Crowdfunding in Scientific Research: Featured Projects

Crowdfunding is everywhere. Today, I saw a request go past my facebook feed to help a mom pay for to get her car out from repossession. And, maybe her story calls to some people. I am not one to judge. I know I have a former co-worker who gives loans through Kiva, who helps increase economic opportunities internationally though small capital investments in impoverished communities. Traditionally, I have given small amounts toward the operating expenses of non-profit organizations that support areas close to my heart (domestic violence, suicide hotline, etc).  There is though something special about finding a particular project or person who you can relate to – and helping them to bring a project to fruition, building something that will help both me, personally, and the general population.

Along those lines, I have seen the rise of crowdfunding websites that are specifically designed to support scientific research. And, some amazing and innovative work being done through these sites.

Please feel free to explore them on your own – but here are some great projects I found. All of these project have upcoming deadlines and are still desperately needing funding to get to their rather minimal goals.

What if we could stop the brain from making risky decisions?

About This Project
Life frequently tempts us with alluring options that turn out to be bad decisions. If risky decision-making becomes the norm, it can rapidly lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and sometimes even addiction. We are beginning to understand what happens in the brain when we make risky decisions. But what changes in the brain when we refrain? By understanding how the brain prevents risky-decision making, and possibly addiction, we can prevent those decisions from happening in the first place.

I know from first-hand experience that risky behavior is a symptom of a number of mental illnesses, including PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder. These risky behaviors are key stumbling blocks to recovery and remission. They tear apart the support structure for the patient and make friends and family all the more fearful of future episodes. This can lead to self-harm, destructive behaviors, drug and alcohol abuse, and life-altering aftermath from these behaviors.

Mapping The Adolescent Brain: Stress, Cognitive Disorganization and Risk for Psychosis

 About This Project
Cognitive disorganization (CD) is a symptom of psychosis that often emerges in adolescence and is associated with deficits in working memory capacity and stress regulation. Brain maturation through adolescence is critical for the development of these behavioral constructs, and paves the way for adult cognitive control, affect regulation and psychosocial adaptation. We use brain imaging to map the neural markers of poor stress regulation, working memory and adolescent cognitive disorganization.

The average time from first onset of symptoms to seeking help is 10 years. And, even after seeking help, there is a gap from that to accurate diagnosis and finding the right treatment plan for psychosis. Additionally, psychosis is a degenerative disease. The sooner we can help identify and begin treatment of psychosis, the better the outcomes will be for both the individuals and their families.


I know just a couple years ago, there are were many more sources for scientific research crowdfunding, but the top one right now seems to be Experiment, which has categories from mathematics to data science to paleontology to biology and beyond. It is definitely something to check out and get involved in.


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