Do you have a great idea for a science and/or technology research project?

Venture Taranaki can help you turn this idea into action with the Curious Minds Participatory Science Platform.

The PSP provides funding, support, and expertise to community groups looking to undertake locally relevant research. Explore our website for details and register your interest for more information.

What is Participatory Science?

All New Zealanders should feel encouraged and equipped to deal with the challenges and opportunities presented by science and technology, and be capable of participating in the debates involving science. We also need an environment that helps New Zealanders to use our natural curiosity to interrogate, decide on and make the most of new developments and technologies.

Participatory science is a method of undertaking scientific research where volunteers can be meaningfully involved in the development and progression of locally relevant research projects with science and technology professionals.

It goes beyond the idea of scientists’ crowd-sourcing their data, and builds a true partnership between the scientists or technologists and the broader community.

What is the Participatory Science Platform?

The Participatory Science Platform (PSP) is a world-first initiative that aims to engage communities of all kinds in research projects that are locally relevant and have robust science/technology outputs with quality learning outcomes.

The PSP builds on the popularity of citizen science, but re-balances the lay person/scientist relationship through a highly collaborative approach.

Through the PSP, we fund projects that:

  • Are collaborative research projects that have scientific or technological value, pedagogical rigour (quality teaching and learning) and resonate with the community
  • Engage students, kura, schools, businesses, Māori collectives and organisations, and community-based organisations with science and technology professionals
  • Offer researchers opportunities to become involved in locally relevant lines of enquiry, where high-quality scientific or technological outputs can be created through harnessing the local knowledge and contribution of citizens
  • Offer inspiring and relevant learning and development opportunities for science and technology teachers and students
  • Engage learners and participants beyond the school/kura community to reach parents, whānau and wider communities

The Curious Minds PSP is a New Zealand Government initiative overseen by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry of Education, and the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor.  The platform is co-ordinated locally by Venture Taranaki in partnership with Taranaki Regional Council.