In this short essay the needs study survey results conducted by the Science Shop Wageningen University & Research (Science Shop WUR) are briefly discussed. The aim of this needs study is to understand if CSOs are facing societal research questions that can be answered by higher education students while supervised by researchers/lecturers. The Science Shop WUR is centrally located in the university and supports CSOs by implementing research projects with potential societal impact in the fields of nutrition and health, sustainable agriculture, water management, environmental quality and processes of social change. The Science Shop WUR is collaborating with CSOs that do not have the resources to conduct research themselves but they are expected to make a small financial contribution to the research project. The CSOs are involved throughout the whole research process by being a member of the advisory committee. This is a committee that on a regular bases meets during the research process to monitor progress. In each project there are often more than one student involved. The main education models used are the Master thesis and the Academic Consultancy Training course. In this course students collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams on a research question or challenge of a societal actor. It was not at all easy to collect contact details of the potential target group of the Science Shop WUR. Since this target group are CSOs with limited financial resources and that are working mainly with volunteers like civic initiatives, social entrepreneurs cooperation’s and foundations without money. These organisations are difficult to find on internet, most of them are not listed yet and/or never will be. Nonetheless, we were able to send this survey to 197 respondents. But only 23 out of those 197 made and attempt to fill in the survey. This limited response makes it difficult to come up with founded conclusions. Science Shop WUR is using a bottom-up and demand driven approach. Which means that CSOs have to contact the Science Shop WUR if they have a research need. 5 out of 12 respondents indicated not needing research for their work by filling in the questions ‘Does your organisation need to conduct research in order to address societal problems?’. It can be that the respondents did interpret this question differently than we attempted, as if they need to conduct the research themselves. Which can be the case based on a comment of a respondent, noting that research is already pickup up by national organisations and scientist. If this is not the case we wonder if some CSOs might need support to clarify their research needs. Or maybe they are not aware of the existence of the Science Shop WUR. Overall, this made us think if a bottom-up and demand driven approach fits out target group or is it essential to use a pro-active approach and contact CSOs directly and supporting them to identify their research needs?