One of my graduate students, Katelyn Cavanaugh, has decided to embark to the brave new world of science funding called crowdsourcing for her I/O Psychology Master’s thesis. Here are the two facts that led us to this point:
- Science funding is very hard to come by, as most of it comes from federal grants. As a graduate student, you generally don’t qualify for many federal grants. As a result, many graduate students either a) ask less interesting research questions than they really want to ask because they don’t have enough money to ask them or b) pay for their projects out of pocket. And asking someone making less than $12,000 per year to supply nearly 10% of her yearly salary to advance the cause of science is not terribly fair.
- The Internet enables new forms of funding that previously did not exist. Thanks to services like RocketHub, anyone in need of funds can simply ask for them! Generous patrons surfing the Internet can browse through folks that need money to do good works, and choose whom to fund. Have an amazing art project that will require purchasing rare plants only found on one slope on one mountain in the Alps? Crowdsource it, and perhaps a curious art lover will provide you the cash you need to make it a reality.
So, as you might guess, cash-poor scientists have begun to use crowdsourcing to fund their research. The effort is called SciFund, and it may be the future of science funding. This year, researchers are seeking funding for 49 projects, one of which is Katelyn’s Master’s thesis. I’ll let her explain her project in her own words from her windowless-4-person-shared-office/closet provided generously by ODU (YouTube video below):
Less than a day old, and already 4 funders – please join them! Any donation is valuable; every dollar gets her more participants for her study. You can make your own donation to her research before December 15 by visiting http://rockethub.com/projects/3800-learner-control-in-online-training-programs