In 2014, atmospheric scientist Maria Zatko was close to completing her paper on ground-based ozone, when she was told she had a great opportunity to fill her gaps in the air pollutants.
Zatko and her colleagues at the university of Washington in Seattle realized that she could participate in a research project underway in Utah to study the causes of unusually high levels of ozone in winter in the area. Zatko wanted to measure nitrogen oxides released from snow. But collecting snow samples will take a month of field trips, and Zatko has no funds to pay for it.
So Zatko decided to try emerging research funding sources – online crowdfunding. She raised $12,000 through the site’s activities. She says cash is critical to completing a doctorate. “What’s more important is its performance in graduate school,” she added, because the data presented at a meeting led to her current job at an environmental consultancy. She said, “I’m just forever grateful” to 155 people who responded to the request.
According to a new study, Zatko is in line with the data of scientists who have been successful at the event. The success rate of female than for male, most led by students, found that scholars for the national bureau of economic research in Cambridge, Massachusetts not-for-profit organizations (NBER) write research reports, support and related public policy research in economics.
In one of the largest study, the researchers studied the biggest the raised platform Experiment.com is dedicated to research on 728 activity. (it was founded in different names in 2012.) The site allows scientists to set funding targets, but only if they reach them. Experiment.com is a for-profit enterprise, retain 8% of the raise funds. The site’s staff will review the project before it is released, with most activities lasting between 30 and 60 days.
The researchers found that nearly half of the research projects reached their goals and were funded. But even with the fact that young people tend to demand less money, the success rate of students and postdocs is higher than that of tenure.
Requests for help usually focus on travel and laboratory costs as well as publishing and conference equipment and costs. The median increase is relatively modest, at $3,100. This reflects the amount of small amounts needed – most of which are less than $15,000. Only three projects require more than $100000, one of which is an outsider: by Hollywood producer Gordon Gray led a project to seek $1 million to develop Batten disease treatment, this is a rare hereditary neurodegenerative disease. It raised $2.6 million.
What makes a successful event a reality? A statistical analysis by the NBER authors found that project leaders who were actively involved in fundraising had a higher success rate and raised more money than those who did not. Released this positive participation including experienced scientists and others online support, provide updates and contains items background convincing “laboratory”, and provide a non-monetary rewards to donors, visiting research laboratory, for example, in the case of wildlife research, in the animals.
Such outreach takes time and effort, and scientists need to weigh the modest amount they might raise. “You can’t just launch a project, you wake up the next morning and you have $10,000 in the bank,” says Henry solman, co-author of the European school of management and technology in Berlin.
Zatko can prove that the word involved is spreading the word. She said she knew half of her donors and sent many emails asking for help. Preparing to describe the fascinating tone of her research was eye-opening. “It was the first time that I was forced to explain my project in a voice that was outside of my head,” she recalls. “I’m really disappointed with most of the doctorates. It’s nice to step back and think about how this will affect the wider community. ”
In Zatko’s case, she said support did produce a beneficial to the discovery of the society as a whole: she came to the conclusion that compared with the gas drilling emissions, snow chemistry contributions to ozone pollution in the region is minimal. This may help policymakers focus better on improving air quality.
Although she encouraged others to consider crowdfunding, Zatko said, “I really want more money for scientists, so people don’t have to go this way. This is another source of stress for the already stressed doctor. Until it gets funded – and then it’s great. ”
To be sure, crowdfunding offers far less dollars than is usually obtained from government or private grants. But “the key is not to replace the traditional [funding] mechanism,” Sauermann said. On the contrary, the raise can be a supplementary funding sources, “can fill the gap or expand access to”, provide researchers with money – such as early career scientists or those who work in the field of insufficient funds – “traditionally don’t have these funding opportunities”.