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Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program

A group of volunteers with clipboards sits in a boulder field between snow-capped mountains with coniferous trees.

2018 Awardee: Front Range Pika Project volunteers learn to conduct field research on American Pika in the the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

The CitSci Fund

USDA Forest Service is announcing a competitive funding opportunity for Forest Service units and partners to apply for up to $25,000 for citizen science projects. 

The USDA Forest Service is responsible for managing national forests and grasslands in a way that delivers benefits to the public, strengthens communities, and sustains healthy ecosystems. In 2018, the agency piloted the Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program (CitSci Fund), to promote collaboration in support of these goals. Together, partners, volunteers, and the Forest Service are using the data gathered to shape how we manage forests and conserve resources. Due to its success, the program is being expanded for 2019.

The CitSci Fund is a collaborative approach to resource management – each project will have one Forest Service Project Lead and one Partner Project Lead, and demonstrate how volunteers are meaningfully involved. The CitSci Fund supports Forest Service National Priority #3: Promoting shared stewardship by increasing partnerships and volunteerism.

In 2019 the Forest Service is piloting a project incubator model designed to expand how we use citizen science in the diverse work that we do. Projects can start at any level and then apply for the next level during the following year of funding. Projects that complete Level 3, would be considered “model projects” that could be replicated on other Forest Service units.

The incubator has three levels of funding for projects in every stage of development:

  • Level 1: Project Ideation - up to $10,000
  • Level 2: Project Development and Implementation - up to $25,000
  • Level 3: Ongoing Project - up to $10,000

 

CitSci Fund Awardees 

2018 Awardees

 

Request for Proposals

Project applications are due January 9, 2019 by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time.

 

Our Goals

  • Expand capacity for the collection and analysis of data to advance science and land management.
  • Provide opportunities for meaningful participation by the public in agency activities.
  • Strengthen partnerships to address mutually beneficial outcomes and leverage resources.
  • Share learning by participating in communities of practice.

 

Project Criteria

  • Open to all USFS & partners
  • Each project must have a USFS Partner Lead and a Partner Project Lead with a partnership agreement ready to be put into place upon receipt of award
  • Have a genuine scientific and/or management outcome
  • Take place on national forest system lands or data used to meet an USFS Information need
  • Demonstrate meaningful volunteer engagement/collaboration
  • Can be on any subject area (biological, social, cultural, infrastructure, etc.)
  • Duration of 6 months or longer, involving volunteers multiple times over the course of the project (for funding levels 2 and 3)

 

Changes from 2018

  • This year’s base funding amount has increased from $100,000 to $200,000.
  • Change from a fillable pdf form to an online form.
  • The partner’s DUNS number is required for this year or it needs to be clear that they will receive a number prior to May 15, 2019.
  • Volunteer hours can be counted towards partner contribution. See the Budget section of the Instructions for more information.
  • The Forest Service must identify a grants & agreements/partnership specialist to help with the partnership agreement, and a budget person to help with funds transfer.
  • Pilot project incubator model with three levels of funding that support projects in every stage of development.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions


    General

     

    Project Criteria and Eligibility

     

    Funding and Partnership Agreements

     

    Proposal Submission

     

    Project Selection

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