Introduction to research crowdfunding

Ever thought about crowdfunding your research? This presentation is for you – it provides an overview of crowdfunding at Australian universities.

A brass tray holding Australian coins. At the top of the tray is engraved 'Pocket change'.

It is incredibly tough to get funds for research at the moment. Some entrepreneurial academics are using crowdfunding to raise money from the public. It isn’t easy, but new ways of doing things provides for new opportunities. They are learning new skills, building an audience for their work, and raising some funds as well.

This one-hour session is designed to answer your questions about research crowdfunding.

  • How much money can I raise?
  • Will it count as research funding?
  • How much time will it take?

This session will cover these questions and any others that you may have. We will discuss the funds available, the work required and the ancillary benefits to be gained from undertaking a research crowdfunding campaign.

Audience: Researchers and PhD students looking to understand how crowdfunding works at Australian universities.

Format: One hour question and answer session.

Outcome: At the end of the hour, you should understand:

  • Different ways that researchers are raising funds through crowdfunding.
  • How much they are raising, and what the chances of success are.
  • The skills and abilities required to undertake a crowdfunding campaign.
  • The work and time commitment involved in undertaking a crowdfunding campaign.
  • What you might gain from undertaking a crowdfunding campaign.

Notes: Research crowdfunding in Australia (393 Kb PDF), Jonathan O’Donnell on the Research Whisperer, 11 February 2016.


Jonathan O'Donnell

Jonathan O’Donnell has 15 years of experience helping people to find funding for their research. He is fascinated by crowdfunding because it is the first new funding mechanism that he has seen in all that time. To understand how crowdfunding works, he has reviewed all research crowdfunding campaigns run by Australian university staff to 2015, and has interviewed academics and administrators at the two most active universities in Australia. With his colleague, Tseen Khoo, he runs the Research Whisperer blog and Twitter stream (@ResearchWhisper).

This project is part of his PhD, examining crowdfunding as a research funding mechanism at Australian universities (RMIT ethics 19613 & 20729). He is examining the support required for crowdfunding, and seeking to understand the dynamics of crowdfunding within a university.

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