MIT Public Service Center

Help design and implement a programming/design strategies for major science website

Science For Citizens
http://www.scienceforcitizens.net

Background

ScienceForCitizens.net will bring together the millions of citizen scientists in the world; the thousands of potential projects offered by researchers, organizations, and companies; and the resources, products, and services that enable citizens to pursue and enjoy these activities. We aim to:

The Challenge

Our organization does not lack expertise or contacts in science journalism, business development or marketing/promotion. It is clear we need someone from outside of our organization to help design and implement a programming/design strategy that will benefit our users and the researchers who come to us for help in recruiting volunteers to participate in their importance research projects.

We are seeking two MIT interns: 1) a programmer who fully understands—and can implement—a CMS and program involving some gamification, data collection/management/exporting and user-interface/social media tools and, 2) an intern who can find new citizen science projects to add to our growing database, write about them, and create snappy soundbites to feature the projects on the home pages.

For more specific descriptions:

Web programmer: Implement engaging science projects--that regular people can do--directly on ScienceForCitizens.net. This site currently is the largest guide to what citizen science projects are out there, but, in order to increase volunteer participation on behalf of researchers, we must be a place where users actually input the data they gather to help researchers advance science. For some of the larger established projects that involve the serving up of pictures to be analyzed (say Hubble photos) or the downloading and uploading of software and data (SETI, say), this will not be possible; in those cases, scienceforcitizens.net will direct people to the external sites. But there are dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of exciting low-profile projects, in need of volunteers, that will benefit by having the data inputted on scienceforcitizens.net.

2) Researcher/Writer: research new citizen science projects, add them to the Science For Citizens Project Finder, blog about them (including occasional interviews with the scientists), and excerpt key aspects for home page features. Wonderful opportunity to gain writing experience and build name recognition.

Qualifications, Preferences, and Assets

Programming skills (coupled with knowledge of gamification, social media, and user interface applications). Research, writing skills for the editorial intern.

Time Constraints

Science For Citizens has an ongoing need for these positions.

Contact

Darlene Cavalier
Cofounder, CEO
267-253-1310
Darlene@scienceforcitizens.net

PSC Support

MIT students who develop projects around these ideas may apply for support from the Public Service Center’s Fellowships or Internships programs. Please check the program descriptions and deadlines and talk to program staff to determine which is most appropriate for your needs and project.

If you have funding from outside the PSC that enables you to work on one of these projects, that’s great! However, please do let us know if you work on a project you saw advertised here, even if you don’t use our funds. And remember, the PSC staff are happy to advise on service projects even if we are not funding them ourselves

 
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