As future leaders in the healthcare field, I believe you should be up-to-date on the latest trends in health care sciences research. With the way technology and social media have changed our lives, it was only a matter of time before they entered the world of academia and research. Traditionally, researchers from all kinds of institutions (such as universities, hospitals, think tanks, etc.) have depended heavily on grants from the government (such as the National Institutes of Health) or on private donors to fund their research projects. These processes were heavily competitive, with hundreds of applicants applying for a very limited amount of funding, and the vast majority would get rejected. That meant that proposed studies had to be extremely high quality, presented by credible researchers, and relevant to some greater societal aim. Now, the funding model seems to be changing. I’m sure many of you have heard of Kickstarter or GoFundMe, where individuals donate money to campaigns of many different kinds. Now, that model is being applied to research, with many supporters, but also many critics. Researchers post their ideas for studies on crowdfunding sites (like Experiment (Links to an external site.), Consano (Links to an external site.), and MedStartr (Links to an external site.)- check out some of these projects! Some sound really interesting), dedicated to funding different research projects, and bypass the traditional mechanisms of funding by appealing to the public. Check out a few of these articles:
- How to use crowdfunding to support your research (Links to an external site.)
- Crowdfunded science is here. But is it legit science? (Links to an external site.) (https://www.wired.com/2015/04/crowdfunded-science-legit-science/)
3, Crowdfunding propels scientific research (Links to an external site.)
- Crowdfunded science: harnessing the wisdom of the crowd, or selling out? (Links to an external site.) (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/02/crowdfunded-science-scientists-fund-research)
- Crowdfunding Academic Research
In your post, talk about your opinion of this phenomenon based on a few of the above articles. Do you think this is a good or bad trend? What could it mean for the future of rigorous research? As a healthcare administrator or manager, do you see this as a positive way to fund projects you might want to see happen without spending years applying to hard-to-get grants, or as a tool that might help fund research that is popular and trendy, but may ultimately not support the greater good and crowd out research that is more beneficial to society? If you are opposed to the idea, what are some things we could do to decrease the need for researchers to use these alternative funding mechanisms? If you support crowdsourced research, do you think any limitations or regulations should be placed on it, or should it simply reflect whatever the public chooses to support? Do you think the public will be as rigorous in their ideas of what research is important as grant review panels and boards? And, how much does it matter?