This post is adapted from my crowdfunding campaign website: https://experiment.com/projects/what-is-a-muscle-protein-doing-in-the-brain. My lab is giving crowdfunding a go. I have a talented postgraduate student about to start a self-funded MPhil/PhD with me and we are hoping to crowdfund some consumable costs. Why?
Here are three reasons:
Funding is scarce.
Acquiring research funds is immensely challenging, particularly for rare diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
This project is early stage and is unlikely to attract conventional funding without more substantial data. Small pots of money to generate such preliminary data are especially hard to get hold of . Crowdfunding is one solution that can help bridge the gap.
Our project charts new territory for Duchenne that crosses into other disciplines. We may struggle to align with the priorities of major funders and be deemed high risk, high reward.
Crowdfunding requires public communication. This is not a chore for us. We love telling people about our science. We love showing people our science! Crowdfunding ensures a concentrated effort right at the very beginning of a project instead of only at the end. This way we can better engage with stakeholders through all the ups and downs of the project. This is something we do well in the Duchenne research field, stakeholder cooperation has positively affected drug development in Duchenne.
I work at a gold standard teaching-focused university, but there is also valuable research being undertaken here in Northampton, we want to shout about that too. Crowdfunding science helps to generate an audience to demystify what scientists and medical research looks like. Amazing science is most likely happening on your own doorstep! We want to inspire the next generation of scientists, whether that is locally here in Northampton or on the other side of the world.
We are passionate about Northampton as a place for innovative, world-leading research. Crowdfunding has significant potential to help us grow the research environment at the University of Northampton. Small funding targets like ours can cover the bench fees or consumable costs for talented postgraduate research students like Amanda. A vibrant postgraduate culture significantly contributes to research productivity. We want to show you what our students can do.
Crowdfunding will not replace conventional funding but it allows us to to do things a little differently. To think outside the box. Crowdfunding can to lead to better public engagement and help change the way the public sees science. It is a fantastic way to enhance the science communication skills of the next generation of scientists.
Please help us by sharing and/or donating, we have perks! https://experiment.com/projects/what-is-a-muscle-protein-doing-in-the-brain