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Embrace crowdfunding: it’s a boon for early-career researchers

Crowdfunding is the new kid on the block in research funding, and many are unsure what to make of it. Ecologist Euan Ritchie, a senior lecturer at Deakin University in Australia has two successful campaigns under his belt, as he told Gerd Winter.

Euan Ritchie’s success in securing crowdfunding for two ongoing research projects in Australia has drawn mixed feedback from his peers. Responses range from, “This is a wonderful thing, keep it up,” to, “This is just a popularity contest and serious scientists shouldn’t be doing this.”

Ritchie himself is a fan, having secured upwards of $40,000 (£23,900) in crowdfunding for his ecology research projects. “My view is that as a taxpayer I fund research but have absolutely no say how the money is spent. Crowdfunding gives some power back to the general public.” He believes that attitudes will become more positive as the crowdfunding of research matures.

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