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Call to Insight members for proposals for Insight Citizen Science Project

Insight researchers, do you have an idea for a flagship citizen science project that will leverage and enhance Insight’s existing research capacity? If so, we would love to hear about it. Proposals are solicited from Insight researchers with a view to choosing the most exciting and robust proposal that may be awarded seed funding of up to €25,000.

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen science is a flexible concept which can be adapted and applied within diverse situations and disciplines. It typically refers to research collaborations between scientists and volunteers, particularly (but not exclusively) to expand opportunities for scientific data collection by community members. It is not a new research practice, however due to new technology-enabled possibilities, a new era for citizen science began at the end of the 20th century. With the help of interested volunteers, comprehensive data collections can be carried out beyond national borders, creating large databases of otherwise hard-to-reach information. This information can be integrated and analysed in new ways to understand and address issues that are important to the public. Citizen Science can contribute to active citizenship, civic education and empowerment of individuals and society to build social capital in communities. It can enable stimulating social networking, knowledge exchange and the knowledge-producing capacity of society. It can also enable faster and evidenceinformed reactions to events with better territorial coverage.

Purpose of the Call

• To address an important societal issue (national or international) through Insight’s capabilities in data science

• To encourage innovation and integration of research efforts across Insight

• To enable genuine engagement of the public with Insight’s research

• To promote the work of Insight and the Insight name nationally

• To develop a reusable infrastructure for citizen science projects at Insight

Details of the Call

Insight researchers are invited to submit a proposal (maximum 5 pages) that outlines the following aspects of your citizen science project:

• The significance of the research question/scientific enquiry

• The composition of the research team (cross-site collaboration essential)

• Plans for data collection

• Evaluation of impact

• Plans for public engagement with the research

• Details on how the funding would be used to support the project and how the funding would be used to leverage other resources/other sources of funding e.g. SFI’s Discovery call

• Details of the support, if any, you would need from Insight in implementing the project (separate to funding) e.g. support around public engagement, support on applications for larger funding awards related to citizen science, support on privacy issues etc.

Proposals will be evaluated by a specially formed evaluation committee that includes external evaluators. Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

• Innovation

• Scientific Merit

• Feasibility (there should be at least one substantial project deliverable accessible by May 2021)

• Composition of research team (interdisciplinarity and cross-site collaboration is essential)

• Value for money in terms of how the funding would be used

• Ability to leverage and integrate Insight’s existing research capacity

Examples of citizen science projects can be found here:

https://www.epa.ie/irelandsenvironment/getinvolved/citizenscience/

These examples are from environmental science, but proposals can focus on any of Insight’s research themes. Proposals are welcome from all Insight researchers, including PhD students, postdocs and FIs/PIs and can also include partners external to Insight. Proposers are encouraged to read the European Citizen Science Association’s “10 Principles of Citizen Science” (2015) in Appendix A prior to designing their project.

Closing date for proposals is 31st October. Please email your proposal as one PDF document to citizen.science2019@insight.org by 5pm on 31st October.