Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures: All Research and School Research Projects

How highly funded is the programme and how long will it run?

  • The programme’s strategic plan is set at ten years (2007 to 2017).
  • Sparkling Science is endowed with an annual budget of three million euros.

How many cooperations are in place already? *

From the preparatory phase of the programme and the first four calls for application in the years 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 a total of 209 projects (155 research projects and 54 school research projects) have resulted, 168 of which (115 research projects and 53 school research projects) have already been completed successfully.

The duration of the longest-running projects will be until September 2016.

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Can young people really collaborate on all research projects?

No. The precondition of productive collaboration and therefore the condition for the promotion of a project is that in all cases both sides must factually profit in terms of a win-win situation from the cooperation. The Sparkling Science programme only supports projects in which the participation of pupils creates a tangible gain of knowledge –e.g. in the form of special age-specific skills, advanced approaches to specific fields or additional time resources.

How comprehensive are the projects in the Sparkling Science programme?

The programme projects are of very different magnitudes depending on scientific complexity. The project scope ranges from large research projects with a volume up to 187,000 Euros to smaller and less complex school research projects, which were also promoted from 2007 until 2011. Large research projects are supported with up to 170.000,- euros which could be exceeded by 10 % by encouraging women/girls respectively by focusing on gender relevant aspects.

The best 30 of the school research projects were supported with research grants of up to 5,000 Euros. These school research projects, however, co-operated with “real” research projects, which were funded by other national and international research programmes outside the Sparkling Science programme.

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What could a future project concretely look like?

Migration researchers from the University of Vienna and the Academy of Sciences could for example develop a project on the theme of intercultural learning in school classes together with 23 schools from all the Vienna districts. Students of the schools involved would carry out and comparatively evaluate a variety of small social science case studies as part of project work and high school theses and under the guidance of scientists.

They could present the results of the evaluation to their own and to other schools; joint appearances at conferences and media work with the scientists would significantly support publicity of the research. The research results would be communicated via the teachers and parents of the young people involved to target groups who would be unreachable without cooperation with the schools. Experience has shown time and again: the media love to report on research activities in which young people are involved. In such projects science is presented as being comprehensible, clear and charming.

This is an example of a social science based cooperation project. However, projects are welcomed from all scientific fields – especially natural and technological sciences.

How can teachers be remunerated?

As part of the Sparkling Science projects teachers can be remunerated using a work contract in case of extra time (weekends, evenings, holidays etc.), i.e. time which falls outside usual lesson times.

Education belongs in the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMBF) – why is the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW) getting involved?

The Sparkling Science programme is a programme to promote young scientists and is led by the BMWFW. However, it is organised in close collaboration with the BMBF (former BMUKK) as the interface between the school system and universities can only be improved by the joint efforts of both departments and well coordinated promotional measures.

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* Status quo: February 2014