Citizen Science in Austria

Frau fotografiert STicker auf Pfosten (opens image in lightbox) © Barbara Heinisch

In Austria citizens have been committed to the exploration of nature for many decades. For exmaple since 1856 a network of observers has supported the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG) in the phenological observation of the native flora and fauna.

The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) took an important step towards Citizen Science (CS) in 2007. With the launch of the Sparkling Science research funding program, the BMBWF supported 299 CS projects over a period of twelve years with a total budget of around €35 million. More than 100,000 pupils and almost 2,600 (prospective) teachers worked side by side with almost 4,300 researchers and students on current scientific issues.

The next big step followed in 2015 with the establishment of the Center for Citizen Science (CfCS) of the OeAD with the following four focal points: Information, consulting, networking and funding. Among the best-known initiatives that the ZfCS has carried out or is carrying out are the Top Citizen Science funding initiative and the Citizen Science Award research competition.



Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research: Action plan for a competitive research area (2015, in German)

Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research & Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology: Open Innovation Strategy for Austria (2016)

Natural History Museum Vienna: Citizen Science - Strategy of the NHM (2017, in German)