scientifyRESEARCH
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Navigating research funding with ScientifyRESEARCH: 2023 recap and a glimpse into 2024 

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Navigating research funding with scientifyRESEARCH: 2023 recap and a glimpse into 2024 Kate Gardner, Co-founder A phone of sparkling numbers 2023 on a desk with a plant, clock and notebook.

 

2023 has been another year of noteworthy headlines and even more than before, societies around the world are leaning on our academic researchers to bring about innovation and solutions for the changes that we encounter. At scientifyRESEARCH, we have been unwavering in our commitment to connect researchers and research funders worldwide.  Throughout the year, we focused on enriching our funding database, forging partnerships and enhancing our offerings to provide even better support for researchers and research funders, globally.  

Continuous growth of global research grant data 

Research funding is a moving target, with changes in eligibility criteria, fluctuating funding amounts, and shifting deadlines. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the well-known funders. While many researchers might believe they have a handle on all available opportunities, we have been working hard to showcase as many funders as possible. We are passionately committed to unveiling even more funders, ensuring that researchers are not just aware but inspired by the wealth of possibilities. 

Our dedication to cultivating an expansive database of research grants has manifested in remarkable strides. Not only has our global research grant data continued its expansion, but it has also maintained a steadfast commitment to real-time updates. This dedication ensures that researchers have access to precise and current information — a vital resource for meeting deadlines and securing the funding needed to drive their groundbreaking work forward. 

Key research funding database achievements in 2023 that keep us motivated: 

  • 1.9 million page views this year 
  • 30,000 unique visitors per month 
  • 600 funders covered in our database 
  • 2300 grants listed  

Optimizing research funding discoverability 

One of the key challenges with research funding discoverability is the uptake of research funding databases. While many research institutions around the world spend their hard-earned budget on expensive research funding databases, many of their researchers remain oblivious to their subscriptions, and even when they are aware of these database, they are often frustrated by the inaccurate results that they receive.  

At scientifyRESEARCH, challenging this status quo is an important cornerstone to a better connection between researchers and research funders. To achieve this, we’re proud to maintain an open and freemium version of our database. To provide even better services to researchers, this year, we initiated our full premium database services, accelerating researchers’ funding quests with even more funding information and a suite of productivity tools to help researchers track research funding. Presently, our premium membership offers 14 eligibility filters and enhanced benefits. 

Co-creating our research funding database with university partners 

As a startup, we fully embrace the startup mantra of leveraging user feedback as a compass to guide us to develop an even better research funding database. This year, we signed an agreement with NCBS-TIFR / DBT-inStem in India, co-creating with us our dedicated research funding information for researchers in India.  

We’re proud of the fact that when our university premium clients have UX or requests for grant coverage, we’re able to iterate quickly and tailor our services to meet their needs. Some of the improvements that we have made this year based on our discussions include: 

  • Saving grants as “favorites” 
  • Exporting saved favorites as CSV and PDF  
  • Saving search filters for easy future search 
  • Adding grant information to calendar 
  • Adding additional filters to include coverage for indirect costs/overhead 
  • Changing grant search result to highlight for open/closed grants 

Behind every good website are great developers. This is the case for us at scientifyRESEARCH thanks to Kaviya Ayyappan and Divya Thulaseedharanpillai Saraswathyamma.  

Preaching the importance of research funding to new and old converts: Recognition from the academic publishing and start-up worlds  

Research funding is the start of all great things in the academic career. Often starting with PhD scholarships, followed by postdoctoral fellowships and then startup grants for the new independent investigator, each step is a milestone for the researcher and these funding opportunities make research happen. On our mission to empower researchers with research funding, we felt that bringing in more attention and interest from related sectors would only be beneficial for research and researchers.  

We started the year off in Berlin when our founder, Judy Mielke, spoke at the Academic Publishing in Europe Conference (APE 2023) in Berlin and was awarded the 2nd prize in the “dot coms to watch” competition. After the conference, we published an open access paper in IOS press: ScientifyRESEARCH, an equalizer to research funding information. 

We were also honored to receive the 2023 Flemingsberg Science Award from Venture Cup in Stockholm. Alongside the cash prize, this recognition granted us office space at Innovation Station in Flemingsberg, an upcoming area of Stockholm that is home to several university campuses, hospitals, and high-tech companies.  

At the VITAE conference in Manchester, we presented on “How Inclusive is Research Funding” by taking a look at the funders who have dedicated funding instruments for diversity funding. Here we connected with the Research Development and Management community. This fueled our commitment to providing researchers with training resources alongside our funding data. 

We continue to benefit from the Microsoft for Start-ups program, and we’ve been listed on the Outsell Emerging 50 list earlier this year. The support from the start-up world beyond research services is an honor for us. We are thrilled to amplify the significance of research funding, extending our enthusiasm beyond the academic realm to engage and enlighten a broader, non-academic audience. 

Empowering the research community through educational webinars  

One of the highlights of this year was our continued commitment to knowledge dissemination whether it’s about research funding or any other skill required for a successful academic career. We proudly hosted a series of free webinars featuring expert guest speakers on useful and relevant topics for researchers. From our perspective, just having access to research funding information alone is not enough – researchers need training to understand how to improve their chances for success. Here’s a look back at some of the great capacity-building webinars we hosted: 

We were also invited to give talks at the HERS-EA Academy, sR-Tiget, Södertorn Innovation Day and Stockholm University. Attending some in-person events has been a real joy this year. 

Sign up for event alert emails and never miss the news about upcoming events. Next year will be just as exciting!  

Research funding consultancy services  

For researchers looking for funding advice, we initiated a consultation service where researchers can book a time with us to discuss how to find the best-suited funding. We’re quite proud of our ability to point researchers in the right direction with their funding search, and we’re optimistic that our suggestions will lead researchers to securing funding from new funding sources!    

Going further in the research funding space with strategic partnerships 

In line with our dedication to support researchers with tools and resources for successful careers, we solidified partnerships with organizations that share similar goals.  

  1. GrantDesk from Cactus Communications 

Our collaboration with GrantDesk, powered by Cactus, marks a significant milestone for helping researchers with success at every step of the funding process. The partnership strengthens our ability to refer our network to expert grant-writing support services, improving their odds at becoming successfully funded.  

  1. OA.mg Premium + Friends 

This partnership demonstrates our commitment to open access and bringing useful tools to the attention of researchers.  

Even more resources for researchers with our research funding blog 

We had support from two Postdocs from the Karolinska Institute this year who took on Digital Storytelling roles to bring valuable content to our blog: Dr. Kristen Schroeder and Dr. Swapnali Bardi. Their expertise and dedication were instrumental in spearheading a new era of storytelling within our blog content.  

Under Dr. Kristen Schroeder’s guidance, we launched an engaging series on our blog titled “Innovative Support for Researchers.” This series featured exclusive interviews with founders of various research services companies and tools. These discussions provided a unique insight into the evolving landscape of research support, offering our audience firsthand perspectives and expertise from industry leaders. 

We maintained our commitment to providing unparalleled guidance to researchers by conducting interviews with funders and funding recipients. Through these insightful conversations, we aimed to unearth the invaluable tips and tricks essential for successful funding applications, ensuring that our audience remains well-equipped in navigating the competitive funding landscape. 

We engaged two Erasmus students, Inés Planchuelo Redondo and Helena Taveres, who assisted us with translating our blogs from English to Spanish and Portuguese – with the aim to bring our content to even more researchers globally. Julia Spielbauer, a neuroscience PhD student at Karolinska is assisting us with translating our blogs to German.  

A special thanks to all who worked on our digital marketing this year – Amrita Chowdhury, Titilope Oldiran and Athira Suresh Kumar Mini. Our efforts are futile if researchers are not aware. Our notable increase in social media followers, subscribers, database traffic and, most importantly, the recognition from researchers and university research offices regarding the value of our premium database, stands as a testament to the power of effective communication.  

More support for research funders 

When it comes to usage of our research funding database, we are proud that our website traffic is among the top among research funding databases, according to the industry website traffic comparison website SEMRush. Thanks to the open version of our database, we enjoy a healthy amount of traffic that continues its steady increase over the past year. Thanks to this visibility, we are able to support research funders with strategic advertising of their grant opportunities. It’s always free to post a grant in our database, but we can prepare bespoke adverts, boost grants to higher visibility, place ads in our newsletter or grant alerts and more! 

Reflecting on progress and unveiling future initiatives for the research community 

As we reflect on the accomplishments of the past year, we’re energized and committed to bringing more funding opportunities to light, fostering collaborations and continuing to serve the ever-evolving needs of the research community in the upcoming year. We express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey. 

At scientifyRESEARCH, our mission is to help researchers get research funding and our vision is for a world where the best research and the most promising researchers are funded. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in the pipeline as we gear up to make 2024 even more impactful for the research community.  

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Wishing everyone a wonderful end to the year! 

Judy Mielke and Kate Gardner

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