In the David and Goliath world of science research funding, young scientists who lack the experience and PI status to pull in funding from sources like the NIH and NSF now have a new resource at petridish.org. The website, just launched in a beta version, allows scientists to appeal to ordinary folk for funding to support their research, with typically modest goals of $10,000 or less. The nine projects that debuted on petridish.org are almost all led by PhD candidates, post-docs, and staff researchers from top universities, and most are looking to travel to do data collection for life science projects. These could be tomorrow's big names in science research, getting innovative about moving their research forward now.
As one scientist said of her and a colleague's experiment in online crowdfunding for their biology research project (quoted in a New York Times Science article):