The full report (DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5137246) is available on Zenodo.
The COESO project’s first research output, “Landscape study on funding schemes for Social Sciences and the Humanities’ citizen science activities” is a novel and revealing sketch of the accessibility and diversity of the current funding schemes in Europe.
In addition to highlighting good practices, gaps and shortcomings – both from the view of funding and funded entities, it also provides recommendations for successful citizen science policy. The study draws from an analysis of 105 funding entities around Europe.
Main study results:
- Many researchers cannot find funding calls for citizen science in social sciences and humanities disciplines.
- Funding opportunities for small scale, local projects are either very difficult to find or do not exist.
- Third sector organisations are integral to citizen science.
- Current funding policies base their distribution decision on impact indicators, but both the concept of impact and its measurement are controversial. A critical review of either research that fails to achieve such impacts and/or of current interpretations of knowledge metrics is therefore required.
Recommendations, based on results, for successful funding policy:
- Diversify funding schemes by promoting a wide variety of models that respond to the characteristics and needs of different geographical, cultural or socio-economic contexts. Make projects involved in large international partnerships with far-reaching global objectives possible, while promoting a rich and wide diversity of small projects and local networks.
- Promote and support the countless third sector entities, both as recipients of funding to carry out their projects and as providers of funding that can promote other projects at very different scales.
- Take into account the diversity of terms for referring to citizen science or participatory research, depending on the country. Using at least two different expressions in the same call (in title, description, and/or keywords) – according to the different contexts and scopes – is needed for the different actors to connect and develop their common interests.
- Promote alliances and networks, both among funding agencies and recipients of funding.
- Make communication around funding received or provided by corresponding organisations transparent and findable. Develop tools for finding funding opportunities at different levels taking into account the necessary diversity of funding schemes.
- Explicitly highlight the presence and value of social sciences and humanities disciplines in multidisciplinary projects.
- Disseminate and continue to carry out studies on the diverse impacts of social sciences and humanities research with citizen science methodologies.
The study will serve as the basis for the next steps in the COESO project:
- The development and implementation of an advocacy plan that aims to increase access to relevant funding opportunities
- The development of VERA (virtual environment for research activation), a platform for researchers and citizens to meet, collaborate, and find project funding.