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2023 Funding Opportunities

In 2023, ASTC’s Community Science Initiative will provide direct support through three opportunities that each provide funding alongside professional development, networking, and strategic support for community science initiatives. Designed to support and scale a diversity of community science projects at different stages of development, each award has unique goals, requirements, and timelines. Briefly, the three opportunities are:

  1. Cultivating Community Science Stipends (open): A 15-month opportunity kicking off in early 2024 for established partnerships – between ASTC member institutions and community partners – with well-formed, co-developed ideas for a community science project. Approximately $250,000 will be distributed across 5-10 teams to implement their projects. Applications are welcome from any ASTC member; past recipients of Partnership Planning Seed Grants are also eligible and encouraged to apply. Learn more and apply here.
  2. Partnership Planning Seed Grants (closed): A six-month program beginning March 2023 designed for new or emerging collaborations between ASTC member institutions and community-based partners looking to deepen their relationship to advance local priorities. Partnerships should be in early stages of development, working to establish trust, identify shared goals, and design an actionable community science project. Grant recipients will receive $8,000, strategic training, and resources to develop a community science project action plan that could position them for other funding opportunities. Recipients will attend monthly calls with other teams and independently complete related assignments. Applications have closed. Read about the cohort here.
  3. ASTC-sponsored Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellowships (closed): A 12-month fellowship–with multiple cohorts each year–that supports individual professionals at ASTC member institutions who manage (or are interested in fostering) community science projects. Fellows will receive personalized strategic support and foundational training in planning and managing community science efforts. Individuals best suited to apply will have an existing community partner and a topic to address collaboratively. Up to $5,000 in funding is available to fellows after completing the initial virtual training to support a wide range of project needs. Applications for future cohorts will reopen in 2024

These opportunities are open to ASTC science center and museum members as well as allied members in North America, South America, and the Caribbean. All programming and materials will be conducted in English and in Western Hemisphere time zones.

Which Opportunity is the Right Fit for Me?

Before further exploring these opportunities, please review and its five approaches to community science: Dialogue & Deliberation, Community-driven Citizen Science, Open Innovation, Civic Engagement and Policy Making, and Participatory Research. These approaches are what distinctly differentiate community science (where you are actively working to further community priorities) and more general education and learning initiatives (where you may be working in partnership with a community but not necessarily toward specific shared goals). We then encourage you to answer the following questions to determine which funding opportunity may be right for you.

If you answer “yes” to all of the following questions, the ASTC-sponsored Thriving Earth Exchange Community Science Fellowships may be for you:

  • Are you seeking a professional development opportunity for an individual employed at an ASTC membership institution?
  • Does this individual seek to build competencies in community science?
  • Does this individual have both an established relationship with a community partner and a topic they’d like to address?

Did you answer “yes”? Learn more and apply here!

If you answer “yes” to all of the following questions, the Cultivating Community Science Stipends may be for you:

  • Are you applying as a collaborative partnership between an ASTC member institution and a community partner?
  • Is your partnership well established?
  • Do you have a well- and co-developed community science project idea that you are ready to implement?

Did you answer “yes”? Learn more here!

Still not sure? Reach out to ASTC’s Community Science team at communityscience@astc.org with any questions or for additional guidance.

Not an ASTC member? Learn how to become one here.