I have another bonus post for you this week! It is related to my previous post on grant writing. My friend, Dr. Orbach (who published the bat intoxication study), currently studies cetacean reproductive tracts. This is the research area she focused on for her PhD, and I even got to help her with some of her reproductive tract dissections and measurements while I was in graduate school. For my graduation present, she gave me a framed cast of a cetacean vagina. (It is fantastic, and yes, we are cool and nerdy like that.) I am sure that I will do a more detailed blog post about her reproductive tract research in the future because it is fascinating, but right now I want to bring the focus of this post back to grants. My previous post mainly focused on funding that you apply for through associations or universities. However, Dr. Orbach introduced me to the world of research using crowdfunding! So, if you cannot seem to get the hang of writing formal grants, you can always try this alternative technique to acquire your funding! Dr. Orbach contacted me yesterday to request that I share her Experiment.com page with my fellow Bloggerheaders to spread the word about her current research and funding needs. The page is well-organized, and she includes a brief video about her research. If you find her research as interesting as I do, you can donate to her project, thereby actively taking part in the advancement of science. I know some of you are tired of reading about the absurd amount of funding seemingly unworthy studies receive. Or maybe other graduate students receive grants instead you, and you do not think they do particularly meaningful research. Complain no longer! You can take the future of science into your own hands! You can be your own grant committee! It is nice to the turn the tables sometimes.
Experiment.com is a popular crowdfunding website for researchers. Currently, people have pledged over 7 million dollars to help researchers. It is quite a neat website, and I found it interesting to see what types of research other people are conducting. If you back a certain researcher’s project, they even give you updates on how their research is going. How exciting! The funding is an all-or-nothing type deal, so if the researcher you backed does not receive full funding, then you are released from your pledge. Not all submitted projects are allowed to be posted on Experiment. Apparently, all projects are “rigorously reviewed” before they are approved for the website, so you know the research behind them is solid.
I created this extra blog post today because Dr. Orbach only has 10 more days left to reach her funding goal. I made a pledge because she is the most driven researcher that I have ever met, and I know that she will manage the funds responsibly. Besides those reasons, I pledged because the website seems fantastic and could be a great tool for me in the future. It would be nice to know how it worked and support its cause! Making the pledge was quick and simple, and they will only charge your account if the research receives full funding. So, Happy Tuesday!… and may the funding be ever in your favor.