Call for expressions of interest: Policy Impact through Citizen Science (PICS)

February 27th, 2023

The Institute for Policy and Engagement is pleased to announce a call for proposals under a new initiative: Policy Impact through Citizen Science (PICS).

The voices of citizens and the voices of researchers both have powerful roles to play in developing better-informed, more grounded policy decisions. With this initiative, we aim to bring both together.

Funded by Research England’s QR-Policy Support Fund, PICS offers the opportunity for an academic at the university to explore the connections between public engagement with research, evidence-informed policy, and active citizenship in a unique and innovative way.

This is aligned to the university’s civic strategy delivery plan.

What do we class as Citizen Science?

 We are looking for proposals for projects that involve the public in data gathering to support the generation of new insights relevant to a specific policy priority at the local level in the city of Nottingham. This could be on a wide range of topics – you could focus on anything from food bank use to urban pollution to energy usage. You could ask people to collect samples, document landscapes or log data associated with their computers. The key requirement is that the project speaks to an issue of importance to local policy makers and local citizens alike.

We’ll support you to plan and deliver a citizen science project with Nottingham residents and to develop a plan to showcase your findings and recommendations to local policy makers and the public. This will include a celebration/launch event with the public and policy makers, to share insights from the research and from the initiative as an approach to policy impact. The Institute will provide support on the policy impact approach and on organising the event.

Our ambition is not just to add value to the specific policy question under consideration, but to show that academic research and citizens working together can be a powerful new way to tackle policy challenges, develop new insights and imagine new solutions.

We will be holding and briefing an information event on Thursday 9 March to answer any questions you may have about this opportunity.

To sign up, please visit the Online Event Page | Eventbrite.

Application process

We will be running a two-stage application for this opportunity. Firstly, we will open a very light touch call for Expressions of Interest with a deadline of 24 March 2023. Based on EOIs, we will identify which projects are of most potential interest to local policy stakeholders and invite the relevant PIs to submit a full application.

The deadline for full applications is 26 May 2023. We aim to respond to all applicants by 9 June 2023, and to be in a position to initiate the successful project(s) by September 2023.

Amount available

The funding available for project costs is up to a maximum of £50,000.

We are looking to fund at least one PICS project as a pilot for this model. In addition to the project costs, we have reserved further funding to support the production of policy-focused assets to share the findings and implications, and for the launch event.

Who we are looking for

 We would ideally look for a PI with experience in either citizen science or policy impact, but we do not expect you to have experience in both.

Support will be available from the Institute and the project budget allows you to commission specialist advice from an external partner or agency.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact the Institute for Policy and Engagement.

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