Funding schemes

Further funding schemes

Here you will find a selection of international calls on citizen science. Some of them support entire citizen science projects, while others support only partial aspects such as networking activities. An overview of citizen science calls can be found on the website of Österreich forscht. If you would like to be informed about calls on citizen science, please subscribe to our newsletter (in German).

Funding by the European Commission

Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the current and largest EU research and innovation programme to date, with almost 80 billion euros of funding over a period of seven years (2014-2020). Find a call HERE.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, has set three objectives for the EU's research and innovation policy - Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World - which are outlined in a strategy document.

The wide range of topics and calls, e. g. in H2020, provides Citizen Science researchers with a wide range of funding opportunities, even though only a few calls have so far focused on citizen science. Of particular interest are the "Science with and for Society" programme line and the "COST" initiative. Another citizen science funding instrument with an environmental focus is "LIFE". The information event "Citizen Science goes Horizon 2020 - Funding opportunities for 2018-2019" gave an overview about successfull funding applications (presentations are linked further down).

> Science with and for Society

As part of Science with and for Society, the European Union publishes calls on citizen science with the aim of tackling societal challenges while involving the population. The national SwafS contact points of the European countries have drawn up a Citizen Science Policy Brief including further information and links.

The SwafS work programme 2020 with calls for Citizen Science is online >> Further information


COST (European COoperation in Science and Technology) supports the creation of pan-European networks on defined topics over a period of four years and promotes networking activities (no research funding!) such as working groups, conferences, workshops, short travel expenses and joint publications. The current call is running until September 5, 2019.

The objectives of COST Actions are

  • knowledge sharing
  • development of new ideas for joint research projects and project applications
  • cooperation between academic and non-academic. area
  • training and career development of young researchers

Participation in ongoing COST actions is always possible, e.g. at Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe. Further information on current COST-Actions can be found HERE.

The national COST contact point for Austria is located at the FFG and is supervised by Nicole Schmidt, who is available for consultation. Further information on COST can be found on the FFG website.


The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action and is particularly suitable for the funding of citizen science projects on biodiversity. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed more than 4500 projects. For the 2014-2020 funding period, LIFE will contribute approximately 3.4 euros billion to the protection of the environment and climate.

> Information event "Citizen Science goes Horizon 2020 - Funding opportunities for 2018-2019"

On 28 November 2017, an information event "Citizen Science goes Horizon 2020 - Funding opportunities for 2018-2019" was held at OeAD-GmbH, organised by the FFG and the Center for Citizen Science. In his presentation, Dr. Michalis Tzatzanis (FFG) gave an overview of H2020, SwafS and the submission process. Afterwards, Dr. Steffen Fritz (IIASA) spoke about his experience gained from citizen science project submissions to H2020. Finally, Mag. (FH) Nicole Schmidt (FFG) gave an insight into COST in her presentation.


A good opportunity to familiarise yourself with the funding criteria of the European Commission is to work as a scientific evaluator. You will find all the relevant information on this subject in the Commission's Participant Portal.

Further international funding

Worldwide, several citizen science funding initiatives can be found. For example in Germany, in 2016 the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMB) issued the first specific call for proposals to fund research projects in which citizens are significantly involved. In Australia, Citizen Science Grants have been awarded as part of the Inspiring Australia - Science Engagement Programme. In America, the Earthwatch Institute supports citizen science projects. For more funding opportunities, see the Citizen Science Center's list of funding opportunities.

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