The process of finding relevant grants and donors for medical research is set to be significantly streamlined, thanks to new online directory called Philanthrovate that aims to connect funders and researchers in the health sector.
Previously, researchers often needed to find and search individual websites of foundations and other grantmaking bodies to find potential funding in their specific fields of research.
Launched by health and medical consultancy Centuris in February, Philanthrovate is a self-managed and searchable online directory that is free for both funders and researchers to use, and aims to become a centralised resource for grants in the sector.
The platform aims to help researchers focus on their work by reducing time spent searching for relevant grants, while helping funders attract a greater breadth of research that matches their giving criteria.
Funders can set up a free self-managed listing on the platform that includes key information, such as where they give (eg NSW), broad areas of research (eg basic science), burdens of disease (eg asthma), what they support (eg scholarships), and key words.
The listings can also include summaries of the funder’s mission, funding strategy, application and review processes, timing for grant rounds (including if they are open or closed), as well as frequently asked questions.
Along with using this information to search for and find relevant grants, researchers can register with the platform to follow funding organisations on their dashboard, learn about how and when to apply, or click through to a funder’s website for more detailed information.
Centuris director Julie-Anne White says “Philanthrovate supports researchers and funders by using filters (including national standards) to help relevant researchers and funders connect.
“Philanthrovate helps researchers and philanthropic organisations connect efficiently and effectively. Matching criteria helps organisations promote grants to relevant researchers who can follow organisations of interest,” White says.
“Researchers and funders can both spend considerable time and resources seeking, applying, reviewing and assessing opportunities for support. Creating a central directory provides efficiencies and increases effectiveness for both funders and researchers.
“Funders can update their information and promote open grant rounds utilising filters to help attract and connect with relevant researchers and reduce the number of non-relevant approaches for funding.
“Funders maintain control of their funding processes and applications. Researchers are directed back to their websites or stated application processes.”
According to White, the challenge for Philanthrovate is to get critical mass, with the site’s usefulness increasing in line with the number of funders using it.
“In the medium-to-long term we are looking to expand and open listings to include investors (such as venture capital, angel, impact investors, private equity) and industry (pharma/medtech biotechnology),” White says.
“This will help funders and researchers across the sector to identify and connect more broadly and assist with translational support and pathways.
“In the future we will consider the potential to add premium services (eg job boards) and sponsorship opportunities. There is no current intention or plan for the site to enable, promote or participate in fundraising activities.”