Deakin's latest round of crowdfunding projects has been launched, with five new projects now seeking support.
The five projects that make up the first 2014 cycle of Research My World - the crowdfunding initiative between Deakin and Pozible - are calling for donations from as little as $2.00. Each project aims to raise between $5000 and $10,000, through which the researchers aim to improve the world in some way, in their respective areas.
Whether it be supporting mental health in Kenya, helping to reduce the stigma of diabetes, or recording and celebrating the history of Buddhism in Australia, the researchers are all motivated to "make a difference".
Founder of the Research My World program, Professor Deb Verhoeven, said that she is delighted to see the program flourishing.
"I think that both the research community and the public are fully aware of the terrific benefits that flow from this form of engagement," Professor Verhoeven said.
"Deakin was the first university in Australia to use crowdfunding in this way," she added. "Other universities are now starting to see its potential, and there is plenty of support to go around.
"Research My World is a fantastic way to involve the community in tremendously worthwhile projects that, in many cases, wouldn’t otherwise proceed."
The current 2014 Research My World projects are:
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
Led by Dr Anna Halafoff, Mr Edwin Ng, and Ms Praveena Rajkobal, this project is the first stage of a larger, long-term research program that will investigate the changing nature of Buddhism, and what it is like to be a Buddhist, in Australia.
Led by Dr Cristina Gardu?o Freeman, this project is about creative ways for people to capture views on places they care about. The mobile app Dr Gardu?o Freeman and her team plan to develop will turn everyday kinds of participation, such as photography or walking, into evidence that has the ability to influence actions from government and corporate interests on the future of the places that matter to people.
Hips 4 Hipsters
Led by seasoned campaigner Dr Mel Thomson, Hips 4 Hipsters aims to develop and test new treatments for superbug bacterial implant infections. If successful, the funds will be used to set up a platform to test new compounds for antibacterial action against biofilm-forming bacteria. This project is the start of a "bench to bedside" collaboration, with input from chemical engineers, infectious disease specialists and orthopaedic surgeons.
Kenya Healthy Minds
Led by Elijah Marangu, this project aims to identify gaps in mental health care in Kenya. The results will be used to inform capacity building strategies to improve mental health care in Kenya, in primary health care settings.
The Diabetes Stigma: A Real Problem
Led by Dr Jessica Browne and Ms Adriana Ventura, this project is focused on gaining a wider understanding of the perception and experience of diabetes stigma. The more that is known about how and why stigma around diabetes happens, the more it can be addressed, enabling people with diabetes to live their lives free of this burden.