See Focus areas

Citizen Science

making impact with
citizen science

How can science be practiced in an ‘open’ way, so others have the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the scientific process? How can we improve research so that it benefits society? Citizen Science is seen as an increasingly important answer to these challenges. In this method, it is not only citizens and researchers who collaborate. Policy makers, businesses, and non-profit organisations also have input during the different phases of the research process and innovation development. This way, society as a whole benefits. Therefore, Citizen Science is one of DesignLab's three focus areas.

Sabine Wildevuur, director of DesignLab & doctorate in Designing Person-Centred Information and Communication Technologies
“Citizen science adds an extra dimension by starting the scientific process with the identification of real-life issues that our communities, people and social organizations are facing.
From the start, the focus is on positive social impact.”

Together from the start

At DesignLab, we consider Citizen Science as scientific research in which members of the general public are involved in not only the collection and analysis of data, but also in the formulation of research questions. This means that citizens are involved from the start, collaborating with professional scientists.

Citizen Science at DesignLab

As the centre for Citizen Science within the University of Twente, DesignLab is involved in several initiatives to promote Citizen Science and involve communites outside of campus. Next to the focus on health in the iconic CitizenLab project, we will broaden our scope to other societal challenges and target groups.

We are currently setting up a Citizen Science Hub for the whole of the University of Twente and beyond. This hub will further develop the ‘Twente Model’ for citizen science, and share knowledge, skills and good practices with the international network in this field.

Also, DesignLab is partner in the Topfit CitizenLab/NoaberLab, in which health care providers, patient organisations, health insurers, companies and knowledge institutions collaborate. The goal is to supports citizens in adding happy and healthy years to their lives, supported by technology.

Related projects


    INCENTIVE is a European project that DesignLab initiated and will also be leading. The project's goal is to empower European research performing and funding organisations to establish sustainable and transdisciplinary hubs for Citizen Science. These hubs should stimulate and support excellent Citizen Science. The project is carried out with a consortium of 9 partners throughout Europe.

    The University of Twente, TechMed Centre and BMS Faculty are also involved. INCENTIVE will kick off in February 2021.


    Both at the national and the international level, more and more people recognise the need to design and carry out responsible research and innovation (RRI). The aim of this approach is to foster the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation.

    From 2020 to 2023, the project partners will design an approach to enable regions to make their research and innovation policies inclusive and future-proof. Apart from Overijssel, the European regions Galicia, Crete and the Norwegian Vestland participate.


Article | Exploring the dimensions of Health

How can Citizen Science contribute to health? The authors, who are involved in the project Topfit CitizenLab, explain by highlighting four dimensions: participation, knowledge, impact and 'value-driven'.

Read the Dutch article

Ten principes of Citizen Science

The UT Citizen Science hub follows the ten principles of Citizen Science set up by the European Citizen Science Association. This provides a good framework to approach new projects and inventorize existing ones.

Read the ten principles

Overview of our focus areas

Citizen Science is strongly connected to the other two focus areas of DesignLab: Responsible Design and a Transdisciplinary Approach.