Crowdfunding of academic research catching on.


CrowdFunding Beat PR News : CrowdFunding for academic research is catching on, according to a blog post at Scientific American.  Individuals, as well as a growing number of universities, are turning to the masses for funding as government funding dwindles, writes recent UW-Madison graduate Alexandra Branscombe. The option is particularly helpful for new researchers without track records to attract potential funders.  Crowdfunding is often launched on one of a growing number of websites designed specifically to finance scientific research, like Petridish or Microryza. Other researchers use more general crowdfunding sites like Rockethub or Launcht.

Georgia Institute of Technology launched its own crowdfunding site this month, Georgia Tech Starter. They added a review process, meant to screen out research that isn’t feasible.

Other institutions, like the University of Vermont and University of Utah, are partnering with crowdfunding platforms.

Useed has developed partnerships with University of Virginia, which uses it to crowdfund research, Arizona State University, which funds research and projects like service trips, and Cornell, to fund campus community projects.

But the crowdfunding movement apparently hasn’t yet taken root at UW-Madison.

The College of Letters and Science last fall reported on a pair of graduate students using Rockethub to finance research into sea turtle nesting. But Amy Toburen, director of university communications, said Monday that her department isn’t aware of any crowdsourcing projects this year.

Illustration: Liu Rui

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