Research projects to support cooperation between science, schools and society

Kinder springen hoch und halten Bleistift aus Karton © OeAD/Gianmaria Gava

The Public Science department manages two funding measures of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) as well as one funding programme of the Foundation for educational Innovation in which schools and/or interested citizens cooperate with researchers. By participating in research projects interested people get the possibility to gain new knowledge, to support the work of researchers and to contribute to new scientific findings.

The research programme Sparkling Science

Within the framework of Sparkling Science the BMBWF has funded 299 research projects (as at January 2018) since 2007 in which scientists work side by side with pupils. Approximately 198 research institutions have worked on scientific questions together with 89,000 pupils within the research programme. Together they for example measure trees in Costa Rica’s rainforest, they experiment with mathematical algorithms or research the conditions for successful care in case of disease or people in need of care. So far more than 35.7 million euros have been spent on funding the programme – a worthwhile investment: The enthusiasm for research in children and youngsters is aroused and researchers gain innovative findings through the cooperation.

The funding initiative Top Citizen Science

The funding initiative Top Citizen Science, which is managed by the BMBWF, FWF and OeAD, invites Sparkling Science and FWF projects that have already been supported to submit extension projects in line with Citizen Science and Open Innovation. With their skills, expertise, curiosity and readiness to participate citizens are to contribute to new research results and findings. 24 Top Citizen Science projects have been supported by 1,2 million euros so far, of which twelve Sparkling Science projects with approximately 600,000 euros. The third call for applications ended on January 2018. All applications are currently in the appraisal phase. The first projects will start in summer.

Funding of the Creation of Digital Teaching and Learning Materials

On behalf of the Innovationsstiftung für Bildung (Foundation for educational Innovation), the OeAD-GmbH announced a new funding programme "Creation of digital teaching and learning materials with citizen science methods". The first call for proposals supported projects that aim to revise existing teaching and learning materials with the support of learners and teachers. The participation of citizens is scheduled between February and June 2019.

The content of the teaching and learning materials should cover interdisciplinary topics such as mobility, migration, democracy, etc. By integrating the projects into the school environment, not only the innovative and practice-oriented teaching and learning materials are to be created, but also the conscious, selective, critical and targeted use of digital media in the classroom should be promoted.

Projects are funded up to a maximum of 25,000 euros per application, with a total amount of 200,000 euros available. The second call is expected to follow in December 2018.

More information