Digital crowdfunding platforms that raise money directly from citizens have created an alternative source of research funding. This column analyses data from the largest science crowdfunding platform, Experiment.com. It finds that women and young researchers are particularly successful in attracting funding in this way, and that risky projects are not disadvantaged as they are with traditional granting agencies. However, the amounts currently raised through crowdfunding are small, so for now it is only a complementary source of funding for most traditional research projects.
Chiara Franzoni, Henry Sauermann, Kourosh Shafi