Microryza: A Crowdfunding Platform for New Science

Microryza is a crowdfunding platform for research. Individuals pool their money until the funding goal is reached.

Microryza staff review projects based on three criteria:

  1. The projects seeks to answer a scientific question. Put simply, is it actually research?
  2. The project goals are within the capabilities of the researcher.
  3. They can verify the researcher’s identity.

To evaluate these points, they personally interview every researcher on the site.

All research projects on Microryza must reach or surpass the funding goal within a set timeline before any money changes hands. If the project doesn’t reach it’s goal, no money is charged. They ask researchers to clearly define a minimum budget that allows them to carry out their experiments.

Launching a project on the site is free. Researchers are asked to set a goal appropriate to ensure feasibility of their project goals. Microryza takes a 5% transaction fee only if the project reaches or surpasses its goal. There is a also 3% fee for credit card payment processing. Neither donors nor researchers are charged if a project doesn’t meet its goal.

Students at Indiana University are currently using the platform to try to raise funds to travel to South Africa to study disease transmission and interactions between Chacma baboons and South African ecotourists and residents.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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