European Union Prize for Citizen Science | Apply Now!

The European Union Prize for Citizen Science serves as a symbol of celebration for the collaborative efforts of individuals advancing scientific knowledge.

European Union Prize for Citizen Science
European Union Prize for Citizen Science

This article acts as your guide, providing essential details on deadlines, benefits, eligibility criteria, ineligibility, the application process, documentation requirements, and tips for a successful application.

Scope of the Award

The Prize welcomes projects in various scientific and social fields that involve citizens and contribute to scientific progress, societal well-being, community support, and an open civil society. Administered by Ars Electronica for the European Commission, it is awarded annually in September during the Ars Electronica Festival. No entry fees apply. Projects submitted should be either completed or advanced enough for the jury to evaluate, with a maximum age of two years, unless there’s a notable update or ongoing development within the last two years.


For aspiring contributors, marking the calendar is crucial. The submission deadline for the European Union Prize for Citizen Science is a pivotal date, ensuring that applications garner the consideration they deserve. Stay informed about the specified timeline to present your citizen science project in a timely manner.

Funding Amount

The European Union Prize for Citizen Science is granted annually, comprising a Grand Prize, two Category Awards, and 27 Honorary Mentions.

  • Grand Prize: €60,000, awarded once per year (2023-2025), recognizes exceptional contributions to knowledge advancement by engaging civil society and citizens in shaping the future.
  • Diversity & Collaboration Award: €20,000, awarded once per year (2023-2025), celebrates excellence in grassroots approaches, collaborative exploration, cultural and gender diversity, community involvement, stakeholder engagement, and social inclusivity.
  • Digital Communities Award: €20,000, awarded once per year (2023-2025), honors outstanding efforts in promoting an open and inclusive civil society for the digital era, empowering communities to engage critically with digital technologies.
  • Honorary Mentions: 27 awarded each year (2023-2025), with no monetary value, recognizes exceptional initiatives across all fields and aspects of Citizen Science. Selections prioritize quality, geographical diversity, and the range of research represented by the initiatives.


Participation in the European Union Prize for Citizen Science offers numerous advantages:

  • Recognition:

Successful participants gain acknowledgement for their valuable contributions to scientific knowledge, boosting their visibility within the scientific community.

  • Networking Opportunities:

Engaging with fellow citizen scientists, professionals, and institutions fosters meaningful connections, potentially leading to collaborative projects and shared expertise.

  • Funding Support:

Some editions of the prize provide financial support or resources, offering valuable assistance to advance and further develop winning citizen science projects.

  • Enhanced Visibility:

Contributors experience increased visibility within the scientific community and the broader public through recognition received from the prize.

  • Professional Growth:

Participation provides a platform for citizen scientists to showcase their work, contributing to their professional growth and establishing them as valued contributors in the scientific field.

Eligible Initiatives

The eligible initiatives may include:

  • (Digital) humanities research involving citizens.
  • Citizen engagement in science, research communication, and participatory artistic-led research.
  • Science education engages citizens.
  • Other exceptional citizen science initiatives, consider activities, results, stakeholders, or policy impact.


Priority is given to initiatives aligning with the European Research Area’s strategic directions, such as:

  • Leading the development of key digital and emerging technologies for human-centred innovations.
  • Contributing to ecological restoration, biodiversity, sustainable resource management, and ensuring food security.
  • Transforming mobility, energy, construction, and production systems for a circular, climate-neutral, and sustainable economy.
  • Fostering a resilient, inclusive, and democratic European society, addressing inequalities, providing quality healthcare, and empowering citizens in the green and digital transitions.

Eligible Countries

The competition welcomes Citizen Science Initiatives from the European Research Area, covering the EU and third European countries associated with or negotiating an agreement with Horizon Europe.

Eligibility Criteria

Understanding the eligibility criteria is vital for potential candidates:

  • The competition welcomes Citizen Science Initiatives within the European Research Area, encompassing the EU and associated third countries.
  • Applications are open to individuals (e.g., researchers, artists), groups of individuals, legal entities (e.g., associations, NGOs), and groups of legal entities (e.g., research consortia).
  • Community initiatives require submission by an authorized representative, either an individual or an organization.
  • Initiatives must be ongoing, completed, or sufficiently developed for assessment by the jury. Collaborative arrangements must be operational and in the implementation stage.
  • Entries must be within two years old or, if older, demonstrate significant updates or development within the last two years.
  • Initiatives funded by Horizon Europe or other EU schemes are eligible, but EU funding is not obligatory.
  • Initiatives in the IMPETUS Accelerator Program can qualify if they meet the criteria.
  • Citizen Science Initiatives involving or benefiting entities under EU sanctions are ineligible.


Being aware of factors leading to ineligibility is crucial:

  • Incomplete Applications:

Failure to provide necessary information or documentation may render an application ineligible.

  • Non-Compliance:

Disqualification for projects not adhering to ethical standards or guidelines.

  • Plagiarism:

Submissions with plagiarized content are likely to be disqualified.

  • Out-of-Scope Projects:

Proposals falling outside the defined scope may be considered ineligible.

  • Lack of Alignment:

Projects not aligning with EU priorities or specified themes may face ineligibility.

How to Apply

Embark on the journey to win the European Union Prize for Citizen Science by following these general steps:

  • Visit the Official Website:

Navigate to the prize’s official website, the primary source for guidelines, application forms, and relevant information.

  • Review Guidelines:

Thoroughly read the guidelines on the official website. A clear understanding of expectations and requirements is vital.

  • Prepare Documentation:

Assemble necessary documentation, including details about your citizen science project, methodologies employed, and the impact achieved.

  • Complete Application Form:

Fill out the application form with accuracy and completeness, adhering to the instructions provided.

  • Submit Application:

Follow the prescribed submission process outlined in the guidelines. Pay attention to submission deadlines.

Documentation Requirements

A well-prepared application package typically includes:

  • Project Description:

Clearly state the goals, methodologies, and outcomes of your citizen science project.

  • Applicant Details:

Provide information about yourself or your organization, including relevant background and qualifications.

  • Scientific Value and Ethical Considerations:

Describe the scientific value of your project and any ethical considerations, showing adherence to established standards.

  • Budgetary Details (if applicable):

Include a comprehensive budget with a clear breakdown of expenses, funding sources, and how funds will be utilized.

  • Additional Materials (as specified in guidelines):

Include any supplementary materials or documentation specified in the prize guidelines.

Tips for Successful Application

Enhance your chances of success with these strategic tips:

  • Alignment with EU Priorities:

Clearly showcase how your project aligns with the EU’s scientific and societal priorities.

  • Engaging Narratives:

Craft compelling narratives that convey the passion and dedication behind your citizen science project.

  • Collaboration:

Emphasize any collaborative efforts or partnerships that enrich your project.

  • Innovation:

Highlight innovative approaches or methodologies employed in your citizen science initiative.

  • Visual Appeal:

Use visuals, such as images or infographics, to complement your application.


The European Union Prize for Citizen Science is a testament to the transformative power of grassroots contributions to scientific knowledge. By adhering to deadlines, understanding eligibility criteria, and crafting a compelling application, citizen scientists can elevate their projects to receive the recognition and support they deserve. For specific details, refer to the official website of the prize overseeing the particular call for submissions.

Frequently asked questions

Are there specific criteria for citizen-led initiatives to be eligible?

Yes, projects should be led by citizens, showcase scientific merit, align with EU priorities, and possibly incorporate innovative approaches.

Can individuals from different countries apply for the prize?

Eligibility details, including international participation, are usually outlined in the prize guidelines. Review the guidelines for specifics on who can apply.

How are applications assessed for the prize?

The evaluation typically considers factors such as project feasibility, alignment with objectives, innovation, and potential impact.

Can one organization submit multiple projects for consideration?

Check the guidelines to see if submitting multiple projects from one organization is allowed. Compliance with submission rules is crucial.

How will applicants receive information about the application outcome?

Notification processes are typically outlined in the prize guidelines, including confirmation emails, reference numbers, or specific contact information for inquiries.

Is there a process for feedback on unsuccessful applications?

Refer to the guidelines for information on whether feedback on unsuccessful applications is provided and the process for obtaining feedback.

How can individuals stay updated on program developments?

Regularly check the official website for updates and consider subscribing to any newsletters or communication channels provided by the program for the latest information.



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