Citizen science is rapidly gaining momentum as a means of involving members of the public in research and decision-making in disease prevention and health promotion. However, citizen science projects have predominantly been led by academic researchers and there is limited understanding of how to support the application of citizen science approaches in policy and practice settings. This study aimed to understand the perceptions, motivations and early experiences of applying citizen science approaches in policy and practice settings. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with policy and practice stakeholders who were leading citizen science projects (project partners, n = 7), and their implementation partners (project implementers, n = 11). Participants viewed citizen science as an opportunity to access hard-to-reach data and to enhance engagement with community members to support policy and practice change. Barriers and facilitators of citizen science in policy and practice settings included navigating collaborative relationships, team capacity and resources available to deliver projects, recruitment and engagement of citizen scientists and ethical considerations in the design and implementation of citizen science projects. Findings support the feasibility and wider application of citizen science approaches in health promotion and are being used to inform the development of tools and resources to build capacity in these approaches in policy and practice settings.

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