Crowfunding for research
Stephanie Alice Stockert
Bruno Villela Pedras Lago
Prof. Dr. Sonja Berensmeier
Advancing science is costly and requires funding. Thus mechanisms to allocate money to scientific projects are needed. Many such mechanisms exist, most notably grant-based public funding and industry sourced funding, but they have been criticized for a variety of shortcomings. Crowdfunding, a novel way of financing projects by pooling funds from a large community, could be used for this purpose. Theoretical considerations show that it may offer distinct advantages particularly in the context of funding small projects, such as student-led or civic science ones. We developed a crowdfunding platform, called crowdTUM, to serve students and alumni of the TUM community, specifically to investigate what are the opportunities and how to overcome the challenges of establishing a crowdfunding platform for scientific projects. We found that the technical and legal implementation of the platform did provide a number of challenges to overcome, most notably organizing the transfer of funds. However, the main challenge was marketing our Crowdfunding initiative. While we managed to host several projects on the platform, we were unable to gather the crit- ical mass of backers necessary to allow projects to get funding. A more concerted social media push, combined with a way of reaching the TUM Alumni community, could potentially have alleviated this problem.
For my team, I made sure technology was a tool rather than a hindrance.
Working in a highly interdisciplinary team gave me the opportunity to learn and experience problem solving from different perspectives. Thanks to my teammates!
Finding the right idea can be challenging, but much can be learnt also from supposed dead ends.
Getting inspired by the passion of great peers and learning together through a scientific approach summarizes my great time at the TUMJA, which I am grateful for.
My time at TUMJA showed me what it means to work in a team successfully.
My time at the TUMJA has been full of obstacles and personal growth. Working with students from various majors, I learned applying my strengths.
Intersting, challenging journey that I am glad I got to experience.
My TUMJA experience was riddled with new things and valuable lessons, with such a high degree of freedom and support, for which I am very grateful!
The TUMJA taught me how to work in a interdisciplinary team, to solve problems and gave me great opportunities to extend my horizon and experiences.