Budget cuts. Political agendas. These are just some of the words that strike fear into the hearts of researchers world wide. Why? Because researchers have to spend huge chunks of their time hustling for money to fund their studies, and hundreds, if not thousands of projects get shelved every year because the funding dries up.
While governments and charitable foundations do their best to keep the cash flowing, some researchers are experimenting with a new funding model. If you’ve heard of Kickstarter or RocketHub, you already know the premise of the SciFund Challenge: researchers describe their project on a public website, and anyone with an interest and a few dollars can donate directly to the effort. So far, the SciFund Challenge, in association with RocketHub, has raised more than $176,000 in two rounds for various projects, and organizers are hoping for more as the concept catches on.
You can view a list of the completed SciFund projects here, and while you’re waiting for the next challenge to be presented, you can check out the open, independent science projects on RocketHub (which include an effort to protect Darwin’s Finches) and the open research and innovation projects.
Also consider subscribing to the SciFund blog for updates.