Two organizations are stronger than one
Community science and citizen science projects are strongest when they involve partnerships between people and/or organizations with diverse areas of expertise. Whether those partnerships are community + university, public + private, local + global, or some other arrangement, collaboration often creates stronger projects and more successful funding!
Grants and Contracts: Common tools for funding citizen science
Citizen science projects need funding to reach their goals, and writing grants and contracts are common ways to raise funds. Building a partnership with our team will allow you to benefit from our extensive experience writing grants and contracts. Being a part of Colorado State University, we have access to amazing people, including some outside our team, who can help us help you be more successful funding your project.
We’ve partnered with organizations to write grants both large and small. We can partner with you on large-scale, complex grant program applications (e.g., the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc.); help you meet data management requirements; fulfill Institutional Review Board (IRB) obligations; and help guide you to the latest data collection, analysis, visualization, and curation approaches. We can also partner with you to write smaller grants targeted at more local investigations.
Three Partnerships that led to successful citizen science funding
We’ve partnered with over 20 organizations to co-write successful grants and contracts to start or further advance citizen science projects around the world. Someday we’ll write about them all, but for now, here are three examples to give you an idea of how we can work with you.
CyberTracker, a South African citizen science program, partnered with CitSci.org to gain valuable funding to develop a new mobile app. Together, our organizations received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation Directorate, SI2-SSI entitled Advancing and Mobilizing Citizen Science Data through an Integrated Sustainable Cyberinfrastructure, to integrate CitSci.org with CyberTracker to further citizen science for traditionally underserved populations, non-literate wild animal trackers across the continent of Africa. This partnership is novel because it focuses on integration and interoperability between existing systems. Rather than build yet another platform, mobile app, or desktop application, this grant instead wrestles with the challenge of integrating existing systems to amplify the utility and reach, and serve an audience of people often left out of the conversation, the non-literate.
Stream Tracker, a citizen science project focused on advancing scientific understanding of intermittent streams, teamed up with CitSci.org to co-write a NASA funded proposal. This pilot project quickly exploded to reach 42 states. By already having a solid back-end in place to store a growing dataset of intermittent stream flow data, the research team was more successful at obtaining initial support from NASA than may otherwise have been possible. Furthermore, the partnership led to a second successful grant with the USFS to expand the project.
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT) is currently partnering with CitSci.org to grow its citizen science program. The collaboration is enabling LNT to seek funds from more diverse sources and has proven valuable in garnering support for its growing program. Partnering with the trusted CitSci.org platform that has been vetted and approved by agencies such as the US Forest Service and BLM opens fundraising doors for LNT.
Contact us about your grant partnership ideas
If you’re thinking about using CitSci.org for your citizen or community science project and plan to write a grant to make it happen, get in touch with us! We can help you with the process and provide guidance on what has worked and what hasn’t for other projects. And, although many of the projects we work with are hosted on CitSci.org, we also work with projects that use their own websites and portals and work with us as consultants to get help with funding other facets of their citizen science projects. Regardless of where you are in the process, we encourage you to reach out and talk with us to learn more.
Photo courtesy of Louis Leibenburg; Damase Ekondzo using the CyberTracker app in the Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo