Environmental Citizen Science


Citizen science has emerged as a powerful tool for understanding our world. New tools and evolving expertise are helping to gather more data and engage communities in meaningful ways. We are running the Environmental Citizen Science Challenge Grant to support this important work. 

The Projects

Browse the participating projects

Restoring native oysters to Biscayne Bay, as a tool to mitigate algal blooms

The hypothesis is native oysters can be reestablished due to new freshwater flows to Biscayne Bay.Oysters...

Recruit, train, and support shorebird enthusiasts for the International Shorebird Survey

Manomet's International Shorebird Survey (ISS) is a Citizen Science project designed to gather information...

Seasonal patterns in Indiana plants

Indiana Phenology is on a mission to document seasonal changes in plants and animals in every county in...

More About This Challenge

The sciency details

Challenge Amount:
Submission Deadline:
Nov 13, 2020
Campaign Launch:
Nov 30, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

How do challenge grants work?

Eligible projects must be approved before the launch deadline of November 30th, 2020. The $10,000 grant will be distributed proportionately to all participating projects. Please read the full description carefully.

When will the grant be awarded?

On January 4th at 5PM PT, the prizes will be awarded according to the posted schedule.

Can I still submit a project?

We are no longer accepting projects for this grant, however we will be launching many more challenge grant opportunities. Sign up for our mailing list for up-to-date community news.

Please Note:

If we see suspicious acitivity of researchers or backers potentially cheating during the challenge, the project will be completely disqualified from winning the grant.

Challenge Aims

Citizen scientists represent a critical data-gathering resource in efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially in terms of monitoring earth systems and biodiversity. We are calling for proposals from citizen science teams and individuals studying species, ecosystems, and the environmental factors affecting community health. We are also interested in projects studying metascience aspects of the citizen science process. 

We encourage citizen and community scientists, grad students, and early-career researchers to apply. Research projects are eligible to participate in this campaign if:

1) They study any aspect of environmental science (such as wetland ecology, coral reefs, water quality) using citizen or community science techniques. OR

2) They study metascience aspects of citizen or community science such as data quality in citizen science, the intersection of citizen science and science communication, the role of citizen science in education, etc.

Experiment is the largest crowdfunding platform for scientific research with a funding success rate of 44%. Experiment's mission is to democratize the research process and remove barriers to scientific success. The average budget of a successful proposal is $4,000. For more information on the Experiment process, please refer to our Researcher Guide: https://experiment.com/guide

The call for proposal will last from now until November 13th, 2020. Proposals should be submitted directly on the Experiment site at experiment.com/grants/citsci2020. Early submission is strongly encouraged. Early submissions will have more opportunity for feedback and coaching.

Proposals submitted for the call will be approved or rejected by November 29th and launched on November 30th for a 37 day campaign. Projects will be promoted by Experiment and allied organizations. Researchers should expect to spend time weekly during the campaign working outreach. Coaching for outreach activities will be provided by Experiment staff. Past experience shows that projects whose proponents and research team mount a strong outreach campaign are most successful.

During the campaign participants will be expected to share the projects with their networks to attract support. 

Read carefully: The Challenge Grant prize of $10,000 will be distributed to all participating and eligible projects in proportion to the number of backers accumulated by January 4th (at 5pm PST). To further clarify: on January 4th, projects will receive as an extra bonus a share of the $10,000 prize according to the number of project backers compared to the total number of backers in the competition. For example, suppose Project A has 40 backers, and a total of 500 backers chose to donate across all the projects (including Project A). Project A would then receive a share 40/500 of the $10,000 prize = 0.08*10,000 = $800.

(Photo via the Cascades Butterfly Project Team.)

Project Eligilibity

Projects must be submitted by November 13th and reviewed and approved by Experiment by November 30th , 2020. Additionally, projects must pass a review of relevance by the Challenge Grant sponsors.

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