Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Exploring and supporting citizen science

Topic identifier: SwafS-15-2018-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
11 December 2018
Deadline: 02 April 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
05 December 2017
Deadline: 10 April 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Science with and for Society
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Science with and for Society
Topic Updates
  • 20 December 2018 16:36

    A policy briefing recording for this topic is available together with the slides under 'Topic conditions' (section 8. additional documents). 

    For this topic, in terms of the impact, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators. To this end, please see ‘Monitoring the evolution and benefits of responsible Research and Innovation’  (and related publications).

  • 06 March 2018 11:23

    Regarding the 2018 topics of the H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 call, in the proposal template for part B section 1-3, which is accessible from the submission service, there is a page break after the cover page. In order to gain space, in view of the page limit, applicants are advised to remove this page break from their proposals.

  • 26 February 2018 13:49

    For this topic, in terms of the impact, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators. To this end, please note that ‘The evolution of Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe: The MoRRI indicators report (D4.3)’ has been recently published and is available to download at

  • 21 December 2017 11:08
    A policy briefing for the 2018 topics of the H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 call (Science with and for Society) has been recorded and is accessible together with the slides under 'Topic conditions and documents', section '8. Additional documents'.
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Citizen science is blooming across all scientific disciplines and the humanities. It can potentially bring a wide variety of benefits to researchers, citizens, policy makers and society across the research and innovation cycle, e.g; it can accelerate and sometimes even make possible the production of new scientific knowledge; it can help policy makers monitor implementation and compliance with regulations; it can increase public awareness about science and feeling of ownership of policies; and it can enable faster and evidence-informed reactions to events and better territorial coverage.

At the same time there are difficulties setting up citizen science initiatives – in terms of choosing the optimum methodologies; in terms of quality assurance and validation of the outcomes; in terms of linking the various governance levels, from local to global; in terms of ensuring balanced participation of citizens (e.g. regardless of background, gender and age); in terms of integrity of methods and data; in terms of recognising the work of citizens participating in citizen science initiatives; in terms of managing large numbers of volunteers for many months or even years (and keeping them motivated and responding to their questions).

Furthermore, questions remain unanswered about the potentials of citizen science for society e.g: what is the potential number of citizen scientists and who are they? What are the costs and benefits of citizen science (e.g. in terms of scientific excellence and the economy)? What relationship can and does citizen science have to informal and formal science education? Are there limits to citizen science, and if so what are they?

For the present topic citizen science should be understood broadly, covering a range of different levels of participation, from raising public knowledge of science, encouraging citizens to participate in the scientific process by observing, gathering and processing data, right up to setting scientific agenda and co-designing and implementing science-related policies. It could also involve publication of results and teaching science.


There are the two sub-topics:

A, Coordination and Support Action - CSA (1 project in 2018): This will provide support to citizen science at the European level. It will also create a mutual learning space where citizen science projects/participants can exchange experiences and successful strategies. It will raise awareness of citizen science among the general public, provide co-ordination support between citizen science initiatives (in particular those funded by SwafS but also working in a spirit of co-operation with established networks of citizen scientists), identify training needs with a view to developing and implementing training to help citizen scientists, and support communication between citizen science and science journalists/science media. It will also identify good practices that incentivise career scientists to engage with citizen science activities.

B, Research and Innovation Actions - RIA (multiple projects in 2018-2019): This will support hands-on citizen science activities. Proposals may focus on one particular area of scientific enquiry or tackle several, though transdisciplinary approaches should be favoured. The intended activities should be clearly defined and result in the development of new knowledge, new technologies, or new means of using existing technological or social innovations better. Activities can explore how citizen science develops scientific skills and competences, act as a tool for informal and formal science education of young people and adults, counter perceived anti-intellectual attitudes in society, raise the scientific literacy of European citizens, and promote social inclusion and employability. Gender, geographical and socio-economic factors should be taken into account so as to ensure activities are open to people from all backgrounds. Effort should be made to evaluate the impacts on society, democracy, the economy, science itself, and the individual citizen scientists involved in the activities. Lines of communication should be established with other relevant SwafS projects in order to share evaluation data and data arising from the citizen science in the spirit of open science.

In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of € 2.00 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

A. Coordination and Support Action: Strengthened networks, co-ordination and communication among citizen science projects (particularly, but not limited, to those funded by SwafS). Availability of tools, guidelines, or other materials useful to actors inexperienced in organising and supporting citizen science initiatives. Increased awareness amongst the general public of citizen science. Delivery of training to citizen scientists (or potential science practitioners) and resultant increased skills, competences, and scientific excellence. Consortia should choose a basket of indicators to measure the impact of their work against. In particular, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators (for instance PE1 to PE10) and to the Sustainable Development Goals[1].

B. Research and Innovation Actions: Development of new knowledge and innovations by citizen scientists. Availability of evaluation data concerning the societal, democratic and economic costs and benefits of citizen science. Consortia should choose a basket of indicators to measure the impact of their work against. In particular, consortia are expected to contribute to one or more of the MoRRI indicators (for instance PE1 to PE10) and to the Sustainable Development Goals[2]

Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation
Open Science

[1] (Table 3.2)


Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action (multiple projects in 2018-2019):

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

Coordination and Support Action (1 project in 2018):

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility 


For grants awarded under this topic [ beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in part K of the General Annexes of the Work Programme. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The respective options of Article 15.1 and Article 15.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Grants awarded under this topic will be subject to the following additional dissemination obligations: consortia must make active efforts to freely share, in a timely manner and as appropriate, the research strategies, methodologies, and raw and analysed data deriving from their activities (including any evaluation activities), with the other projects funded by SWAFS subject to these same additional dissemination obligations. .

Applicants must acknowledge and incorporate these obligations in their proposal, outlining the efforts they will make towards this in Annex 1 of the proposal. The respective option of Article 29.1 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


8. Additional documents:


Applicants are advised to view the policy briefing recording as well as the accompanying slides and to read carefully the introduction to '16. Science with and for Society WP 2018-20'. Please note that this material will also be part of the evaluator briefing.

SwafS-15-2018-2019 policy briefing recording

SwafS-15-2018-2019 policy briefing slides

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) H2020-SwafS-2018-2020

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
16. Science with and for society WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme



Additional documents

  • Flash info en

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Type of Action Research and Innovation action [RIA]
Topic Exploring and supporting citizen science - SwafS-15-2018-2019
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