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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Experiment and other crowdfunding sites?

Experiment is created for science, by scientists.

What happens if a fundraising campaign doesn't reach the goal?

Experiment is an all-or-nothing fundraising platform. If the project doesn't reach it's goal, then none of the pledges are charged.

Who normally funds projects on Experiment?

The short answer: everyone! The internet connects researchers, artists, philanthropists, and general fans of science.

Does Experiment let scientists offer rewards?

We believe science is the real reward. On Experiment, backers support research so they can see the science move forward. Researchers publish methods, lab notes, and results, showing the donors exactly where their money goes. Sometimes this can involve a tangible reward, but we encourage scientists to focus on the science first.

Are people doing real science on Experiment?

Yes, backers on Experiment have funded 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, and all updates are citeable. But really, we define real science as taking a hypothesis, gathering the data, and presenting the results to an audience.

Does anyone review or approve the science behind the projects?

Our team reviews and approves each experiment before they launch publicly, to evaluate whether or not it's a good fit for Experiment. Check out our start page for more information on our review criteria.

What is the cost of starting a project?

It's totally, 100% free to start an experiment. Once your project is funded, we then take an 8% platform processing fee, which helps keep our servers running and supports our project review efforts.

Is any institutional overhead included?

In most cases, when funds are transferred to researchers at an academic institution they are not subject to university overhead. Click here for more information about working with your university.

Is Experiment a non-profit or for-profit organization?

Experiment is a mission-driven for-profit company. Though really, we're a happy melting pot of science, social entrepreneurship, and tech startup.

I want some stickers!

Send us an email with your mailing address!

Does Experiment do marketing for me?

No, because then that would not be effective science communication! Great experiments are great executions in science storytelling, it's the thread that ties this whole thing together. That said, check out our stats for a snapshot of the size of Experiment's growing community.

What are your evaluation criteria for potential projects?

The Experiment team takes on a large task in reviewing each and every project proposal on the site. We currently review projects based on three core criteria:

1. The researcher's identity is verified. Is the researcher trusted and legitimate?
2. The projects seeks to answer a scientific question. Is there a research question that is driving the project?
3. The researcher is capable of meeting the project goals. Does the researcher have the right resources to meet the scientific challenge? Are the goals realistic enough to be achievable?

As a project creator on Experiment, your submitted project proposal must appropriately meet our above criteria. If you have any questions or concerns about your project proposal, contact us.

How can I make my project better for review?

The best way to prepare your campaign is to look at the great many examples of past successful projects on Experiment. We've also got case studies of funded campaigns.

If I post my project online, will I get scooped?

Our goal is to help researchers connect with backers for a rewarding and transparent experience. Experiment works not because of keystone data sets or evidence, but because of the story. If you have sensitive data or information, you can choose to share it only with backers, or you can choose to not share it at all. We only encourage transparency and openness as a way to help your backers understand the scientific impact, but there are many other ways to do so without giving up your secret sauce. If you have any questions, just reach out.

Should I use Experiment to replace my traditional grant funding?

Sure! But, just don't treat it like a grant. We've had tons of great projects that have supplemented existing grant funding. Things like travel costs, researcher stipends, conference/publishing fees, and equipment have all been funded on Experiment.

Can I delete my project?

Projects can not be deleted. When the campaign ends, it will no longer be discoverable by common search engines, but the URL will still exist.

Can I launch a project outside of the U.S.?

At this time, we are only hosting projects based in the United States. However, we plan to be available internationally soon. In preparation, we're piloting select projects in Canada, Australia, and the UK. If you're a researcher based in one of these countries, we encourage you to submit this short questionnaire to see if you're eligible.

If you're based elsewhere, we can let you know when Experiment is available in your country. Just let us know how to reach you here.

What is the Open Access badge?

Projects with the Open Access badge mean that the researcher pledges to release all results of the project in an openly accessible way. Whether it's lab notes posted on Experiment or a final peer-reviewed article published in an open access journal, we encourage all researchers to do so. Click here to learn more about why Open Access is important.

What is the Peer Reviewed badge?

Projects with the Peer Reviewed badge mean that the project has been evaluated and approved by a committee of trusted scientific peers. Currently, only projects from official institutional partners may have a Peer Reviewed badge. If you would like to learn more about having your project peer reviewed, click here to visit our Institutions page.

What is the Tax Receipt badge?

Any pledges made towards projects with the Tax Receipt badge are considered tax deductible. Currently, only projects from official institutional partners may have the Tax Receipt badge.

Are the donations tax-deductible?

Donations are tax-deductible for certain Experiment projects, indicated by a special badge on the project page. To verify if a project you're interested in funding is eligible, please send an email to contact@experiment.com.

Can I get a refund?

No, sorry. All payments that go through once a project has met its goal and deadline will be final.

I forgot my password

That's okay! You can go here to reset it.

How can I contact you?

Our team at Experiment would love to hear from you! You can email us directly at contact@experiment.com. We like to write long-winded personal emails, and sometimes we attach pictures of cats and Neil deGrasse Tyson.


At Experiment we strive to make sure our community is secure.
If you would like to notify the team about any security issues, please contact us at contact@experiment.com. We reward handsomely in T-shirts and stickers.