How scientists raise money for research

Donations for research - "Scientific crowdfunding projects work a little differently"

Jump to content
  1. Culture
  2. Knowledge
  3. Current article
content

Science is expensive: The money for it comes from the public and private sectors. A newer way of collecting money is “crowdfunding” - collecting donations on the Internet. University professor Mike Schäfer speaks about the new financing option for research projects.

Open the person box Close the person box

Mike Schäfer is a German communication scientist and sociologist. He is a professor at the Institute for Communication Studies and Media Research at the University of Zurich.

SRF:You have organized a conference, Link opens in a new window on the subject of crowdfunding. Is this the future of research funding?

Mike Schäfer: The future of research funding will certainly not be crowdfunding. The size comparison makes this clear: the budget of the Swiss National Science Foundation is around one billion Swiss francs. An average crowdfunding project, on the other hand, raises around three to four thousand dollars.

In this respect, crowdfunding will never replace the National Fund or “regular” research funding. However, it may be an interesting addition for special researchers and their projects.

What is crowdfunding?

Open the box Close the box

Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising on the net. People, institutions or other actors place projects on special internet platforms and try to raise money with them - in the form of many small donations from various people from the population (the so-called “crowd”).

Crowdfunding is popular with musicians, for example to raise money for a new CD or to finance a new film with the money from the crowd. It has nothing to do with science.

Scientific crowdfunding projects work a little differently because they usually cannot provide any clear consideration. In the end there is no such thing as a product in the traditional sense. What remains with the donor, however, is the feeling of having funded a good scientific project.

If you donate a lot, there are sometimes opportunities to get even closer to the projects. Maybe you can visit the laboratory, spend a day in the research group or work on an experiment.

Some projects are already going well abroad. An American researcher has for example Raised money for laboratory supplies that she couldn't afford because of her budget. Is that a role model for Switzerland?

This example shows that - at least in other countries - it is not atypical for crowdfunding projects for young researchers to raise money for part of their project. However, the Swiss funding conditions are very comfortable in an international comparison.

That said, a crowdfunding project can be an interesting experience. It forces researchers to think very early in their projects about how to explain it to other people and also sell it.

Isn't there a risk that only projects are successful that sell well and that basic research is neglected?

Indeed, this debate must be taken seriously. On the one hand, crowdfunding can be an opportunity for young scientists to get money for projects for which they would otherwise hardly have received any money. The second argument is: it democratizes research.

The public can support precisely those projects that they think are worthy of support. But you certainly have to make sure that projects with substance are funded and not just a particularly “sexy” topic or “science with cute animals”.

Interview conducted by Daniel Theis.

thed

  1. Culture
  2. Knowledge
  3. Current article

Most read articles

Scroll left Scroll right

Social login

For the registration we need additional information about yourself.

{* #socialRegistrationForm *} {* firstName *} {* lastName *} {* emailAddress *} {* displayName *} {* mobile *} {* addressCity *} {* / socialRegistrationForm *}

Welcome back

Please log in to enter a comment.

{* loginWidget *} Use a different account

Login and register


Log In

{* #signInForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* currentPassword *} Forgot your password? {* / signInForm *}

Simply log in with your social media account or your Apple ID

{* loginWidget *}

Create a new password

Enter the email address of your user account. We will then send you a link that you can use to create a new password.

{* #forgotPasswordForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* / forgotPasswordForm *}

Create a new password

You will shortly receive an email with a link to renew your password.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Welcome back

Please log in to enter a comment.

{* #signInForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* currentPassword *} Forgot your password? {* / signInForm *} Use a different account

Technical error

Oh oops! A technical issue occured. Please try again later or contact our customer service.

Confirm mobile number

So that you can enter a comment, we ask you to confirm your mobile number. We will send you an SMS code to the mobile number.

There has been an error. Please try again or contact our customer service.

Too many codes have already been requested for the mobile number. The function is blocked to prevent misuse.

Too many attempts. Please request a new code or contact our customer service.

Change mobile number

Too many attempts. Please request a new code or contact our customer service.

This mobile number is already in use. Please change your mobile number or contact our customer service.

Change mobile number

The maximum number of codes for the specified number has been reached. No more codes can be created.

Confirm email address

We have sent you an email at the address {* emailAddressData *} Posted. Please check your e-mail inbox and confirm your account using the activation link you received.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Adjust user data

{* resendLink *}

Register and login


to register

With an SRF account, you have the option of entering comments on our website and in the SRF app.

{* #registrationForm *} {* firstName *} {* lastName *} {* emailAddress *} {* displayName *} {* mobile *} {* addressCity *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / registrationForm *}

Confirm email address

We have sent you an email at the address {* emailAddressData *} Posted. Please check your e-mail inbox and confirm your account using the activation link you received.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Adjust user data

{* resendLink *}

Your activation email has been sent

Please check your e-mail inbox. The activation email has been sent.

Verified email address

Thank you for verifying your email address.

user account

In this view you can manage your user data.

{* savedProfileMessage *} {* / editProfileForm *}

Change Password

Deactivate account

User data saved successfully

You can view your data in your user account at any time.


Adjust user data

Change Password

Define a new password for your account {* emailAddressData *}.

{* #changePasswordForm *} {* currentPassword *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / changePasswordForm *}

Create a new password

Define a new password for your account.

{* #changePasswordFormNoAuth *} {* newPassword *} {* newPasswordConfirm *} {* / changePasswordFormNoAuth *}

Password saved successfully

You can now log in to the article with your new password.

Create a new password

We did not recognize the password reset code. Please re-enter your email address so that we can send you a new link.

{* #resetPasswordForm *} {* signInEmailAddress *} {* / resetPasswordForm *}

Create a new password

You will shortly receive an email with a link to renew your password.

Didn't get a message?

If you have not received an e-mail after 10 minutes, please check your SPAM folder and the details of your e-mail address.

Deactivate account

Your account will be deactivated and you will not be able to reactivate it. Recorded comments are not deleted.

Do you really want to deactivate your account?

{* deactivateAccountForm *} {* / deactivateAccountForm *}

Account deactivated

Your account has been deactivated and can no longer be used.
If you would like to register again for the comment function, please contact SRF customer service.

Footer


Metanavigation