In its efforts to expand cooperation and improve networking among science, schools and society, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) funds a number of initiatives and programmes at the interface of education, science and the general population. They open up a variety of ways for pupils and citizens to participate in science.
The research programme Sparkling Science
Within the framework of the research funding programme "Sparkling Science 2.0" the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) supports citizen science projects in which pupils at all school levels – and also civil society – are actively involved in research processes. In this way citizen scientists get to know science at first hand and make a central contribution to the research results.
In the course of the 1st call for proposals 34 outstanding Citizen Science projects involving 122 schools are funded with a total volume of 11.5 million euros. Together with research institutions and partners from business and society the pupils and other citizen scientists investigate topics such as biodiversity in Austria, find innovative recycling methods for electronic waste, research colonialism in natural history museums and much more. In the autumn of 2024 the projects of the 2nd call for proposals will begin their research activities. The programme places a special focus on transparent research approaches (open science) in order to further strengthen social participation.
Further cooperation between science, schools and society
To expand cooperation between schools, research institutions and society the BMBWF also initiated the Citizen Science Award at the OEAD, which invites people to participate in research every year from 1 April to 31 July. Within the framework of the research competition school classes, youth groups, families and individuals can, for example, make information videos on human papillomaviruses, transcribe old dialect words, research green roofs in their own village, town or city or identify insect species. The most committed citizen scientists are awarded prizes. The award ceremony takes place every autumn within the framework of the Young Science Congress and also offers pupils and youth groups the possibility to take part in workshops and attend lectures and experience science at first hand. The Citizen Science Award is organised by the OeAD Centre for Citizen Science, which acts as an information, advice and service centre for Citizen Science. With it the OeAD addresses researchers and scientific institutions with the aim of spreading the citizen science research approach in Austria. Various formats for knowledge transfer and networking are offered for this purpose.
And everyone benefits…
With these and many other measures schools and interested individuals can get to know research at first hand and work on specific projects. The insights into scientific processes and the possibility to help shape them themselves increase the participants' confidence in science. But researchers also benefit from the collaboration: they can gain innovative insights in this way and support talent and young scientists by engaging them in independent science and research.
OeAD | Centre for Citizen Science
Universitätsstraße 5, 1010 Vienna
T +43 1 53408 437