Citizen science project ideas needed

  • by National Office
  • 15 February, 2016
Citizen science project ideas needed

Screenshot of the Galaxy Explorer websiteDo you have an idea for an online citizen science project?

We’re looking for a great new idea for the 2016 National Science Week citizen science project. The chosen project will be built and produced by the ABC and promoted across their TV, radio and online channels.

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. It’s a great way to get help with your research – the last project, Galaxy Explorer, received the equivalent to a research assistant working for 13 years.

Selection criteria

  • Must be a citizen science project that can be done entirely online (no field work).
  • Is part of a scientific research project with clear aims and outcomes.
  • Is of wide general appeal and not restricted to a small interest group or a small geographical area.
  • Can be undertaken by non-science-trained people from around 8 years and older. The skills needed should be able to be taught through an online tutorial.

Project Timing

The project can run for approximately six weeks from August 1, 2016.

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 important; the questions it hopes to answers; and how the citizen scientists might be involved in providing or processing data for your research.

Please email your ideas to Kylie Andrews, Citizen science project producer at ABC Science Online, on

Application Due Date

We’d like to receive ideas by 15 March, 2016.


Please email them to Kylie Andrews on

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


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

Some Citizen Science projects from previous years include:

Galaxy Explorer 2015 –

Over 1 million galaxy image classifications were made by more than 25 000 people. Citizen scientists classified galaxies based on colour and shape; and a ring was fitted around the galaxy’s edge to estimate the amount of light being emitted. This project was undertaken with researchers at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).

Weather Detective 2014 –

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 –

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 –

Over 8000 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.

Multi-Tasking Test 2011 –

Over 4000 people took part in a multi-tasking test for researchers from the University of Queensland’s School of Psychology and the Queensland Brain Institute.

The Sleep Survey 2010 –

10 000 participants monitored their sleeping habits for one week for the Woolcock Institute and Sydney University. Research has since been published using the data that was collected.

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