Building on the preliminary work conducted by Science for Change, which over the first months of STEP CHANGE’s implementation has mapped the training needs of the Citizen Science Initiatives (CSIs), the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), in charge of training and mutual learning activities, has compiled a targeted training portfolio tackling the needs identified beforehand. The training schemes will be presented in a series of online workshops, which will introduce the methodology and try it out. The workshops have been designed on the one hand to introduce and test different engagement methods to be applied all along the implementation of the CSIs, and on the other hand to offer train-the-trainer materials to be used by the CSIs while dealing with their specific target groups.
The workshops, which will take place in an online setting in November, December, January and February, have been built with the aim of offering a comprehensive training experience to the CSIs. Processes and mechanisms of Citizen Science, recruitment and retention of citizen scientists, but also internal and external communication challenges, such as reaching different target groups and selecting the most appropriate channels to do so during the recruitment phase, communicating findings, and storytelling. The training portfolio will tackle the main issues arisen during the scoping process with the aim of filling the expressed knowledge gaps. To deepen and integrate what will be learned, the workshops will make use of a combined methodology mixing up theoretical inputs and practical exercises with reflection sessions. Along the training sessions, which will be highly interactive, the CSIs will be asked to test the relevance and pertinency of the provided content to their specific needs and context.
The training sessions are part of a wider portfolio of actions led by ZSI to support the implementation of the CSIs while also facilitating their transdisciplinary work, and mutual learning. These activities will be devoted to a better understanding of Citizen Science as a tool for the socialisation of scientific research and innovation, while also providing tools to better engage with stakeholders. The training sessions, tailored to the different needs of the CSIs, will support them in responsively and adaptively manage their teams throughout the project’s timeline. At a later stage, the portfolio of training formats developed in the framework of the project will be available to a wider audience, as well as be featured within the Citizen Science Navigator.