Falling Walls Lab Tokyo 2018

12 May 14:00 - 18:00
University of Tokyo, Hongo Campus, Koshiba Hall

Call for abstracts open until 9 April!

Submit your abstract here!


Learn, share and communicate about research

The Falling Walls Lab Tokyo will take place on 12 May 2018 at the University of Tokyo!

Based on the idea of "breaking down various walls" around the world, this event provides students, young researchers and professionals of all disciplines and nationalities an opportunity to present their research projects or ideas in 3 minutes and in English, in front of a non-specialised audience. To be invited to Tokyo, candidates must pass a pre-selection via our call for applications.

The winners from the Falling Walls Labs from around the world - including the Falling Walls Lab Tokyo - will gather for the Falling Walls Lab Finale in Berlin in November. The Falling Walls initiative was founded to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall.


How was your experience at the Finale in Berlin in November 2017?

'The finale in Berlin is an amazing opportunity, at so many levels. It’s obviously great to win, but even if you don’t, it doesn’t matter, because being there already feels like you’ve won the prize. Apart from the finale, where the 100 finalists competed, we were able to listen to the actual Falling Walls Conference talks, which were so inspiring, and network with the speakers and attendees during the breaks. I also went on a bunch of brain dates. In short: lots of interesting discussions, amazing people and I’ve really expanded my network!'
Ana Verissimo, winner of FWLT2017 and participant in the FWL Finale in Berlin in November 2017




研究 × コミュニケーション

国際科学コミュニケーションイベントFalling Walls Labが東京で2018年5月12日(土)に開催されます!






Support Organisation:









Entry Conditions

Bachelor and Master students (provided they are working on a research project on their own), PhD candidates, postdocs, young professionals and entrepreneurs from all nationalities and scientific disciplines are invited to apply.

  • Applicants with only a Bachelor’s degree: the degree should not date back more than 10 years.
  • Applicants with a Master’s degree: the degree should not date back more than 7 years.
  • Applicants with a PhD: the degree should not date back more than 5 years.
  • Postdocs and students which are currently enrolled in university are also eligible to apply.


Pre selection Procedure

All the applications will be handled through the Falling Walls website.

The application deadline is 9 April 2018, 16:00 Tokyo time.

The organisers will select 10 to 20 participants from these applicationsand invite them to the Falling Walls Lab Tokyo 2018 on 12 May in Tokyo.


What's in it for the applicants?

Working on presenting your research project is never a loss of time! Apply to the FWLT and you will definitely be able to better conceptualise your research to your colleagues, and to the general public.

For the selected participants, in addition to being invited to the Tokyo event, they will be granted access to specific training materials on science communication.

Among participants, prizes will be given to a top three as selected by the Jury Committee on the day of the event:

+ First prize and second prizes: trips to berlin for the Falling Walls Lab Finale and Conference on 8-9 November (where the winners of the Tokyo event will present in front of hundreds of executives, investors or policy-makers)

+ Third prize: TBA.


What's in it for the participants in Falling Walls Lab Tokyo?

'Just the experience you gain from preparing, practicing and performing is very valuable. Also, it’s a great way of learning about new subjects, observe how your peers present their work and even get some ideas for your own future presentations. The event is relatively small and the audience and juries are very friendly, so it’s a great atmosphere to prepare you for bigger events. Needless to say, if you win, you get to go to Berlin and compete at the final representing Japan!'
Ana Verissimo, winner of FWLT2017, at the event in Tokyo on 27 May 2017



What should I prepare for my application?

(All fields are mandatory except specifically marked)

- Personal information, affilation and position, contact information;

- Past publications, awards and scholarships (optional);

- A tagline of your project: "Breaking the Wall of ... +40 characters maximum including spaces";

- A teaser of your project, in 50 characters maximum,including spaces;

- An outline of your idea/project: 200 characters maximum spaces included for the problem you address, and 200 characters maximum spaces included to present your solution;

- A short statement about your motivation in applying to the Falling Walls Lab (400 characters maximum including spaces);

- A CV in PDF format.

Hints & tips: how to draft a good FWLT abstract (UTokyo training session 5-6 March)


How to prepare a good abstract to apply to FWLT?

'Practice and perfect! For example, you can think about these questions: what is my research about and what is its main goal? Or, what will it do for others or the planet? If you already have a great result, what is it and why is it important? If you have a great idea, what’s the potential and impact? Then, choose keywords that describe that in a simple, concise, catchy way.'
Ana Verissimo, winner of FWLT2017, at the Finale in Berlin in November 2017 (Photo credit: Falling Walls)



How to prepare a good talk?

If you pass the pre-selections, we'll try and provide you with tips and know-how for better preparing yourselves. Meanwhile, please have a look at the following resource-filled article.

You can also watch last edition's talks in video:


How to prepare a good talk for the FWLT?

'Thinking about the questions above can also help preparing for your talk. Also, you can get inspiration from watching videos from previous editions of Falling Walls Lab or other great science communicators on Youtube. Think about how you can be different/original, but in a style that you feel at ease with. Don’t try to memorize everything and use long and complicated words, prepare your slides in a way that they are simple and effective and serve as prompters to guide you through what you have to say. Do a little research on the impact of your first sentence and how you wrap up the talk with an equally memorable sentence. It’s not about how many words or sentences you can fit in 3 minutes, but the impact and the emphasis you put on each one. Don’t forget to have fun!'
Ana Verissimo, winner of FWLT2017, at the Finale in Berlin in November 2017 (Photo credit: Falling Walls)






How does judging work?

Our distinguished Jury will deliberate to select the best talks. Two participants will be designated as winners and will travel to the global Falling Walls Lab Finale, which takes place on 8 November 2018 in Berlin.

For this purpose they will use three criteria of equal importance: the "Breakthrough factor", the "Relevance and Impact", and the  "Structure and Performance" of the talk. English literacy is not a valid criterion, as long as the speaker makes herself or himself clearly understand.


Who is in the Jury?


Dr. Yukou Mochida received B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in EE from University of Tokyo in 1964 and 1988, respectively. He stayed in Technische Universität München from 1965 to 1966 as a DAAD young researcher. He worked for Fujitsu Laboratories for 40 years and was Senior Vice President and Member of the Board until 2004.  He developed and managed various digital communication systems such as transmission systems over coaxial cable and optical fiber cable and also various digital signal processing and synchronous digital network systems.  He worked as CTO, Vice President and Advisor of France Telecom Japan until January 2013. He is now Senior Advisor of State of Bavaria-Japan Office in Tokyo.
He is a Fellow member of IEEE and IEICE and a Member of Engineering Academy of Japan. 



Who is the science communication workshop speaker?

Caitlin Devor, University of Tokyo

Caitlin E. Devor is a science communicator originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and a former member of Australia’s Science Circus where she regularly held fire in her hands, safely with science. She studied biology at Allegheny College and earned a M.S. in Science Communication from Australian National University. She is currently based at the University of Tokyo and writes to excite non-expert audiences about the daily-life relevance of new scientific accomplishments.

Who are the participants?

​The pre-selectionned 10 to 20 participants will be announced around the second week of April.



Registration desk opens at 13:30. Attendees, come in advance if you want a good seat!

  Event Schedule


Opening Remarks / About the Organisers

Dorothea Mahnke, Director, German Research and Innovation Forum Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo)
Matthieu Py, Representative, EURAXESS Japan



About Falling Walls and FWLT



First batch of FWLT 2018 contestants

TBA after pre-selection process


Coffee break



Second batch of FWLT 2018 contestants

TBA after pre-selection process


Science communication workshop:

Programme TBA


(Jury deliberation in separate room)

Caitlin Devor, Project Senior Specialist, University of Tokyo


Results announcement and prize ceremony


  Networking Reception