About SciFund Challenge


SciFund Challenge is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax identification number is: 46-5656916.

We're a scientist-focused organization that empowers researchers to shrink the gap between science and society. We train scientists how to connect to the wider world, back scientists in their outreach, and crowdfund to support research. The goal? A more science engaged world.

If you are a scientist of any kind and you are interested in outreach, we would love to connect with you.

Our programming has four components:

1. We train scientists how to engage the public with their science, via online classes and training events.
2. We empower scientists in their outreach activities, by hosting a blog network and by curating an online community of outreach-minded scientists.
3. We support crowdfunding campaigns to fund science, particularly for researchers who engage the public with their science.
4. We provide custom training and consulting for institutions in science communication, outreach, and crowdfunding.


We are always excited to chat with anyone with wants to gab about science communication! There are lots of ways to get in touch:

  • Our address is: PO Box 2246, Santa Barbara, CA 93120-2246.
  • You can reach us by email at jai@scifund.org (that's the email address of Jai Ranganathan, Executive Director).
  • Find us on Twitter at: @SciFund.
  • Sign up for our exciting, delighting email list to keep in the loop!

Board of Directors

Jarrett Byrnes


Dr. Jarrett Byrnes is a co-founder of #SciFund Challenge. He has been fascinated by the use of internet technologies for science communication since graduate school, where he started his blog "i’m a chordata! urochordata!" in 2002. He is currently an assistant professor in the Biology Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he studies marine ecology and global change.

Jai Ranganathan

Executive Director, Secretary

Dr. Jai Ranganathan is a co-founder of #SciFund Challenge. He is strongly dedicated to the promotion of science communication and science outreach. He is a conservation biologist and a Center Associate at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.

Siouxsie Wiles

Dr Siouxsie Wiles is a microbiologist and bioluminescence enthusiast. Siouxsie heads the Bioluminescent Superbugs Group at the University of Auckland where she combines her twin passions to understand and combat infectious diseases. Siouxsie has been involved in making a series of short animations about the amazing creatures that glow in nature and the myriad uses of bioluminescence in science.

Anthony Salvagno

Director of Education, Treasurer

Dr. Anthony Salvagno is a graduate of the #SciFund Challenge: Round 2. Currently he promotes science outreach and science education with the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails. He is also a passionate entrepreneur, graphic designer, and aspiring author.

Barbara Walker

Dr. Barbara Endemaño Walker is Director of Research Development, Social Sciences, and Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Diversity Initiatives at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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