Citizen Science Introduction: First steps in a participatory research process (online course)

„Citizen Science“ enables the involvement of citizens in scientific research projects. The range of projects is wide and extends from selective involvement in data collection to the participatory co-creation of projects and knowledge. For example, data can be collected, evaluated and interpreted, or collaboration with citizens can facilitate the development of socially relevant research questions.

This course offers an introduction into Citizen Science by means of concrete examples of participatory projects from different disciplines. Interactively, we discuss goals and functions, type and intensity as well as challenges of practical implementation in the field. The course aims to encourage reflection on how knowledge (production) through research,  characterised by greater openness and participation of citizens could look like, and what advantages and challenges are associated with this.

On a practical level, we work with criteria/principles as well as selected methods and tools to make one‘s own research more participatory.

Learning Objectives:


  • get an overview of current Citizen Science debates and know the main arguments and positions
  • know different fields of application and approaches of Citizen Science as well as selected methods and tools, and their limits and possibilities (advantages and disadvantages)
  • know selection criteria and principles to better decide when Citizen Science/participative methods are useful for a concrete, own research project.


Dr. Susanne Tönsmann, Managing Director Participatory Science Academy.
Dr. sc. ETHZ Ruth Förster, dr. ruth förster - training & beratung, Referentin ETHZ u.a., LinkedIn

Target participants:
PhD candidates and post docs of all faculties (UZH and ETH Zurich and other universities) as well as practitioners.

Dates: 18.02. and 25.02.2021, 9.00-17.30

Language: English

Format: Online

ECTS-Points: 1 ECTS (in accordance with the respective faculty)

Do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiries.