Skip to Content

A Kickstarter for Academic Research

The success of “crowd-funding” inspired one researcher to create a Kickstarter-like service for scientists.

Boston-based startup IAMScientist hopes to apply the crowd-funding approach pioneered by Kickstarter to research funding.

The company has already enjoyed modest success as a matchmaking service for companies and scientists. For a fee, it will tap its network of researchers—mainly in medicine and the life sciences—to find an available expert in a specific research area. But IAMScientist recently started allowing users to advertise projects for others to fund as well.

The approach is analogous to Kickstarter, a website that has raised almost $100 million for a wide range of entrepreneurial projects in 2011. But, of course, there’s a big difference: it’s unclear if IAMScientist’s audience of scientific researchers will want to contribute their own funds towards other researcher’s projects.

The website was created in 2008 by Borya Shakhnovich, at the time an assistant professor in Bioinformatics at Boston University. Shakhnovich hopes that reducing funding time from 18 months (under a typical NIH grant review process) to about 30 days, which is typical for crowd-sourced funding, will attract the interest of NGOs and larger organizations who could use the platform to have research proposals quickly and cheaply vetted.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build

“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”

Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives

The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.

Learning to code isn’t enough

Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.

Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google

Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.