Citizen Science – Informed Consent

Any project, citizen science or otherwise, that requires participation by people requires informed consent.  In some cases, this can be relatively simple.  If you are asking people to donate a pencil for you to sample microbes the informed consent might only say that any resulting data will never be linked to that person in any way and that there are no privacy concerns associated with the research.  At the other extreme would be a project that required human samples, for example blood or skin cells where a person’s genome might be sequenced as part of a research project.  Informed consent in this case would require that the person making the donation be aware of all the possible implications of participating in a research project, from disease detection to genetic fraud.

The purpose of this page is to show examples of actual informed consent forms that have been used by various citizen science projects, mostly those that relate to microbiology.   Hopefully these would provide a good starting point for anyone wanting to create their own.

Sample Informed Consent Form #1 (4 pages, Home Microbiome Study)

Sample Informed Consent Form #2

Sample Informed Consent Form #3