Ph.D. Students Use Crowdfunding to Finance Research

Two UConn doctorate students say say national funding for research has clammed up in recent years, so the pair is doing what many scientists, along with movie makers, artists, and others have done to raise money: crowd funding.

"Learning how that bacteria interacts directly with a host like a squid will give implications for how our bacteria might interact in our stomach," said UConn Ph.D. student Andrea Suria.

Using a site called, scientists like Suria and fellow student Sarah McAnulty advertise their project through a video seeking donations.

"We just ask people if they are interested to donate anything they can-five, ten, twenty dollars," explained McAnulty.

The return on investment can be tangible, like naming rights, or something tough to put a price on.

"If you feel good about learning about science, these basic discoveries, maybe you want to give to us," said Suria.

The duo is also working with UConn’s pharmacy school to see if their research has any benefits for humans "that we could maybe develop into antibiotics years down the line," said Suria.

"The way you really do research that's cutting edge – you have to have money for it," explained McAnulty.

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