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Citizen Science

Citizen Science is a SustainUS program that works to bridge the divide between science and policy in sustainable development, by enabling young scientists to present their research at international United Nations conferences and get their work published through our partnership with academic journals. Young scientists are selected through our annual paper competition and encouraged to pursue research that enables social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

Check out the past winners of our annual paper competition.

Partnering academic journal:


Apply to the 2013 Citizen Science Paper Competition

Deadline is March 1, 2013 -- APPLY TODAY

Citizen Science, the science and technology program of SustainUS, is now accepting submissions of original research related to sustainable development for its annual science paper competition. The winning submission from each group will be published in Consilience: the Journal of Sustainable Development, a global journal for sustainable development produced by Columbia University. In addition, the authors of the winning papers will be invited to present their research at the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in May 2013.

Download the Application!

Reasons to Submit Your Work:

  • Share your passion for addressing the world’s toughest challenges through sound science
  • Be published: Winning submissions appear in Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development
  • Present your work at the United Nations: at the 20th United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-20) in New York, New York in May 2013
  • Communicate the importance of youth involvement to international leaders


Guidelines for Submissions:

Topic: Papers should be written on natural or social science topics related to sustainable development

Eligibility: Participants must either be a US Citizen, or have lived in the United States for more than six months, and be between the ages of 13-26. Enrollment at an academic institution is not required.

Submission Instructions: Submit a completed application and your research paper as a PDF or Microsoft Word document to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Papers are accepted on a rolling basis until the March 1, 2013 deadline.

Competition Levels
Track I: Working Toward/Obtained High School or GED Degree
Track II: Working Toward/Obtained Two or Four Year Degree
Track III: Working Toward/Obtained Advanced Degree

Format: Papers must be 10-20 pages in length (including figures, tables, appendicies, etc.); contain APA parenthetical citations; contend with the existing literature; and most importantly contain original scholarly work. 

Direct questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Congratulations to Our 2012 Citizen Science Paper Competition Winners!

The theme of this year's annual paper competition is “the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.”

SustainUS is partnering with the student-run Consilience journal out of Columbia University to publish these CitSci papers!

  • Emma Gaalaas Mullaney, Graduate winner for "Counter-topographies of Agriculture: Rethinking Links between Gender, Food, and Development in a Globalizing World"
  • Jasmine Zhang, College winner (1st tie) for "Alliance for a (Smallholder, Predominantly Woman) Green Revolution in Africa"
  • Anthony Santa Maria, College winner (1st tie) for "Rethinking Female Circumcision: A Shift in Western Perspective"
  • Tess Bone, College winner (2nd)
  • Sonia Li, High School winner (1st) for "Rural Women in China: From Cooking to Changing Poverty"
  • Jocelyn Elizabeth Hernandez, High School winner (2nd) for "The Indispensability of Universal Gender Equality"

Click here to learn more about them!

Proud winners of our Winter 2012 Citizen Science competition at their event at UN Commission on the Status of Women - Anthony, Sonia, Emma, Jasmine - with Citizen Science coordinators Sara and Marielle.

Past Citizen Science Winners

Congrats to the 2010 CitSci Paper Competition Winners!
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U.S. youth and students studying in the U.S. ages 13-26 are invited to submit original scientific research or position papers to the Citizen Science Technical Board for the 2010 Citizen Science paper competition! Winners will, in addition to publication, have the opportunity to present their work at the 18th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) at the United Nations Headquarters (NYC) from May 4-15, 2009.

Congrats to this year's paper competition winners!

  • Michael M. Ford, Graduate winner
  • Alexander Mizenko, Undergraduate winner
  • Wendy Fong, Nick Rodriguez, Juliette Lam , Eliott Ahumada, Nicholas Cheung, Joshua Cheung, and Sonia Marquez, High School winners
Download the winner bios and abstract here
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