A call for proposals

Thanks to generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, Adler Planetarium and the Citizen Science Alliance are pleased to announce the first open call for proposals by researchers who wish to develop citizen science projects which take advantage of the experience, tools and community of the Zooniverse. Successful proposals will receive donated effort of the Adler-based team to build and launch a new citizen science project.

The goal of the Zooniverse is to enable researchers to engage with a large community of volunteers, in order to produce results that would otherwise be impossible or impractical to achieve. At the same time, the projects provide an authentic opportunity for existing and new Zooniverse volunteers to make a contribution to the research in question.

Proposals are welcomed from scientists or researchers in any discipline that would significantly benefit from the active participation of tens or hundreds of thousands of volunteers. Building on the success of our existing projects, including Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters and Old Weather, successful proposals will be designed in partnership with the applicants, then implemented and hosted by the Zooniverse team. The applicants will therefore be free to concentrate on making good use of the work of volunteers for the benefit of their research.

We expect proposals to be made by a team who can take responsibility for defining the initial research problem, data set to be used, and who are committed to making use of the results.

Proposal Process

The proposal process has a few stages, but is hopefully simple :

  1. Complete the proposal questionnaire (See an example)
  2. Review by the Zooniverse team
  3. Peer review by independent expert
  4. Technical review
  5. Review by advisory board
  6. Final project selection

Feedback will be provided at each stage, and you will have the chance to respond or to amend your proposal. The technical assessment is designed to determine the investment required from us in terms of developer time; don’t worry about this too much for now as there will be a chance to descope if you’re overambitious. We expect to build roughly 12 projects a year, with priority given to those projects which:

A mix of projects that require novel interfaces and those which reuse existing code will be selected.

While the final round of proposals for the Sloan grant closed September 6th, 2013, we encourage you to submit your proposal below. We will consider additional proposals in the near future.

Before applying, you might want to have a look at the existing Zooniverse projects or read the philosophy behind our approach. Otherwise, click here to get started on your proposal. We look forward to hearing from you.