I am a graduate student about to complete my PhD in chemistry at the University of New Hampshire. In Spring 2016, I synthesized a new molecule to improve on a preexisting radiopharmaceutical that is administered to patients undergoing PET imaging. I needed to test the molecule in vitro and in vivo, but unfotunately all my attempts to find collaborators in the biology field were unsuccessful. After realizing that there was no service/platform that could match researchers seeking collaborations with one another, I decided to establish one.
In summer 2016, I sat down with a friend of mine who is a web developer and my wife who is a web designer and a marketing specialist and started working on SCICOL (www.scicol.org). On SCICOL, researchers from all backgrounds and disciplines can easily post or browse requests for research collaborations, saving them substantial time and money.
Currently, the main way researchers find new collaborations is by attending conferences, but they are inaccessible for many and inconvenient to attend frequently, especially for researchers overseas or from different disciplines. It is even harder for graduate students and junior researchers, who are on low budget and have few connections, but who are the most in need of publishing new work to get good jobs and expand their knowledge. Add to the list those who have graduated and would like to utilize their expertise to get published, to increase their chances of landing a job.
Researchers in institutions and regions with limited resources have extraordinary untapped potential to perform incredible work, they are just lacking the funding and connections to do so. Simultaneously, plenty of well-funded institutes around the world have instruments that go unused, and researchers who are interested in working on new collaborative projects but don’t know where to begin.
As the funding for research becomes scarcer and more competitive (and the importance of scientific research being sometimes undervalued, especially in the US), I hope this site will allow researchers to take matters into their own hands to expand their capabilities and produce more invaluable work. Why rely on governments and organizations whose interests can change overnight, when the resources and expertise are readily available.
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