Amongst a government shutdown and decreased funding for research in general, many scientists are turning to crowdfunding sites to provide the funds needed to power their research questions. A recent post on the SciAm guest blog highlighted a few different researchers' experiences with research-related crowdfunding.
Amy Belfi, a student at the University of Iowa's Neuroscience Graduate Program, is another researcher who is using Microryza to raise funds for a project. She has just three days left on her crowdfunding campaign to study how music relates to memories in patients with brain damage. She plans to use the funds raised to look at how listening to popular music from when a participant was from 15 - 30 years of age will evoke memories. Almost all of the funds raised from the project will go toward compensation for participants of the study.
Belfi said that she decided to pursue crowdfunding as a funding source for her project because musical research is "a little 'out of the box' of traditional funding sources," such as government grants from the National Institutes of Health. She also thought that crowdfunding might be a good choice since many people can relate to hearing songs that evoke memories of their past.
"I also really like the idea of having the general public be involved in the research process, and using crowdsourcing is a great way to engage people with research." Belfi said. "It's also just a really great experience. I've learned so much about presenting my research to a general audience, and about crowdsourcing in general."
I thought her research would be perfect for readers of my blog interested in having a chance to directly fund a research study on music and neuroscience. Additional donations past Belfi's goal will be used to recruit more participants, thus increasing the overall power and strength of her study. Her campaign on Microryza is called "Can music improve memories in patients with brain damage?" and ends on October 18th.