UKRI Launch Citizen Science Exploration Grants Programme

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is now accepting applications to its Citizen Science Exploration Grants programme.

Citizen science is an important way in which diverse groups of people can participate in research and innovation, whether through collecting data, analysing data or helping researchers and innovators to develop better questions. It can potentially add value to almost any project; however, embedding citizen science methods into the routine way that science is done requires a capacity building approach, where projects that are unfamiliar with citizen science are supported to assess their capacity and need for citizen science.

This call will fund up to 20 projects conducting explorative work that will help groups develop opportunities for building citizen science methodologies into their research. This could form the basis of future projects which may be supported through other funding sources, including through a proposed follow-up phase of UKRI funding from 2020-2023.

Examples of the types of projects that may be supported by this grant include the following:

Exploring options for crowdsourced data collection.

Small pilots to test whether working with volunteers to analyse existing datasets can add value to the project.

Open/inclusive innovation – exploring options for companies and researchers to involve those who will benefit from the research in the development and testing of products.

Collaboration with communities to test approaches to co-designing research questions.

Digital innovation pilots in citizen science, with a focus on testing or extending the functionality of existing tools.

Exploring innovative approaches that focus on removing the barriers to public participation in research such as overcoming the challenges of volunteer management.

To develop such projects, successful applicants will be expected to undertake activities such as capacity building work, small proof of concept pilots, and/or collaborative workshops to explore project ideas, data sources or volunteer opportunities.

Projects must start between 16 December 2019 and 14 February 2020, and be completed by 30 April 2020. Lead applicants must be an active UKRI grant holder from an eligible organisation. Non-UKRI grant holders may participate in this grant if they are partnering with a lead applicant who is an active UKRI grant holder. If the applicant operates within a competitive market (ie businesses), the awarding of this grant must be compliant with De Minimis aid.

Projects should relate to one of UKRI’s key strategic areas of research and innovation. Proposed collaborations with existing established citizen science projects and practitioners are strongly encouraged; however, the call is not designed to provide follow-on funding to existing citizen science projects.

The total value of the fund is £400,000. Up to 20 successful applicants will be awarded up to £20,000 (at 100% fEC) each.

Applications should be submitted by the 12 November 2019 deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.