Network for Information and Digital Access

Research Opportunity: from February 2019

Research Study: The impact of Science Literacy delivery methods - what works?


A wide variety of branches of Science Literacy or semi-independent ‘issue literacies’ have emerged over the last two decades. Equally, there is experimentation and innovation with numerous different approaches and delivery mechanisms, for example through:

  • formal education, through schools and higher education institutions;
  • non-formal education through the programmes of science centres, associations, academies, museums, libraries, health clinics and community centres;
  • engagement with Citizen Science initiatives; and,
  • online through e-learning and encounters with digital media.

Activities have been initiated by national and local governments, by the European Union, by individual institutions and organisations, non-governmental bodies and in some cases are linked to the initiatives of international agencies such as UNESCO. They may target children, youths or adults.  

Comparable evidence of the impact of these different approaches through data or rigorous impact evaluation has been lacking or difficult to find.  The study The impact of Science Literacy delivery methods - what works? is taking important steps towards a synthesis of what is already known about the impact of different delivery approaches and methods and, inter-alia, examining good practice in impact evaluation methodology with the aim to provide guidance on potentially adaptable and replicable methodologies.    

Proposed STSM

The desk research for the study was launched in early November 2017 and over 2,100 resources in impact assessment (direct download) have been retrieved, of which 170 have been identified on the impact of Citizen Science as a mechanism for promoting scientific literacy. NIDA is seeking a post-doc or equivalent researcher within Europe to undertake the analysis of these documents in addition to any resources that may be known to or be found by the researcher to enrich the findings. This research opportunity is in the form of a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) in collaboration with the Cost Action CA 15212 Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe

 The STSM would have 4 main aims:

  1. to network and develop scientific links between institutions involved in the Action interested in CS as a method of delivery of SL;
  2. to identify relevant resources to contribute to a toolkit of CS in the study;
  3. to prepare relevant cases studies and other materials to be shared within the COST and NIDA communities, interested organisations and institutions, and the general public;
  4. to prepare a working paper arising from the analysis.

Working directly with the lead researcher, Dr Valentina De Col, in close collaboration with interested members of the COST Action, the identified researcher would be invited to take full responsibility for Citizen Science within the research.  

Time allocation

It is envisaged that to fulfill all four objectives approximately 30 days may be required. However, following the intensive period of analysis (for which a methodology is already available) the other elements could be undertaken on a part-time basis over a longer period to suit the availability of the identified researcher/post-doc.

Additional Information


Valentina De Col (currently based in Bonn, Germany)
Programme & Research Manager | Connect with Science
Network for Information and Digital Access (NIDA)