When you fund your scientific project in need of an emergency, you will need to make sure that you do not go overboard and spend all the money that you receive at one go. This will leave you in the same place as you were before you received the funds. This is the principle that you should follow whether it is your business funding or any important science project.
There are several lawmakers who designed a specific bill to test the universal basic income.
- The primary idea behind this is to allow them to have a fixed monthly stipend to support their families without having to go through reams of paperwork in order to assess eligibility.
- It is believed that this will streamline the system and help in allocating the resources more fairly not having to experience the bureaucratic bloat.
Several researchers believe that there is something similar required to be designed and used to fund science, that requires a lot of money for any specific project. It will then assure that all qualified scientists involved in a particular project is guaranteed of some funding to go ahead without requiring and waiting for the government grants to arrive for that particular project.
The goal to achieve
However, there is a typical step to follow in order to achieve the desired goal of such allocation and distribution. It is required that everyone in the team anonymously allocate a portion of the funds they receive to other researchers according to their own choosing.
This will enable the team and every member of it to facilitate the process and reach to the primary objective of the system. This goal is to let the scientists devote more time for the research.
- This will have a dual effect. The project will have more attention of the researchers so that the entire project is expedited.
- On the other hand, there will be proper allocation and distribution of funds to all the necessary areas of the project.
According to a study it is estimated that scientists together spent more than five centuries of time for preparing 3,727 proposals. The reviews to this prove that the quality of such massive scientific research may improve with proper funding. Now, the question is whether such a huge amount spent on such research activities are truly worth it.
Checking the feasibility of science fund
In order to prove the feasibility of such funding, the scientific community of the world are always on the lookout to explore new ways to improve the grant review. These new ways proposed include:
- New evaluation systems
- A modified lottery for the most promising proposals
- Funding only those that are deemed to be both transformative and viable and others.
However, none of these proposals are over and above the bureaucratic burden and red tape issues. Considering the current funding rates, the scientists and researchers are supposed to continue with their exploration of newer ways and will spend more time than expected to applying for grants.
It is also expected that these grants will have a less-certain outcome meaning that they will have far too less time doing science.
Time for trying something radical
With so much uncertainty in such funding it is time to find out new ways and try something radical. It is expected that this radical change will bring the sort of change that has been noticed in the money lending market with the entry of the online money lending agencies such as Liberty Lending USA and other fintech companies that have disrupted the traditional banking and lending system.
In science funding, it is high time to test the feasibility of a crowd-based system that will involve several colleagues. This system is more commonly called the SOFA or Self-Organizing Funding Allocation. There are several countries that are already started pilot projects of SOFA to find the best and most effective alternative modes of funding.
This project however should be large enough so that it can fund larger projects and lasts long enough so that proper evaluation is possible. It is required to publish the evidence so that other scientists and researchers know the right pathto implement so that they can make the best of the system and reach to their goals in a more productive and effective way.
Follow the baseline
However, it is required to ensure that this process is anonymous so that it does not carry the currying favor and ensure that those who do not receive any donation still have their respective baseline.
- Every participant in the project should follow a particular baseline and start with the same allocation of funding.
- In addition to that, they should also allot a portion of their funds received to other scientists.
- This will ensure that, ‘Those who get the most will give the most in return,’ which is ideally the prime objective of SOFA.
The ‘baseline’ as well as the ‘donation’ should be offered in cycles and should be repeated every year. This will ensure that the distribution of funding is proper and reflectsthe community consensus. It will help in determining who deserves it and how much.
Retaining the assumption
the funding for science should retain the assumption of the grant review which is that the scientists know it best as to who does good science and extend the process and proceeds according to all scientists involved in the process instead of a small review panel.
- It will help them to ensure that there is a stable source of funding offered to the early-career researchers as well.
- It will also ensure that the funders are able to develop different grant programs according to their needs and at the same time encourage a few specific areas of research such as the risky new topics.
In order to ensure these, there is a need to run a simulation assuming that every scientist funded donates to those cited. This in fact, requires a hypothetical funding distribution that is much similar to the grant review, surprisingly.
All these will ensure that the fund is allocated and distributed according to the needs.