NORDP 2017 Annual Research Development Conference

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Crowdfunding and Social Media: New Paths to Raise Funds and Visibility for Research

(4 hours)

As traditional sources of research funding become more and more competitive, faculty members are seeking new ways of raising funds for their projects.  Scholars and universities alike have become interested in harnessing the crowd to raise both funding and visibility for their initiatives.  But it is difficult to know where to start in this uncharted terrain!  Participants in this workshop will learn how to develop and run a crowdfunding campaign for academic research, and will learn the mechanics and skills necessary to teach faculty this emerging form of research funding.  Having a strong social media presence is a critical precursor to crowdfunding success, and has also become increasingly important in raising the profile of scientific research in both academia and among the public.  Participants will learn how to use key social media platforms, such as science blogs and Twitter, and connect these skills to enhancing the potential of academic crowdfunding. 


Jai Ranganathan

Jai Ranganathan is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, UC Santa Barbara, and Director of #SciFund Challenge, a nonprofit organization that empowers scientists to shrink the gap between science and society.  He has taught classes on research engagement and crowdfunding for more than one-thousand scientists.  These classes include: introduction to outreach, academic poster design, video production, and social media for scientists.  In addition, he has taught crowdfunding workshops at the following institutions: the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, the Santa Fe Institute, Florida State University, Science Online, and via #SciFund Challenge.  Ranganathan is trained as a conservation biologist with a research focus on species conservation in tropical human-dominated areas.   He has a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, a M.A. in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in Earth & Environmental Sciences from Wesleyan University.  As well as authoring numerous papers on conservation biology, Ranganathan has published peer-reviewed articles on crowdfunding:

Byrnes, J. E., Ranganathan, J., Walker, B. L., & Faulkes, Z. (2014). To crowdfund research, scientists must build an audience for their work. PloS one, 9(12), e110329.

Wheat, R. E., Wang, Y., Byrnes, J. E., & Ranganathan, J. (2013). Raising money for scientific research through crowdfunding. Trends in ecology & evolution, 28(2), 71-72.

Barbara Endemaño Walker

Barbara Endemaño Walker has been the Director of Research Development for the Social Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) since 2007.  She is also the Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Diversity Initiatives.  She is the co-author of a forthcoming book from Routledge Press on strategic research proposal writing for the humanities and social sciences.  She is responsible for catalyzing research innovation and excellence among social scientists and interdisciplinary teams, as well as strategic planning for campus diversity initiatives.  Her activities range from forming and facilitating interdisciplinary research teams, mentoring junior faculty, individualized proposal consultation, leading the development and implementation of campus programs for student and faculty success, and teaching workshops and seminars for faculty and graduate students on various aspects of research and proposal writing.  Walker’s current research programs examine the intersections of team science and broadening participation in STEM and higher education.  With collaborators, she developed the Center for Research, Excellence and Diversity in Team Science (CREDITS), an integrated research and training program to increase and enhance team science and collective intelligence capacity, effectiveness, and excellence in California.  This work has been funded by the NSF ADVANCE Program, the Elsevier Foundation, and the University of California Office of the President.