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ABC Citizen Science Project 2015 – Call for proposals from research scientists

National Office

Do you have a collection of images or sound files that you need analysed?

Could you do with an extra research assistant?

How about 10,000 citizen scientists?!

We’re looking for a great new idea for our 2015 National Science Week citizen science project.

Harnessing the power of citizen science can provide practical and verifiable assistance, quickly doing the jobs that would have taken a research assistant, or several assistants many months, if not years.

If you are a scientist working in Australia and have a citizen science idea that suits the criteria below then we’d like to hear from you.

We’re looking for an idea that:

  • Involves a simple activity, for example:  photo identification; digitising old records, describing what happens in a video, an online visual test…
  • The participants can undertake online (no field work) at home (or school, work or library).  This is so the maximum number of people can participate.
  • Is part of a scientific research project with clear aims and outcomes.
  • Is not restricted in interest to a very small geographical or interest area –  i.e. is of interest to many people.
  • That can be undertaken with the accuracy you require by non-science-trained people from around 15 years and older. The skills needed should be able to be taught through an online tutorial.

Some of our recent Citizen Science projects

Weather Detective 2014 – http://www.weatherdetective.net.au/
More than 350,000 weather observations digitised from 100-year old ship log books for researchers at the University of Southern Queensland – the data goes into the global  ACRE database, a significant climate resource available to anyone.

Explore the Seafloor 2013 – http://exploretheseafloor.net.au/
300,000 seafloor photos were viewed in a few weeks, identifying the presence of kelp or urchins  for the team from IMOS, UNSW, Sydney University and University of Tasmania.

SoundCheck Australia 2012 – http://www.soundcheckaustralia.net.au/
Over 8,000 people signed up to do the hearing check and fill in the online survey about their recreational noise exposure  – a boon of information for the National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney,

The Sleep Survey 2011 – http://www.sleepsurvey.net.au/
10,000 participants monitored their sleeping habits for one week for the Woolcock Institute and Sydney University

Background
The project is supported by the Inspiring Australia science engagement initiative. ABC Science has produced an annual citizen scientist or national project for National Science Week for 15 years.

Timing
The project can run from anywhere between three weeks to two months, but will always include the month of August when National Science Week occurs.

Register your interest
Please send us an email that covers the following details:

* Your name, position and institution:

*Your idea: a brief synopsis of the idea including why this research is interesting and /or important;  the questions it hopes to answers; and how you imagine the ‘citizen scientists’  might be involved in providing data for your research.

Please email your ideas to Kylie Andrews, Citizen Science Project Producer at ABC Science Online, on kylie.andrews@abc.net.au

Date:  We’d like to receive ideas by March 16 2015.

Questions? Please email them to Kylie Andrews on kylie.andrews@abc.net.au.

Please note: Only proposals from research scientists who are currently working at an Australian university or research organisation will be considered.