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Participatory Science Platform

The Participatory Science Platform (PSP) supports collaborative, region-specific research projects that engage young people, communities and scientists.

What is the Participatory Science Platform?

The Participatory Science Platform (PSP) is a programme designed to bring together three key action areas in the National Strategic Plan for Science in Society, 'A Nation of Curious Minds - He Whenua Hiriri I Te Mahara' by engaging young people, communities and scientists in collaborative science projects.

What is participatory science?

Participatory science encourages communities and scientists to work together on collaborative research projects. These projects not only have scientific value, but are also relevant to local people and provide excellent teaching and learning opportunities for those who get involved. 

The projects engage local people and organisations such as kura, schools, businesses, iwi, and community groups, together with scientists, in research that has value for the community. Participatory science offers researchers opportunities to harness local knowledge and take advantage of willing helpers to produce high quality and highly relevant science.

Learn more about participatory science in a video by Dr Victoria Metcalf, National Coordinator for the Participatory Science Platform.

Pilots in South Auckland, Taranaki and Otago 

The Participatory Science Platform is being piloted to test the platform concept in three different local environments. The pilots will be evaluated once they come to an end and will inform future decisions about the initiative.  

The Participatory Science Platform is led by a different organisation (a ‘pilot area lead’) in each region. Their role is to support the development of local research projects and allocate funding.  

South Auckland

COMET Auckland (Community Education Trust Auckland) is a council controlled organisation of Auckland Council and an independent charitable trust. Its role is to advance education in Auckland by supporting education and skills across the region. COMET Auckland hosts the Auckland STEM Alliance which is leading the pilot in South Auckland. The Auckland STEM Alliance brings together businesses, educators and government.

To get involved in the South Auckland PSP, please contact Sarah Morgan.


Venture Taranaki Trust is the regional development agency for Taranaki. Its role is to boost the Taranaki economy through regional business and economic development. The Taranaki Regional Council is partnering with Venture Taranaki Trust to lead the platform pilot in Taranaki.

To find out more about the Taranaki PSP, please contact Joshua Richardson. You can also follow Venture Taranaki on Facebook.


The Otago Museum Trust Board is the governing body for Otago Museum. It is supported by a partnership of organisations from the Otago region which lead the platform pilot in Otago.  The partnership is known as Otago Science into Action and includes the Museum, Ngāi Tahu, the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and the New Zealand International Science Festival.

For more information about the Otago PSP, please contact Craig Grant

Starting or helping out on a project

Funding proposals are sought for projects that involve community groups and scientists in research that is relevant to the local community, harnesses local knowledge and provides learning experiences for participants, while producing robust scientific outcomes.

Proposals for grants of up to $20,000 will be accepted from science-based organisations or community groups, businesses, schools or Māori collectives.

If you’d like to submit a proposal or help out on a project, please contact the pilot area lead in your region (see above) for more information and to find out what's coming up next.

More information

For more information about the Participatory Science Platform, please contact:
Dr Victoria Metcalf, National Coordinator
Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor
027 809 4028