In July the IMPETUS project was launched. With King's as scientific and technical lead, it will fund and support citizen science initiatives across Europe. The project is funded by the European Commission and UKRI as the successor of the recently completed ACTION project. ACTION supported 16 citizen science pilots investigating pollution in different spaces in Europe, who collectively engaged over 1200 participants. ACTION supported all projects through training, webinars, workshops, and advice. All the insights gained in ACTION have been captured in the participatory science toolkit, which provides insight and guidance on how to conduct citizen science projects throughout their lifecycle, alongside a variety of useful tools and resources. The toolkit also holds insight for citizen scientists about volunteer motivation and engagement, data processing and quality, ethics, and policy outreach.
Over the next four years, IMPETUS will build on ACTION's success and model to fund, support and give recognition to outstanding citizen science projects in Europe. IMPETUS' goals are to enable more diverse citizen science initiatives to access funding, bring citizen science closer to society and policy makers, acknowledge the role citizen science plays in tackling the greatest challenges of our times, and enable citizen science projects to contribute to Green Deal and UN Sustainable Development Goal commitments.
Practically, IMPETUS will fund and support 125 citizen science initiatives focused on different sustainability goals, as well as diversity and inclusion, and open science. Projects will be selected in three open calls, each of which will have one challenge defined by the IMPETUS consortium, and another selected by citizen scientists themselves. Selected projects will join an accelerator, which will provide an integrated programme of support, training, mentoring, and resources. The accelerator will facilitate peer learning, and enable projects to forge connections with a variety of stakeholders, including policy makers. In order to recognise outstanding citizen science initiatives, IMPETUS will launch the EU Prize for Citizen Science. It will award three prize categories for three years, for outstanding achievements, diversity, and innovative grassroots projects; and one of the winners will also be selected by citizen scientists themselves.
Through these activities, IMPETUS will shape policy across the EU, help more citizen science data to inform evidence-based policies, and identify future directions in citizen science policy itself. This work has already begun: IMPETUS will contribute to the ONS' Inclusive Data Taskforce, by focusing on data collection from and with marginalised groups. IMPETUS will also contribute to King's research agenda by expanding our work on human-data interaction, data literacy, ethics and governance, and working with the new NMES Net Zero Centre.
The project is led at King's by PI Professor Elena Simperl. Dr Gefion Thuermer is the scientific and technical lead, with responsibility for overall delivery against the project objectives, and ensuring that the support provided to CSIs remains people-centric.
IMPETUS launched their first open call on 10th January 2023. It has two parts:
The first part of this call is for the Accelerator Program: IMPETUS is looking for new or ongoing citizen science projects, who can receive €20,000 or €10,000 respectively, to help deliver a six-month project. All teams will have access to a set of services tailored to their individual needs that include intensive training, online mentoring, promotion, peer learning and networking. In this first open call, the project is looking for innovative and creative projects focusing on the topics of Healthy Planet and Cities for Life.
The second part is the debut of the new European Union Prize for Citizen Science, which will award outstanding citizen science initiatives. IMPETUS will award three prizes: A Grand Prize of 60,000€, and two additional prizes for projects demonstrating exemplary Diversity & Collaboration and Digital Communities, both awarded 20,000€.
The call will be open for two months from 10 January, and closing at 12:00 CET on 13 March 2022. You can find all information on the IMPETUS project website. IMPETUS will host two webinars where applicants can learn about the process and ask any questions they may have. Questions can also be emailed to email@example.com.
For updates, you can follow IMPETUS on social media under @impetus4cs, on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Funding Body: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Period: July 2022 - June 2026