The EU is holding the competition for citizen science researchers annually from this year on. The closing date for submissions is 13 March.
As part of a bid to get the public involved in science research, the EU launched a competition on 10 January with a grand prize of €60,000 and an overall prize fund of €100,000.
The European Union Prize for Citizen Science competition is being overseen by Ars Electronica, an Austria-based scientific and education institute. There is no entry fee. This is the first time the EU has held a citizen science-focused contest on such a large scale.
The EU’s aim is to celebrate and reward ordinary people doing extraordinary things in science. Laypeople who dedicate themselves to scientific research outside of their regular professional lives are often referred to as citizen scientists. Many of the world’s most famous discoveries and breakthroughs have been made by citizen scientists. Professional scientists often rely on and collaborate with lay scientists, particularly when it comes to solving problems. Over the past few months in Ireland, citizen scientists have been called on to help with projects ranging from red squirrel revivals to air quality monitoring. In May 2022, the European Space Agency called on the public to help astronomers spot changes on the surface of a comet they had studied for some years.
As well as the grand prize of €60,000, the new EU competition will grant two other awards. The Diversity & Collaboration Award is worth €20,000, as is the Digital Communities Award. There will also be 27 honorary mentions made as part of the competition. The awards will be made by a jury, who will meet in April to review the submissions.
Those interested in entering this year’s competition can do so until the final closing date of 13 March 2023. The awards ceremony will take place in September, following the winners announcement in June.
From now on, the competition will be held annually by Ars Electronica, with funding provided via Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation fund. More information about entering the European Union Prize for Citizen Science is available on Ars Electronica’s website.