What is participatory research?

For science to be participatory, the research process needs to be designed in a manner that allows for people to participate in every stage of the process if they so choose. We hence conceive of participation as being about choice as a first step - do I wish to participate in a given step of a research project?

The second step is then about the manner in which participation happens. Designing a participatory research process does not mean that all partners need to engage in the same tasks and have the same competencies. In contrast, all participants can contribute their expertise, skills and knowledge in different ways. Usually, a project team will decide together how tasks are shared and how the participants wish to work together.

We find many different projects under the term citizen science, and from many different disciplines. What they have in common is that they involve the participation of citizens in one way or another. Our aim at the Participatory Science Academy is to work towards a high degree of participation and to enable citizens and researchers to work together in a manner that allows all participants to engage in the best way possible.