Published on March 19, 2014
INTRODUCTION In times of austerity it would be incomprehensible not to pursue all avenues of possible funding for academic research that could lead to IP and publications. In a topic that is often talked about, and even has a few hits on google, there is no overarching paint-by-numbers to avoid common pitfalls and successfully translate research proposals into funded and then productive research. This proposal suggests that an investment needs to be made to explore the regulatory and legal landscape of crowdfunding research at an academic health/medical center; then that information will be used to construct oversight for a pilot project that stress-tests the viability of conducting further crowdfunded research at the institution.
VIABILITY OF PROJECT – INITIAL STAGE Action Item 01 – Survey the landscape for common legal and practical issue pitfalls. Deliverable: White paper addressing the lay of the land and the regulatory landscape of proceeding. Decision tree on whether project moves forward or not. Action Item 02 – Identify internal, System, and external resources for interview and coalition-building. Deliverable: A built-out rolodex of contact information, interview notes distilled into elevator-speech topics, and a PowerPoint presentation to pitch to management to allow the project moving forward. Action Item 03 – Develop HOOP policy, structural processes, and delineate stakeholder responsibilities. Deliverable: HOOP policy delivered to Legal Affairs for implementation. Workflows and swim lanes identifying stakeholders and responsibilities. Coalition documents further expanding on the white paper.
VIABILITY STAGE (CONTINUED) Action Item 04 – Push for SPA ownership of crowdfunding to clearly separate it from OTM’s start-up incubator. Deliverable: Institutional authority charging SPA with ownership instead of OTM. Action Item 05 – Word-of-mouth introduction to UTHSCH research community, web presence, and media marketing. Deliverable: Presentations on-campus with a digestible PowerPoint presentation, web presence in coordination with UTHSCH Media Relations, and presentable PDF to send out to interested parties. Action Item 06 – Networking with OTM, entrepreneurial community, biotech community, and other interested parties for exposure. Deliverable: A built-out rolodex of interested parties, community resources, and guidance on how to successfully launch pilot project for crowdfunding. Action Item 07 – Develop internal proposal routing form that collects all necessary information to assess viability of funding and scientific merit of proposal. Deliverable: Routing form that collects all required information.
INITIATION STAGE Action Item 08 – Call for internal proposals from staff and faculty. Deliverable: More than one proposal to review. Action Item 09 – Faculty proposals are collected, reviewed, and assessed for viability in pilot project. Deliverable: Process as articulated in HOOP policy is followed to ensure transparency in an unbiased review of proposals, and project is selected that meets both crowdfunding interest viability as well as scientific merit. Action Item 10 – Pilot project is selected, call for crowdfunding begins, and project is closely monitored for quality assurance and transparency. Deliverable: Crowdfunding metrics are reviewed, institutional compliance is followed, and reports are generated on the successes as well as failures in the pilot project. Everything is well-documented.
POST-MORTEM STAGE Action Item 11 – Debriefing after close of pilot project with lessons-learned. Deliverable: A direct and honest assessment of the pilot project’s failures and success are addressed in interviews, corresponding documents, and memorialized with a stakeholder report that addresses all aspects of the pilot project. Crowdfunding decision tree whether to open up to entire university faculty or if additional restrictions are merited. Action Item 12 – Policies and procedures are revised in accord with lessons-learned. Deliverable: HOOP policy and related processes are revised and disseminated. Action Item 13 – Crowdfunding is opened up to all faculty. Deliverable: Release to entire faculty, call for proposals to be processed through SPA. Action Item 14 – Ongoing monitoring and compliance. Updates and improvements to policies and processes as appropriate. Deliverable: Reports are generated as necessary; policies and processes are revised as appropriate.
CONCLUSION If you need help with crowdfunding, academic health/medical center contractual agreements, or Tech Transfer matters feel free to reach out to me: email@example.com
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