On Crowdsourcing

Categories: funding
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Published on: February 7, 2013

On Monday the BBSRC launched a ‘Crowdsourcing’ call, the first of its kind in the UK. Up to £2M is available to support a number of crowdsourcing projects. The intention to submit deadline is 5 March, and the full proposal needs to be in by 9 April. 

Crowdsourcing has principally been used for mapping phenomena across large areas, like the ash dieback app launched in the UK last year, or using as many willing volunteers as possible to do something that would take a single researcher and his computer more than their lifetime to complete, from working out potential protein structures with Foldit to searching for aliens with SETI. I searched the web for examples of crowdsourcing, and most of the projects are built on one of these two themes. Despite this, the list I made of the crowdsourced projects I found demonstrates the scope and power of crowdsourcing. Barely any on the list are plant science, but all involve general concepts applicable to many disciplines. Think about if there’s anywhere in your research crowdsourcing could be of assistance. If you have an idea for a crowdsourcing project but didn’t know where to start to set it up, this is an excellent opportunity to kick-start it. (more…)

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