HORIZON EUROPE FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME┋Supporting and giving recognition to citizen science in the European Research Area



Expected Outcome

Projects are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:

  • Significant number of experimental citizen science initiatives kick-started;
  • Significant number of citizen science initiatives supported to become sustainable;
  • Significant number of newcomers to the Framework Programme and a significant number of citizens involved in co-producing scientific knowledge;
  • Increased recognition of excellent citizen science initiatives throughout the European Research Area;
  • Improved evidence base for making policy on citizen science.

These targeted outcomes in turn contribute to medium and long-term impacts:

  • Increased engagement of citizens with science and researchers with citizens;
  • Increased public trust in science;
  • Increased alignment of strategic research with society needs, expectations and values;
  • Better understanding among citizens of the process of building scientific knowledge through experimentation;
  • Increased capacity in the EU R&I system to conduct open science and to set it as a modus operandi of modern science;
  • A more open and inclusive research and innovation system.


Citizen Science is a rapidly emerging mode of research and innovation that shows huge promise in terms of collecting new qualities and quantities of data, harnessing collective intelligence, improving science-society literacy, and improving the relationship between science and society. However, financial support is not well adapted to the needs of small-scale and experimental activities and many citizen science initiatives that have proven their worth fail to sustain over the longer term. In addition, citizen science is under-recognised for its role in bridging between science and society, under-utilised where it is needed such as in relation to the Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals, and practitioners of citizen science are insufficiently recognised within the EU research and innovation system as conducting high-quality activities that can have numerous side-benefits.

In order to help remedy these weaknesses in the European research and innovation system, this action will launch two calls for proposals through financial support to third parties:

  • Kick-starting: This will kick-start and provide support services to at least 100 citizen science activities that are at the conceptual or pilot stage and which show promise in terms of innovative theme or approach, collecting and analysing data, or generating other important benefits.
  • Sustaining: This will support at least 25 on-going or recent citizen science activities to find ways to sustain their activities; these will have shown their worth in terms of innovative theme or approach, collecting and analysing data, generating other important benefits, or have particular potential to scale up across member states or the ERA.

The two calls may be launched over one or more waves but it should not be necessary to be supported by the ‘kick-starting’ call to apply for ‘sustainable’ call. Efforts should be made to evaluate the response to the open calls, capture the benefits arising from the citizen science activities it kick-starts (social, economic, democratic, scientific, etc.), and develop intelligence about factors that support or hinder the sustainability of successful citizen science initiatives.

In addition, this action should launch a European Union Prize for Citizen Science (funded by the action through financial support to third parties) open to all citizen science initiatives involving research and innovation actors, including civil society organisations, in the European Union. The action should prepare, publicise and launch the competition, organise a high-profile award ceremony and showcase the breadth and scope of excellent citizen science activities taking place across the European Union. In close liaison with the Commission throughout the process, the action should decide on the award categories, setup the panel of experts that will evaluate the contestants, and develop the conditions for participation and the award criteria that enable identification of excellent/best-in-class examples of citizen science in terms of their contribution to the scientific evidence base and/or other benefits (e.g. societal, economic, democratic). The action should also set up a comprehensive communication strategy around the prize. Prizes should be awarded to several winners (e.g. for different categories) and be funded through financial support to third parties. Each prize should be in the range of EUR 10 000 – 60 000.

Across all three of parts (kick-starting, sustaining, and the citizen science prize), the action should consider citizen science across all areas of research and innovation and take into account all of the different forms of participation that citizen science can entail without prejudice to any. Significant efforts should be made to be inclusive in terms of geography, gender, ethnicity, disability, age, socio-economic background etc. The large majority of the funding should be allocated to the activities to kick-start and sustain citizen science initiatives. The action should develop policy recommendations, policy briefs, and other research and innovation results/outputs and disseminate its experiences and learnings widely.

The action should build on and valorise the results of earlier projects in the Science and Society (FP6), Science in Society (FP7) and Science with and for Society (Horizon 2020) programmes, in particular projects focused on public engagement, responsible research and innovation, and citizen science, as well as of national and regional initiatives, and should aim to provide a seamless transition between previous supporting actions and this new action.

The project should last a minimum of 4 years.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
Societal Engagement

Date de candidature
4 years minimum
Sciences participatives