern Ireland's reputation for invention and innovation, as well as encourage a more Stem-literate society and engage young people in international science opportunities.
Last year's winner, Emer Maguire, a clinical anatomy student at Queen's University, Belfast, went on to win FameLab UK and was a finalist in the international competition. She's now carving out a career in science communication and has become a great Stem ambassador for Northern Ireland.
This year's finalists have every possibility of reaching similar heights, so who knows where FameLab could take them.
For more information on FameLab, visit nireland.britishcouncil.org. Applications close at midnight, December 14, 2015.
Deputy director, British Council Northern Ireland