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Citizen Science: NOW aims to explore potential futures in the broader engagement of citizens in Citizen Science (CS) and identify citizen competencies needed to achieve this.  The outcomes of this project will help us develop digital CS capacity-building resources for and with citizens. So, educational resources for citizen scientists, scientists involved in citizen science, facilitators, and other actors who are interested in 'activating' citizen science.

The project brings together three universities, a Future Foresight Institute, and a globally operating quality assurance body that focuses on acknowledging engagement and entrepreneurship in Higher Education based in four European countries. In its efforts to encourage broader citizen participation in Citizen Science (CS), the project is committed to sustainable CS development via digitalizing adult CS training experiences and empowering adult citizens with essential CS competencies and skills in the partner regions.

In the first phase of the project, we utilized the Future Design methodology. In this we have developed a dashboard of scan cards hosted by Bespoke Horizon which contains the best practices of citizen science. Furthermore, interviews and surveys have been conducted to get an insightful picture of the competence needs of citizen science. An inquiry was made into the competences they considered of importance, what kind of roles they take in projects, and at what level they participate. This resulted in the PR1 Needs Assessment & Future Foresight Report on Citizen Science, which can be found at: Needs assessment and future foresight report on Citizen Science | Zenodo.

The last phase focuses on the development of learning resources for citizen science, based on the identified competence needs in PR1. These resources will strengthen the competences of citizen scientists and will encourage them to take up a leading role. Furthermore, they will be better equipped to build, maintain and expand local citizen science structures, and collaborate in local and regional challenges.

University of Twente Role:   

We are involved in all stages of the project. In the first phase, we have designed, organized and finalized the interviews with experts in the field of citizen science. These consist of citizen scientists in local and regional projects, researchers who are involved in these projects and collaborate with citizen scientists, and facilitators of citizen science projects. The results of these have been published in the PR1 report. In the last phase, we are responsible for developing three learning resources, together with the other academic partners (MUAS and UB). These will be focused around participating in local and regional challenges related to citizen science; how to become an active citizen scientist?

Jeroen Vonk – Project researcher
Sjoerd de Vries – Project researcher