Here we go again! SciFund round two begins now

Jai Ranganathan

Coming at you hard like the Terminator, #SciFund is back! Fewer bullets with us though.

We had so much fun with the first round of #SciFund, let’s do it again. The second round of #SciFund Challenge begins now! Are you a scientist who wants to raise money for your science and engage the public with your research. We want you to get involved and sign up!

But let’s take a step back. For those of you who are new to this whole thing, the first round of #SciFund was an experiment that sought to answer one question. Can scientists raise money for their research by reaching out to the general public with their science message? Last fall, forty-nine scientists joined #SciFund to learn the answer. These scientists ran fundraising campaigns (in a process called crowdfunding) from November 1-December 15 under the #SciFund banner (campaigns are here). Together we raised over 76 thousand dollars, got press attention from all over the world (see coverage here) , and learned a huge amount about what works for science crowdfunding.

We want to use what we learned in the first round of the #SciFund Challenge to make the second round even better. Let’s start with the timeline. In March (this month), we are signing up scientists who want to run crowdfunding campaigns for their science. Don’t know anything about crowdfunding or reaching out to the public? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Because in April, we will be training the new round of #SciFund scientists how to succeed with all of this stuff. #SciFund projects will officially launch on May 1st and close on May 31st. We will be continuing to partner with RocketHub (a leading crowdfunding platform) and #SciFund projects will be located there.

So, what’s new about this round? This will be explained in much more detail in future posts, but here are two of the highlights.

1. Review of proposals by scientists. Just to make sure that all of the #SciFund science is more or less reasonable, we are instituting a quick and dirty, fast-pass form of review for #SciFund participants (see details here).

2. Greater emphasis on engaging the public with science. The whole point of #SciFund is to encourage scientists to reach out to the public with their science. If the public wants then to help support that science, so much the better, but the real purpose here is to create a more scientifically-aware world.

cycle of engagment
The virtuous cycle.

So, that’s the basics of #SciFund Returns – sign up now!



  1. Lis says

    I’m trying to decide if I should sign up. I would like to see how the campaigns went last year, but the link to the campaigns from round one is broken on this web page. Could you please fix that so we can see the videos and results? Thanks!

  2. says

    This is awesome, Jai! 2 quick questions:

    1. I want to sign-up, but need to confer first with some collaborators. Is it ok to sign-up and then drop-out, or would you rather that people only sign-up if they are certain that they are going to be able to follow through?

    2. Who does the money go to? E.g. is it a donation to my institution, to me personally (which has some obvious tax implications), etc? Just trying to figure out how that would work.

    Thanks and great job!