I recently participated in a crowdfunding campaign, described here, to fund a project that will allow me to work with an undergraduate student for part of summer 2012. This week I got the check in the mail, so work on the project is starting! What’s that you say? Isn’t it supposed to be for summer research? Sure, but did you know a lot of work takes place before a research project can get started? Someone has to plan out the experiments in detail and order all the correct supplies. Since my project funding includes a stipend for an undergraduate student, there will be an application process to choose the student. Finally, I will be working with Western Washington University to set up the undergraduate research stipend. I am pretty sure this will be the first crowdfunded research on our campus, and the administrators I’ve communicated with about it have been very supportive. Still, it takes a little time and effort to get everything set up in compliance with university regulations.
In the meantime, I am also working on sending out thank-you gifts to my funders. If you are expecting a postcard, it should arrive sometime in January. If you are expecting a signed picture of the lab group, that will be sent your way in the Spring after the research group for this project has officially formed.