Top Citizen Science (TCS) Funding Initiative

In consultation with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW), the FWF and OeAD have issued a call for the "Top Citizen Science“ (TCS) funding initiative for the second time1, which has a total endowment of € 500,000 (€ 250.000 FWF and € 250.000 OeAD). Under this call, funding will be made available for the expansion of FWF-funded research projects or OeAD-funded Sparkling Science projects which are suitable in terms of content and methods and which are to be expanded to include "citizen science" components. Citizen science includes all activities of persons whose main professional function is not to contribute to generating new research insights. In the context of this initiative, it is understood as the active involvement of citizens and their knowledge, resources and commitment in scholarly research and the generation of new scholarly insights.

Target Group
The call is open to all researchers currently leading an FWF-funded project or an OeAD-funded Sparkling Science project. The expansion projects are to address all people regardless of age, gender or social background as well as people with highly specialised knowledge or specialist expertise ("knowledge communities"). Projects that target young people are explicitly encouraged; for proposals based on Sparkling Science projects, the involvement of youths is a requirement for funding.

The initiative is designed to support research activities that enable citizens to contribute to generating substantial additional research results and insights on the basis of their abilities, expertise, curiosity and willingness to participate – without sacrificing the excellence of the research work.

The quality of the research underlying each expansion project is to be ensured by the project on which it is based ("main project"). This project must be either an FWF-funded project or an OeAD-funded Sparkling Science project which will not yet be completed when the funding decision is issued (Mai 2017), meaning that the end date scheduled for the main project must be June 30, 2017 or later. Proposals for expansion projects are to be submitted to the institution that approved the main project (FWF or OeAD).

TCS projects are to last no longer than two years. Projects may be extended as long as no additional costs are incurred.

Grant Amounts
The maximum amount of funding is €50,000 per application.

Applications for expansion projects to FWF-funded projects are to be submitted to the FWF in accordance with the applicable requirements between November 7, 2016 and January 16, 2017 (submission deadline; date of postmark). Expansions to Sparkling Science projects are to be submitted to the OeAD.


Gerit Oberraufner