In recent years, the increasing awareness of Citizen Science has also made itself felt in (inter)national funding activities. Austria took a pioneering role in this field with the research funding program Sparkling Science, but also with the funding of extension projects within the framework of Top Citizen Science. In 2016 the first calls for proposals also started in Germany or Australia.
The first major research funding program in Austria that supported Citizen Science projects from 2007 to 2019 was Sparkling Science. In 2015 the funding initiative Top Citizen Science followed, in 2018 the funding Digital Teaching and Learning Materials started.
In 2007 the funding program Sparkling Science was launched. Within the scope of six calls for proposals 299 research projects were funded in which scientists worked side by side with pupils on current research questions until 2019. One of the goals of the program was to break down structural barriers between educational and research institutions and to support long-term cooperation. All funded projects can be found on theSparkling Science website.
Top Citizen Science
2015 the Top Citizen Science initiative was launched by the BMBWF, FWF and OeAD, which promoted expansion projects in line with the Citizen Science and Open Innovation objectives. The aim was to conduct excellent research with the participation of citizens and persons with specialized expertise - the so-called knowledge communities. Within the framework of three calls for proposals, the OeAD funded a total of 14 projects with funds from the BMBWF. An overview of all projects can be found in the Top Citizen Science Facts & Figures (in German).
The FWF has been running the initiative independently since 2019. Further information can be found on the FWF website.
Digital teaching and learning materials
The promotion of digital teaching and learning materials using Citizen Science methods was aimed at the creation of innovative and practice-oriented digital teaching and learning materials that generate added value that would not exist without the use of technical means. The orientation towards a Citizen Science approach (cooperation of learners, teachers or other specialized persons) contributed to the fact that the know-how of those people who work with digital teaching and learning materials was directly involved in the development of the materials. The initiative was funded by the Innovationsstiftung für Bildung, the OeAD was responsible for the implementation. All funded projects can be found on the Eduthek platform.
Worldwide, (inter)national Citizen Science funding is repeatedly provided. In Germany, for example, in 2016 the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) published for the first time a targeted call for proposals for the funding of research projects in which citizens were significantly involved. The second CS call for proposals followed in 2019. In Australia, Citizen Science Grants are repeatedly awarded as part of Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Programs.
Within the framework of "Science with and for Society" in the research framework program "Horizon 2020" (2014-2020) of the European Commission, 16 Citizen Science projects were funded. The report Citizen Science and Citizen Engagement - Achievements in Horizon 2020 and recommendations on the way forward presents the impact of these projects.
Overview of further calls
To get an overview of the national and international funding opportunities until 2019, we recommend the publication of the Center for Citizen Science: Citizen Science. Initiativen, Netzwerke, Plattformen und Förderungen (2019).