FAQs

How much does it cost to post a project at FutSci?

It's free to post a project on FutSci. All it costs is the time it takes you to complete the application form (shorter than any basic grant application but still vetted for scientific robustness and deliverability). We run both all-or-nothing and flexible funding models. You need to discuss this with us prior to launching your campaign. We offer two fee models for DIY and Managed campaigns. Please send enquiries to info@futsci.com  Additional fees include those levied by Stripe (1.9 % + 20p/transaction). All Gift Aid belongs to you.


Who is eligible to post a project on FutSci?

Any researcher affiliated with a recognised institute or company is free to post a project on FutSci. All researchers will undergo a background check to ensure they are eligible and that they are able to perform the project they post.

All individuals are screened to verify identity and referees will be contacted prior to acceptance of the project and posting on the website.

Contacts at the HR or finance department of the Institute will be contacted prior to project being accepted.


How/who are Projects vetted?

All projects are vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee to assess feasibility of the project, scientific plausibility, accurate budget calculations.

Members of the SAC will be bound to disclose competing interests of any incoming applications and will be excluded from vetting that application.

 


What are the criteria for Projects?

The Scientific Advisory Committee reviews every single application and assesses the project on:

  • the researchers identity and credentials being verified by the host institution
  • whether the project has a clear scientific question
  • whether the researcher is able to meet the goals with the available resources

During the application process and after there is opportunity for you as the researcher to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the project. We will try and help you as much as possible.


Who will have access to my project details?

Only the sections that have “live” next to them on the application form will be viewed by anyone visiting the FutSci website, all other information is kept confidential. We retain the right to edit any information on your application form we feel may not be suitable for public viewing. We will let you know if this is the case with your project prior to posting live.


Who can fund a project?

Anyone can back a project.


Who owns the data generated from successfully funded projects?

All data derived from the research funded by the public is the property of the researcher and/or their Institution or Company. Backers are free to ask questions and have discussion with the scientists involved but have no rights to the projects or the subsequent applications.


Disclosure of unpublished data

It is the responsibility of the researcher as to how much information is displayed on the site. FutSci suggests that you check with the appropriate Business department within your institution as to intellectual property procedures for disclosure. Please make sure that any data published here does not prevent you from publishing elsewhere. It is not the responsibility of FutSci to check this prior to accepting the application form and for posting subsequent project updates.


Do I have to set the time target or will it automatically be 3 months?

In theory the campaign can be open for backing for a maximum of three months. The researcher decides on the length of time, however we do not advise anything less than one month. If the time target is left blank it will automatically be set for 90 days. If you would like to extend the campign beyond 90 days contact us.


I am worried my ideas will be stolen. What is the information access like?

Only members of the SAC will see the project application. Members of the SAC will be bound to disclose competing interests of any incoming applications and will be excluded from vetting that application. All the information you provide is kept confidential by FutSci.


Can I delete my project once it goes live?

No.


Can I amend my project once it goes live?

Only minor errors such as spelling mistakes can be amended.


What happens when the successfully funded project results in negative data?

Negative data is just as important as positive data. It tells scientists that they're following the wrong path or may give them insight into what they're looking for. You never know what might come of this.


What obligations do I have to people who have funded me?

Your obligation is to perform the research to the best of your ability, to honestly report the results and be willing to explain your project and results in simple easy to understand manner. The project and all data and applications generated from it belongs to you. You are obliged to provide a report 6months - 1 year after a successfully funded project.


How do I know I can trust a researcher, how do I know if the project is worthwhile?

If you need to know more about the researcher look at their on-line presence, have a look at the publication list at the end of their project, however bear in mind that this site is also about helping scientists who are not well known to make a breakthrough and make a name for themselves, so they may not have a huge online presence. Have a look at their video and if they don’t have one perhaps ask them whether they could add one for clarity.

If the project does not appear clear to you then please use the opportunity prior to donating to communicate with the researcher to find out more. We strongly recommend you ask them as many questions as you want about their research prior to clicking the “back project” button.

All researchers credentials have been verified by FutSci and their projects have been vetted by our Scientific Advisory Committee. Where possible the projects have been through their respective institutional or company internal review process


What kind of company is FutSci?

FutSci is a private limited company. However we are in the process of converting to a Community Interest Company (CIC). Our mission is to promote the funding of all Science, big and small, projects that have a point now and those that don’t seem obvious at present but which could yield invaluable insights tomorrow. The vision we have is that the FutSci platform will enable you, the public, to invest in and support the scientists of today and tomorrow.

Fees go towards administration and upkeep of the platform. This model has the advantage of sustaining our philanthropic aims. We would like to encourage science as career by offering mentorship programmes between scientists and scholars and opportunities for pupils , within the remit of their respective school policy, to meet scientists and see scientific/academic work areas. We want to promote open dialogue between the public and scientists to address issues around gender diversity that exists in a career spanning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


Who is responsible should a project not work?

Negative data is part and parcel of science. If a project does not work or show the expected results this is also important as it tells the scientists that they need to follow a different line of inquiry.

FutSci does not check the results of the researcher once the project closes.

FutSci does not solve disputes either between donors and researchers or between donors or between researchers.


What FutSci will do to ensure safety, transparency and credibility?

All projects are vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee (a team of researchers in life science) to assess feasibility of the project, scientific plausibility, accurate budget calculations.

Members of the SAC will be bound to disclose competing interests of any incoming applications and will be excluded from vetting that application.

All individuals are screened to verify identity and referees will be contacted prior to acceptance of the project and posting on the website.

Contacts at the HR or finance department of the Institute will be contacted prior to project being accepted.

If the researcher “opts in” to being a scientific mentor to school children/school leavers then we will help the researcher apply for CRB clearance prior to contact being made.


What can researchers and donors do to help transparency?

If you as a donor or as a researcher come across anything that you think is untoward or suspicious please go to “contact us” and report it to us.

In the event that something suspicious is thought to have occurred, for safety of both donors and researchers, FutSci will temporarily suspend the project until the problem is verified and resolved.

The platform is only as good as the users and so we rely on you the donors and the researchers to be open about how things could be made easier and things you don’t like by using the feedback forms available. We only ask that you are polite and courteous in all your interactions and in that way we ensure longevity of the platform for generations to come


What do I get from funding a project?

You know who you are funding and what research they are doing with your money. You are supporting a scientist to continue in their chosen scientific field or to continue to follow a scientific hypothesis that may one day lead to a ground breaking technique in medicine, a potential cure for a rare disease or even to become a Nobel Prize winner!

6 months to a year after the project is completed you will get an update by email.

Some projects may offer the top backers acknowledgements in presentations and publications, lookout for these.


How are funds processed?

All payment received from the backers will be held in a holding account set up between the researcher and Stripe. FutSci will not have any role in holding these funds and will not have access to these funds. Stripe’s secure crowdfunding platform will authorise money collection. Our platform is continuously monitored by our technical team. We do not store credit card details. There is in-built data tracking and verification as well as an audit trail.


Are we affiliated with any institutes posting projects?/ How is Futsci connected to the researchers?

We are not affiliated with any institutes. We partner with Researchers, Institutes, Charities and Companies to promote their research, innovations and technology


What if a project is unsuccessful in reaching its target?

All backers are refunded. FutSci does not take any fees, researchers are not charged anything. If you wish to use the flexible funding model please do let us know.


What is FutSci’s liability for the projects posted?

We are not affiliated with scientists or institutes. The SAC vet the projects on the robustness of the science and on feasibility of carrying out the project to completion.

FutSci does not check the results of the researcher once the project closes. FutSci does not solve disputes either between donors and researchers or between donors or between researchers. Conflicts of interest if any will be disclosed.


What if I decide I don’t want to fund a project anymore?

We are unable to refund money unless a project does not meet its target. If you have any questions please use the opportunity prior to donating to communicate with the researcher to find out more. We strongly recommend you ask the researcher as much as you want prior to clicking the “back project” button.


Why use FutSci for funding?

This platform offers researchers the opportunity to “run” with their scientific creativity. We want to encourage “out-of-the-box’ thinking, so called “blue-sky” research which may yield unexpected and exciting results.

It is free to post a project on our platform.The application form is shorter than any grant application form.

This is the only platform run by scientists for scientists. We know what the science arena is like and we feel we are well placed to help bridge the gap between the public and the researchers.


Security – card details, personal details

We use a secure Stripe payment gateway. We do not store credit card or personal details.


How/When will I be informed of the project progress?

6 months to 1year after project closure the researcher will send an email with an update. This is one of the commitments that the researcher makes when they sign-up to post their project on the FutSci website.


Who will put my project plan online?

Applications are made online by researcher.


How long will project details be stored?

Indefinitely on our secure servers.


How long will old projects be kept online?

A searchable archive of old projects will be kept online indefinitely


Can children post projects

No, the applicant must be 18 years or older.


What strategies do you recommend for launching my campaign?

See application guidelines https://www.futsci.com/page/guidelines for further information. We encourage you to contact us at info@futsci.com to discuss your work. We work closely with researchers to develope and launch your campaign.


How long will the whole process take once I have made my project application?

We aim to get back to you as soon as possible - approximately 3 working days.


What type of school projects can I post?

You can post a project for equipment such as microscopes or telescopes or for a group of children to attend a scientific seminar or visit a place of scientific interest, anything captures or stimulates children to engage in science. Please feel free to contact us for any further clarification.