Grants and Awards
The South Australian Government has established a $2 million Citizen Science Fund. This is being used to encourage and support the community to carry out scientific research about our environment.
South Australian Environmental Citizen Science Strategy
We have developed the South Australian Environmental Citizen Science Strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to encourage public participation in environmental science by supporting the development of projects that are engaging for the public and also help to answer priority environmental questions.
The development of this strategy is one of the government’s key commitments in our overarching plan for biodiversity protection and will be complemented by other activities, including grants programs to support research projects.
The Department for Environment and Water recognises the value that citizen science adds to our knowledge about the environment.
To encourage the community to engage meaningfully in science and engage with their local environment, grants are available to support and promote citizen science projects.
Environmental Citizen Science Small Grants
The Environmental Citizen Science Small Grants are for citizen science projects that address research questions or gather data about living things and the natural environment: plants, animals, fungi, species, ecosystems, ecological communities. This includes the key elements of our natural environment, including soil, water and air.
In 2023, individual grants of up to $15,000 were awarded to:
- University of South Australia – studying mosquito populations in South Australia in collaboration with schools
- Flinders University – studying little penguin numbers on Granite Island
- AUSMAP, Total Environment Centre – researching microplastics on Kangaroo Island
- Brownhill Creek Association Inc. – researching yabbies as indicators of the health of a groundwater-dependent ecosystem in Brownhill Creek (Wirraparinga)
- Miss Jessica Bamford – researching Cortinarius mushrooms in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges
- Mr Brian Gepp – researching the relationship between fire and biodiversity at the Nangwarry Native Forest Reserve
- Mr Emmanuel Lukingan-Katz – restoring Coffin Bay's lost oyster reefs and improving local water quality and marine biodiversity
- The Friends of Belair National Park Inc. – engaging with school aged children to research flora, fauna and fungi found in the Belair National Park
- BirdLife Australia – studying the types of Terns and other seabirds and shorebirds near Encounter Bay
- Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch – studying dolphin movements, patterns, behaviours and preferred habitat to inform conservation.
Environmental Citizen Science Large Grants
Expressions of interest for the Environmental Citizen Science Large Grants program have now closed.
These grants are aimed towards collaborative and longer-term citizen science research projects focused on key environmental questions which could inform conservation activities or policy decisions. Projects that seek to enhance the capability of citizen science participants or project leaders are also within scope.
In late 2023, all stage one applicants will be contacted, and successful applicants will be invited to develop a stage two application. Details of successful grant applications are expected to be announced in April 2024.
Citizen Science Awards
The South Australian Citizen Science Awards recognise the work of citizen science projects in producing excellent data and observations, engaging communities in diverse scientific activities, and helping to inspire and educate new generations.
The South Australian Citizen Science Awards are an initiative of Inspiring SA, the South Australian Chapter of the Australian Citizen Science Association, and the Department for Environment and Water.
To read about the winner and runner up for 2023, visit the Inspiring SA website.