New fills for funding gaps

David Vitrant, a PhD student in genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, thinks he's got a creative idea for alternative schemes to fund research: simply ask the public for money. He recently launched non-profit, called linkurl:FundScience,;http://fundscience.org/index.html that aims to connect researchers with potential donors. To explain why he started FundScience, Vitrant cited a number well-known to NIH-funded scientists: 42, the average age at which researchers these days receive their f

Alla Katsnelson
Oct 23, 2008
David Vitrant, a PhD student in genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, thinks he's got a creative idea for alternative schemes to fund research: simply ask the public for money. He recently launched non-profit, called linkurl:FundScience,;http://fundscience.org/index.html that aims to connect researchers with potential donors. To explain why he started FundScience, Vitrant cited a number well-known to NIH-funded scientists: 42, the average age at which researchers these days receive their first linkurl:R01 grants.;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/5/1/32/1/ "That's a lot of time, and by the time you get that, are you still going to be a scientist?" he asked. On the FundScience Web site, researchers will be able to post short abstracts and videos describing their projects, and individuals who log onto the site would be able to scroll through projects and "vote with their money on which projects to fund," Vitrant said. (The posted projects would first undergo some kind of vetting by scientists.)...

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