Photo: UNDP Accelerator Lab

2023 Open Call

The European Union Prize for Citizen Science recognizes outstanding achievements in the advancement of knowledge through the empowerment of civil society in the development of the future.

The Prize honors Citizen Science Initiatives in the European Research Area that enact change, expand knowledge, and demonstrate innovative Open Science processes that rethink existing practices while addressing social, cultural, environmental, educational, and political advancement.

Citizen Science is demonstrated by “general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens actively contribute to science either with their intellectual effort or surrounding knowledge, or with their tools and resources” (European Commission, 2014).

The Prize invites submissions from a diverse range of initiatives that demonstrate outstanding examples of both citizens engaging with science and research, and scientists and researchers engaging with society. An initiative could consist of a project, a series of projects, an activity, or series of activities.

Scope

The Prize is open to initiatives operating within a wide-ranging scope of scientific and social activities that engage citizens and aim to deliver scientific advancement and social benefits, support communities, and foster an open and inclusive civil society.

The Prize is awarded annually by Ars Electronica on behalf of the European Commission. The Prize ceremony takes place at Ars Electronica Festival in September. No fees are charged to enter the competition. Each application has to refer to a project that, at the time of submission, is either completed or advanced enough as indicated by e.g. preliminary outcomes to allow the jury to assess its merit. Further on, the submitted initiatives/projects should not be older than two years or, if completed more than two years ago, must still show a significant update or further development through active work within the last two years.

Examples of types of eligible initiatives include:

Grand Prize: € 60.000

Diversity & Collaboration Award: € 20.000

Digital Communities Award: € 20.000

Initiatives that respond to the strategic orientations for research and innovation in the European Research Area are particularly encouraged to submit. This includes initiatives that demonstrate excellence in:

* Cf. European Commission: Horizon Europe Strategic Plan (2021 – 2024). 2021. For details on these aspects, cf. Haklay, Muki, Motion, Alice, Balázs, Bálint, Kieslinger, Barbara, Greshake Tzovaras, Bastian, Nold, Christian, Dörler, Daniel, Fraisl, Dilek, Riemenschneider, Dorte, Heigl, Florian, Brounéus, Frederik, Hager, Gerid, Heuer, Katja, Wagenknecht, Katherin, Vohland, Katrin, Shanley, Lea, Deveaux, Lionel, Ceccaroni, Luigi, Weißpflug, Maike, … Wehn, Uta. (2020). ECSA’s Characteristics of Citizen Science. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3758668

Schedule

Announcement and call for submissionsJanuary 10, 2023
Final deadline for submissions  March 13, 2023
Jury meetingApril 2023  
Announcement and press conferenceJune 2023  
Award CeremonySeptember 2023 at Ars Electronica Festival in Linz / Austria

Winners of the Prize will be notified by mid-June at the latest. In the interest of all applicants, we request that the applicant (or a representative named by them) be available during the period when winners will be notified via the contact specified in the entry form. If the winner is not responsive within a period of four weeks, Ars Electronica reserves the right to award the prize to the next applicant on the shortlist.

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Jury

The names of the jury members for the European Union Prize for Citizen Science will be published together with the winners’ announcement in June 2023.

European Union Prize for Citizen Science – Prix Ars Electronica – STARTS Prize

Every submission to the European Union Prize for Citizen Science competition can also be entered for Prix Ars Electronica and/or STARTS Prize consideration. In other words, it’s possible for a single initiative to win the European Union Prize for Citizen Science, the STARTS Prize as well as a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica grand prize.

How does this work? It is easy – at the end of your online submission, simply check the appropriate box.