The research funding program "Sparkling Science 2.0" of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) will fund 34 citizen science projects from different research disciplines in the next few years: from natural sciences and technology to humanities, social sciences and medicine. The program is managed by the OeAD Center for Citizen Science.
"Sparkling Science 2.0" - like its predecessor program "Sparkling Science" - supports citizen science projects in which scientists work together with school classes on current research questions. In addition to schoolchildren, projects in the new program can also involve other citizen scientists. The maximum funding amount per project was 350,000 euros. This could be increased again by additional funding for two special focal points: Through "Science in Schools" educational institutions should be involved that e.g. are located in peripheral regions of Austria or that have no citizen science experience. The second focus of the program is on the development of citizen science know-how through international networking.
The projects and the stakeholders
A total of 168 valid applications were received between September 1 and November 9, 2021. After a peer review process and evaluation by an education expert, the Sparkling Science Board recommended 34 research projects for funding. The topics range from multilingualism and inclusion to technical assistance systems, energy efficiency and biodiversity.
The diversity of stakeholders is great: the citizen science projects are led by 18 scientific institutions. They involve 120 schools - 19 partner schools are participating for the first time - and cooperate with 56 partners from science and 32 partners from business and society in Austria. The number of citizen scientists is also impressive: 42,000 students and about 30,000 other participants are expected to be reached during the project period.
The start of the funded projects is possible with the beginning of the school year 2022/23.
Presentation of the citizen science projects
All projects will be presented on the website www.sparklingscience.at in September 2022. In addition to some general facts, you will also find detailed project descriptions there.