The popularity of citizen science is growing worldwide, not only on the part of research, but also on the part of society. More and more citizens get the chance to participate actively in research projects and contribute with their knowledge, time and skills. In this way barriers betweeen science and society can be broken down.
The Ministry of Science, Research and Economy has recognised the significance of citizen science. Together with the Austrian Science Fund FWF und the OeAD they started the first citizen science specific funding initiative Top Citizen Science (TCS) in the German-speaking countries. TCS is designed to support research activities that enable citizens to contribute to generating substantial additional research results without sacrificing the excellence of the research work. A budget of 500,000 Euro per call is available for this purpose.
Twelve projects from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities were funded within the first call; the first few projects already started in July 2016. At the moment many citizen scientists are working side by side with researchers on topics such as ecology, medicine, politics, food and history. Together they are studying for example the origin of regionally produced food, political participation offers, coping strategies regarding heat in care situations and personal experiences, that are made by people while learning how to read, write or speak in another language. You can learn more about all funded projects and participation options here.