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Manchester - European City of Science: ideas invited for Citizen Science Project

26 May 2015

Submit a proposal to design and implement a European mass participation experiment by Friday, 12 June

Manchester - European City of Science

The opportunity

Manchester is the European City of Science until the end of 2016. It is a city with innovation, discovery and learning at its core – from the first programmable computer and atomic theory to the isolation of graphene and the first test tube baby. Not only are we celebrating the achievements of the past, but ground breaking science happening in Manchester (and the UK as a whole) right now. This designation is a first for the UK and with it comes a unique opportunity to inspire the next Turing, Dalton, Rutherford and Geim.

Through the award of European City of Science we intend to bring science from the margins into a wider consciousness with the general public, reaching new audiences and creating mass appeal. We want to engage a mass audience across the UK, Europe and potentially globally through a large scale, far reaching, participatory activity - a digitally driven citizen science project. This will allow us to build upon the real science happening in Manchester, reach new audiences and create mass appeal.

By bringing together the scientific credentials and research capability of the University of Manchester, the digital capacity and unpredicted global networks of the BBC, together with the support of Manchester City Council and the delivery partners of the European City of Science, we can do something truly remarkable with lasting impact and tangible benefits to the global scientific community.

The call

We invite you to submit your ideas for a mass citizen science project that will be scientifically credible, capture the imagination of a broad swathe of the general public and appeal to an international audience. The winning idea will be fully supported, developed and launched through the European City of Science delivery partners, the University of Manchester, Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester - alongside the BBC.

Key criteria

  • It is essential that the research subject be grounded in real science with academically publishable outcomes.
  • Cultural/ social relevance of the subject matter and relevance to Manchester’s strengths (sport/music/culture) is desirable.
  • There should be mass audience appeal - age should be no barrier to participation, nor gender bias in the topic/nature of the participation.
  • The project should be international in outlook, and would be of equal interest to participants from the UK and around the globe.
  • The primary vehicle for participation/data collection should be digital - using online platforms and networks.
  • It should be quick and easy to participate; varying levels of participations for those who want to get more engaged would be preferable.
  • The experience should be fun and have a learning outcome.
  • It should be media worthy and appeal to publications as diverse as Nature Journal, The Daily Mail, Wired, Buzzfeed and Der Spiegel.
  • Outcomes can be easily monitored and evaluated – it is anticipated the results/updates would be presented during the ESOF 2016 Conference and the Manchester Science Festival 2016.

Key dates

  • Call opens: Monday, 25 May 2015.
  • Closing date for proposals: Friday, 12 June 2015.
  • Announcement of shortlist to entrants: Tuesday, 30 June 2015.
  • A panel of judges experienced in public engagement will make the final choice. The ESOF team reserve the right to negotiate with applicants to ensure that the selected entry fully meets the criteria.

Submission procedure

To submit your idea, please save and complete:

and email it to:

You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.

Multiple submissions are allowed if you have more than one idea- please use one form per idea.