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Create your Plan

Assess the Resources you Need

It is important to consider what resources will be required and whether or not they can be acquired. Some projects may need to be restructured due to a lack of resource availability, or additional partners and expertise may need to be pursued.

Every project requires a different set of resources to ensure it runs smoothly and effectively. List and assign resources to milestones, including:

Personnel

The scale and duration of a project will determine how diverse a project team needs to be. Some citizen science projects only require a project coordinator and participants. Other projects, such as a national project will require multiple coordinators, educators, communicators and participants.

Some team members are only required during certain phases of a project, while others are required for the full timeframe. Understanding the personnel required to successfully complete the project can help define, spread and lessen workloads. Personnel may include database managers, moderators, educators, researchers, participants and communicators/promotors.

Equipment

Equipment required for a project will depend on the number of participants, the site and what data the project is collecting. List the required equipment for each team member (e.g. participant, researcher, educator) to ensure the successful collection of data.

Some projects are more hands-on than others, meaning participants may need tools to collect data (e.g. magnifying glasses, cameras, scale bars, nets) as well as training material to ensure data are collected correctly and consistently (e.g. training manuals, identification guides).

Other projects are based online, so participants may only require training, a computer and connection to the internet.

Training

Citizen science projects require robust and tested data collection protocols and data sheets. Whether a participant is a beginner, amateur or expert, a useful task can be assessing participant’s skill levels. The process can determine what training participants require, which will help minimise issues that come with data collection and reduce error margins.

Training does not always need to be in person. Online material such as forums, videos and tutorials can be satisfactory methods to ensure participants understand how to collect data. Training may only need to be a one-off or may need to be regularly updated and carried out.

Travel and infrastructure

Personnel may need to travel to your site to participate in your project. You should consider the time, costs and any logistical factors/risks associated with conducting your project at a particular site.  

Additionally, if you require infrastructure (e.g. office space, training space or data storage facility) you need to take this into account when budgeting. To reduce potential overheads and costs associated with hiring space, required infrastructure could be limited to the project coordinator’s personal office. Check if any project partners can provide infrastructure as an in-kind contribution.