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UCL Citizen Science

Offering community-based, practice-led research training, the UCL Citizen Science Academy empowers communities to create social action, produce useful knowledge, and lead meaningful policy change. 

About the Academy

Based at the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP), the UCL Citizen Science Academy has been designed in partnership with the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship, and the cross-faculty Citizen Science Working Group, with the aim of making participation in research accessible and inclusive to people from all backgrounds. 


Training programmes are linked to active research projects and delivered in non-academic, community-based settings. 


We are committed to making citizen science transformative for those we work with. No prior experience of research, work, or study is required. 


A UCL Citizen Science Certificate is awarded at the end of our programmes to recognise the skills and competencies citizen scientists acquire. 

What is citizen science?

Citizen science actively involves the public in research that contributes to scientific knowledge.  

Many citizen science projects are in life and natural sciences, such as the ZOE Health Study, the Big Butterfly CountGreat British Bee Count or NASA Globe Cloud Gaze. Citizen scientists take part by surveying, observing, mapping and transcribing data. 

Involving the public in citizen social science

Citizen ‘social’ science is an emerging area of citizen science that involves the public in research projects focused on complex questions about human behaviour and how societies are organised, like understanding lived experiences of inequality and poverty.

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UCL Citizen Science Certificate

Launched in 2023, the UCL Citizen Science certificate recognises the research and team-working competencies citizen scientists acquire (e.g. research methods, ethics, fieldwork strategies, how to code and analyse data, communication and dissemination strategies).


The courses taught include core competency domains that are relevant to all citizen science research projects as well as course-specific competency domains that can be adapted to the specific method each research project requires.   

Our Principles


Linked to real-world research projects

research training

Ethics, methods, analysis & impact

Capacity building

Partnered with voluntary sector organisations


Making research available and accessible

Links to policy & practice

Creating a knowledge production infrastructure


Citizen scientists collaborate with one another, their communities, academics, community partners, and policy makers. 

Working with us

Our partners play an important role in shaping the design and the delivery of every Academy programme. They help us create a new kind of knowledge infrastructure where the output of citizen scientists impacts real decision-making. 


We collaborate with local authorities to better connect with residents, team with voluntary sector organisations to recruit, employ and support citizen scientists, and help academics make co-production a key part of their methodology. 


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