Cancer Research UK is calling on the public to back its first ever crowdfunding campaign to finance life-saving research, as the deadline for donations looms.
The charity has for the first time launched three new projects that it hopes to fund entirely through crowdfunding. This will give the public a chance to get directly involved in funding their high-quality research.
The three projects have launched on the website IndieGoGo and the deadline for donations is midnight on 11th December 2014.
Crowdfunding uses donations from the public to directly back a project. The proposals are often only open for a limited time and, if the target funds are not met, the project is not funded and existing pledges are refunded.
The three crowdfunding projects and their fundraising targets are:
- Growing 3D lung tissue in a laboratory to beat cancer – £75,000
- Helping us find out how skin cancer spreads and hides – £75,000
- Agent EBV: Helping the immune system fight cancer – £40,000
Each project is being led by a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist who wants to carry out a piece of additional, high-quality research that falls outside their existing funding. They also use videos to pitch for donations and explain the aims of each project, giving the public a window into the world of cancer research and some of the life-saving work that is going on right now.
Dr Victoria Sanz-Moreno, based at King’s College London and leading the skin cancer project, said: “It’s been amazing to see the public support for our research, and to get such a positive response from people who are as excited by the project as we are. We’ve never tried this before so it’s an opportunity to get people more involved in our research. It’s also a great way for people to see some of the things we’re working on and directly help us to beat cancer sooner. But there isn’t long left before the opportunity to fund this project closes – so it would be great for more people to support this important research before it’s too late!”
Dr David Scott, director of research funding at Cancer Research UK, said: “Crowdfunding is growing more popular and offers an exciting new way to fund scientific research. Today, two in four people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that three in four people will survive cancer within the next 20 years. This means funding more scientists, more cutting-edge ideas and more high-quality research. To achieve this, we need to find new ways to fund innovative projects and crowdfunding could be one answer. We’re opening the doors to our scientists and their future research projects. By inviting everyone to be a part of the decision-making process, we can give them the power to make this crucial research happen now.”
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