There was an interesting story in the NY Times the other day which was picked by GenomeWeb’s The Daily Scan regarding a couple of biologists who have turned to non-traditional sources of funding to partially fund their research experiments.
The scientific duo from the Robert J. Bernard Biological Field Station in Claremont, Calif, have raised close to $5,000 from online sales of t-shirts and trading cards which will pay for their lab equipment and travel expenses required to conduct their studies in Mexico. While this level of funding certainly would not be sufficient for even the smallest molecular biology lab, their funding methodology is unique and I believe that they should be commended for their resourcefulness.
As we have mentioned in the past, non-peer reviewed fundraising is not entirely new to the biological research community. In a post written several months ago, we told you how the Kanzius foundation is on its way to raising $250,000 through a Facebook campaign. We also told you about the Search for Research campaign promoted on BenchFly which helps raise money for research using a search engine advertizing strategy.
We all hate writing grants and although non-traditional fundraising efforts will not replace traditional sources of funding any time soon, it is still fun to hear about the different activities people are willing to try in order to fund their research.
What “out of the box” fundraising efforts have you come across?