DIY Biology: Manchester gains funding for innovative new “citizen science” partnership

University scientists and community technologists have teamed up to win funding for an exciting new scientific initiative. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, and based at the MadLab community space, the 12 month Manchester DIYBio project will create an innovative “citizen science” community, with the aim of enabling wider participation in biological research. Amateur scientists will collaborate with researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) on a wide range of experiments, ranging from a “Manchester Microbe Map” to a survey of the region’s ponds, and a mystery “mega-project”…

Conceived and organised by Hwa Young Jung and Asa Calow from Madlab, and Dr Martyn Amos and Dr Naomi Jacobs from MMU, the project has just been awarded funding of £29,705 from the Wellcome Trust Engaging Science scheme.

“The Trust was particularly impressed by the innovative nature of the proposal, and by our previous track record in public engagement at MMU,” explains Dr Amos. “They also pointed out that an organisation such as the MadLab is really well-placed to explore the new idea of ‘citizen science’, so I think that our genuinely novel collaboration was key to the success of the proposal.”

Dr Martyn Amos may be contacted by email m.amos@mmu.ac.uk

Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy. MMU educates and trains large numbers of the region’s legal and business professionals, teachers, health workers and creative professionals. The University enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching, applied research and project work with its communities and the North West, nationally and internationally. It is currently investing almost £300 million in its estate and facilities.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

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