The OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium and the University of Florida (UF) Clinical and Translational Science Institute sponsor a Citizen Scientist program that helps bridge the gap between researchers and community members. The Citizen Scientists in this group offer a lay perspective in proposal review, patient recruitment strategies, and in other areas where stakeholder engagement may be needed.
As one of the early adopters of this model, the group created an educational curriculum to help train new Citizen Scientists who join the group at UF or anywhere else. The curriculum is broken out into several modules based around a common topic (i.e., research ethics). Each module contains several videos of speakers presenting content from PowerPoint slides. The videos are accompanied by resources to aid learning, and each didactic presentation is followed by a brief assessment to gauge comprehension of the topic presented. The assessment involves tasks of recognition and knowledge transfer to ensure that the learner can apply the concepts discussed in the video. All modules include videos of Citizen Scientists offering insights from their work and guidance for new Citizen Scientists.
This curriculum can be used as a model for other groups hoping to start a Citizen Scientist program. These materials are offered as an Open Educational Resource, and anyone can access them from this site. An instructor guide has been created as a companion resource to these modules, and contains additional elements that will help learners apply lesson content into real-world settings. The instructor guide includes discussion questions, group activities, additional resources, and a suggested timeline for curriculum implementation. The raw curriculum materials may be ported into an online learning management system to enhance the structure and compliance of the curriculum. To request the raw materials, please contact OneFloridaOperations@health.ufl.edu.