Basis Module – What is Citizen Science?

Citizen Science is a broad field that includes projects from different disciplines. What they have in common: the participation of people who do not necessarily have a professional academic background – broadly referred to as citizens. Rather, the expertise they contribute is based on a different form of experience that is relevant to the research project. Accordingly, these projects are exciting and challenging!

The basis module provides an overview of Citizen Science and the range of Citizen Science projects. We introduce the most important actors and a selection of projects, discuss quality criteria and present guidelines and other resources. 
We focus on the preparation phase of a project and introduce core questions that enable you to determine the degree of participation in your project. In addition, we take a closer look at the topic of third-party funding for Citizen Science projects. An outlook on the advanced modules rounds off the basis module.

Learning objectives  Participants
  • receive an overview of the current Citizen Science debates, relevant local actors and networks and know the main arguments/ points of view.
  • know different fields of application and approaches of Citizen Science as well as their limitations and possibilities. 
  • know selection criteria and principles that enable deciding when Citizen Science and participative methods are beneficial for a concrete research project.
  • know where to find further information and tools in order to plan a project
  • know what to expect from the subsequent advanced course modules and can decide which ones to attend based on their needs and interests


Olivia Höhener (PWA), Alessandro Rearte (PWA)

Target participants

The course invites participants from all disciplines and fields of work: 

  • PhD students and post-docs already involved in a participatory research process, who will be and/or who want to learn more about Citizen Science and participatory research processes
  • Project leaders (citizens and researchers) of Citizen Science projects or participatory research projects
Language English
Duration 4 hours

Tue, 18.10.2022, 13:30 - 17:30, online


Tue, 15.11.2022, 13:30 - 17:30, in-person

Registration Registration closed
Locations Zoom; University of Zurich, RAA-E-30, Rämistrasse 59, 8006 Zürich, or online


1 ECTS credit for visiting the basis module and 3 advanced modules or more

Course fee free