Crowdfunding Academic Research

iam scientistWhen a professor from a small liberal arts college in central Pennsylvania decided to take on a massive research project two summers ago, he went through the usual, often futile, process of applying for federal and private grants. But when funds were short a year later, he went down a nontraditional route — turning to the public and the Internet for help.

iam scientist raise fundsIn 50 days, Juniata College’s Chris Grant and his research partner, Gina Lamendella, raised $10,800 through a crowdfunding website called iAMscientist. The money was used to fund an ongoing project on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on Pennsylvania’s stream ecosystems.

“There were a lot of initial questions, but we’ve paved the way for other people at smaller institutions to use this funding as a mechanism,” Lamendella said. “I think it’s certainly the way of the future.”

As a result of increased competition and diminishing federal research funding…

 

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