Crowdfunding Scientific Research


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Crowdfunding Scientific Research

  1. 1. GIVE ME SOME MONEY…(PLEASE) How to crowd fund your scientific research or at least part of it. EEB Meeting November 9th, 2012
  2. 2. What is crowd funding youask?The solicitation of small donations from alarge number of people for specific targeted projects.
  3. 3. What else? An old concept revitalized in the late nineties by the British band Marillion Similar to micro-financing initiatives but with more flexibility Revolutionized in 2009 by
  4. 4. How does it work? Platform. Dollar target for the campaign. Campaign length. Compelling story. Video. Rewards. Plan to get people to your campaign.
  5. 5. This seems like an appropriate time for a cartoon
  6. 6. Kickstarter Supports creative projects of all sorts Over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects All-or-nothing funding Rewards for funders
  7. 7. Indiegogo Flexible funding “All about allowing anybody to raise money for any idea” Offers “perks” for funders
  8. 8. Famous Campaigns Let’s Build a God Damn Tesla Museum Robo Cop Statute in Detroit
  9. 9. Wait. What does this have to do with Science? The current rate of funding for science proposals in the U.S. is ~20%. The current rate for funding statues of RoboCop in Detroit is 135% – to the tune of $67,436.
  10. 10. Decreases in Federal Funding
  11. 11. Why Crowd Fund Science? Micro-donations will make hundreds of research projects possible, projects that otherwise would have to wait for funding or not be funded at all. Research projects that are limited in scope and time and for which small dollars are required, can be made possible
  12. 12. Need more reasons? Researchers will gain more visibility, connect with a wider audience of donors and enhance public knowledge of their work Funds from donors can speed the process of investigation and lead to faster scientific breakthroughs
  13. 13. How about two more? The general public has an easy and cost- effective way to advance scientific research that personally appeals to them. People can be more engaged with ground- breaking research, by learning about and funding a scientist and his/her work.
  14. 14. Crowd Funding Platforms Dedicated to Science Some success with Kickstarter SciFund Challenge
  15. 15. Petridish Sample Project 5% fee All or Nothing Funding
  16. 16. Sciflies Sponsored by the University of South Florida No fees Famous user Proposals are reviewed by an anonymous panel of scientific experts, adding prestige to the process
  17. 17. SciFund Challenge Sponsered by yet another platform, Rockethub. Spearheaded by two ecologists in 2011 Uses a critical mass approach to crowd funding Cohorts are given support and collective media coverage Round three starts November 11th
  18. 18. Some Past Examples Watching Clouds in the Cloud Forest Healthy Trees, Diverse Forests
  19. 19. Success RateThe basics:Round Days Projects Projects funded Percent fundedTotal raised1 45 49 10 20.4% $76,2302 31 75 33 44.0% $100,345
  20. 20. Keys to Success Contact everyone you know! Take the time to make an engaging video Make your project sound relatable and lay off the esoteric language! Be realistic with your fundraising goals $100,000? Not so much…
  21. 21. Importance of Social Media
  22. 22. Helpful Resources tips#started ting_your_goal bout-the-challenge/
  23. 23. Potential Pitfalls Some worry that only projects with splashy campaigns will be funded Easier to generate interest in cute and cuddly animals than in the “Isoline Retrieval of Ozone in the Stratosphere” Lack of Peer Review “Dumbing down of science” to appeal to the general public
  24. 24. Something to Think About “It is absolutely true that a few thousand dollars is not a lot of money for a senior scientist. But if you are a graduate student, money is much tighter and a few extra thousand dollars for your research can make all the difference.”-Dr. Jai Ranganathan, Co-Funder Sci-FundChallenge
  25. 25. The Future of Science? the-future-of-science/
  26. 26. Hack E-Science Librarianship BlogFor more information and lots of links! 10/03/crowdfund-this/ For access to this presentation, please e- mail me at