UWA’s bold initiative, Crowd Research, is building strong connections to community and now has over 6000 people engaging with the latest UWA research discoveries.
Through the initiative, volunteers can either contribute to research projects by donating or they can participate in helping researchers gather data.
“Once a community feels connected with a research project, they form a connection with UWA. Recent support for our successful crowd research projects is testament to this,” says Dr Campbell Thomson, Director of UWA’s Office of Research Enterprise.
To date the initiative has raised over $104,000 from over 600 donations to help projects achieve their research goals.
On 27 April a Crowd Research Seminar: What Crowd Research at UWA can do for you will give researchers and PhD students insight into the program from those who have experienced it personally.
Dr Jennifer Stone, Senior Research Fellow from UWA’s Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease, is an internationally recognised expert in mammographic density research who is inviting women aged 18-40 to participate in their Trans illumination Breast Spectroscopy (TiBS) Breast Density Pilot Study.
“The Crowd Research website has been invaluable. It gave our study a ‘digital home’ and a link to additional information, while the Facebook posts helped us reach a much larger audience.
“We had one Facebook share from a participant that resulted in 160 new interested participants in 24 hours.
“I wasn’t keen to produce a video but the Office of Research and Enterprise staff suggested it would assist our promotions and I still can’t believe how many times it’s been viewed.
“We now have 95 percent of our target number of participants with Crowd Research speeding up our recruitment process.” Dr Stone said.
Melinda Fitzgerald, Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow at UWA’s School of Biological Sciences, said the campaign helped her team join an Antarctica expedition, where climate change was used as an example as to how women can make a difference in the world.
“The proportion of women in leadership positions in science is only 15 percent and through the expedition we aimed to build a global collaboration and empower women to redress the gender imbalance.
“We were very grateful to the many people who supported us with large or small donations. Without the Crowd Research campaign we would have found it difficult to raise the funds we needed.
“Our Crowd Research campaign was a great success because we put a lot of time and effort into running events and promoting what we were doing.
“My advice to researchers considering Crowd Research is to ensure that you have a well-planned social media strategy to ensure a strong media presence before you start your campaign,” Associate Professor Fitzgerald said.
Hear more at this free event register by 21 April at Eventbrite