PhD studentship in extreme citizen science - development of data collection tools with non-litera...

October 03 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Project Description

Applications are invited for one PhD studentship as part of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project named ECSAnVis (Extreme Citizen Science: Analysis & Visualisation) aimed at a developer. Citizen Science is the participation of members of the public in a scientific project, from shaping the question, to collecting the data, analysing it and using the knowledge that emerges from it. The challenge of Extreme Citizen Science is to enable any community, regardless of literacy or education, to initiate, run, and use the result of a local citizen science activity, so they can be empowered to address and solve issues that concern them. Over the past 4 years, the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) research group at UCL has demonstrated that non-literate people and those with limited technical literacy can participate in formulating research questions and collecting the data that is important to them. Extreme Citizen Science: Analysis and Visualisation (ECSAnVis) takes the next ambitious step of developing geographical analysis and visualisation tools that can be used, successfully, by people with limited literacy, in a culturally appropriate way.


Studentship Description

The ExCiteS research group has been developing Sapelli since 2012 - this is a platform that facilitates data collection across language or literacy barriers through highly configurable icon-driven user interfaces. The successful candidate will join a team of anthropologists, ecologists, geographers, computer scientists and designers and focus on extending the undertaken research work. This will include the design, prototype and implementation of Sapelli components that answer the needs and wishes of participants in citizen science projects. The research will mainly include aspects of data collection such as data validation, user authentication and designing user interfaces for non-literate participants. We will specifically focus on engagement of non-literate people and we need to understand how the process, from data collection to analysis, can be made meaningful and useful for their everyday life. The project will include working with non-literate forest communities in central Africa and seek to enable these vulnerable communities to conduct their own environmental monitoring or mapping. For more information, see papers by Stevens et al. 2014 ( ) and Vitos et al. 2017 ( ).

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess