How to crowdfund your PhD research proposal

How To Crowdfund Your PhD Research Proposal

Doctoral research can be incredibly expensive, and finding funding takes an ample amount of time and energy that can be better spent on your PhD proposal. Instead of grant writing and other traditional forms of loan, many doctoral students are therefore turning to crowdfunding as a way to raise capital and fund their PhD research proposal.

Crowdfunding is a way of raising finance for a project by asking a large number of people to donate a small amount of money each. In return, donors receive some type of reward or compensation for their contribution.

If you are interested in crowdfunding your PhD proposal, or any specific part of your doctoral research, here are a few tips on how to create an attractive online campaign:

Provide A Clear Explanation Of The Problem You Want To Solve

The goal of conducting research is to solve a problem. However, a PhD research proposal can be very complex and detailed, and it can be difficult to provide a clear explanation of the problem you are attempting to solve in a way that is understandable to a lay person. For instance, if you are conducting genome research to eradicate an invasive species to the world’s largest water sources, explaining the reasons behind it can sound very confusing to those who are not familiar with the subject matter. You have to explain why you are trying to solve this problem so that your donors can see why they need to care about your PhD proposal.

Develop A Strategy That Will Demonstrate A Need For Your Research

Since a PhD research proposal is not always very straightforward, it can be difficult to convince donors to provide money for your doctorate. Attempt to explain genome sequencing for a microscopic organism in technical terms and it can fall on deaf ears! You will therefore need to develop a strategy that convinces people you are solving a problem that would otherwise affect their own well being. In the example provided, a strong crowdfunding campaign would appeal to environmentalists and explain why the microorganism you are attempting to eradicate can relate to the high stakes of saving the ecosystem. It would be a good idea to make a short, animated video that is easy to understand and clearly explains the problem and how you intend to solve it. You can upload this to the crowdfunding platform so that donors know what their money will be used for.

Offer A Meaningful Reward

To further entice your donors, it can be very beneficial to offer a reward that is meaningful to those you are targeting. A strong motivator, for instance, might be to use the donor’s names in your discoveries. One very well known example of this is Comet Halley. Edmond Halley calculated the orbital elements to determine the return of what is now known as Halley’s Comet. His discovery will forever be synonymous with his name.

Crowdfunding can provide a fairly lucrative way to raise money for your research, but you will have to really sell your point in order to be successful. By thoroughly explaining the purpose of your PhD proposal, creating a targeted campaign, and offering a reward, you may find that you can reach those who have the same overall goals and mindsets.