About: Participatory Science Platform (PSP)

Participatory Science – What is it?

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 debates involving science. We 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 community groups and science professionals work together in a meaningful way on locally-relevant scientific research projects. Participatory science goes beyond scientists crowd-sourcing their data. It builds a true partnership between scientists and the broader community.

Participatory Science Platform (PSP) – What is it?

The Participatory Science Platform (PSP) initiative was identified in the Science in Society strategic plan, A Nation of Curious Minds, and developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Education with close involvement of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.


The PSP builds on the popularity of citizen science, but rebalances the relationship between the lay person and scientist through a highly collaborative approach.


MBIE has initiated and funded three PSP pilots in Otago, Taranaki and South Auckland.


For further information about the PSP initiative nationally please see: www.curiousminds.nz/psp

What are the objectives?

  • Engage students, kura, schools, Māori collectives and organisations, businesses and community-based organisationswith science professionals to carry out collaborative research projects that have scientific value, pedagogical rigour and resonate with the community.
  • Offer researchers opportunities to become involved in locally relevant lines of enquiry, where high-quality scientific outputs can be created through harnessing local knowledge and the contributions 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.