Instrumental Access 2015: 67 Applications from 25 Countries!

Seeding Labs Announcements, Blog

We are pleased to announce that Seeding Labs received  67 applications from scientists in 25 countries for Instrumental Access 2015, our flagship lab equipment program. Instrumental Access provides high-quality scientific instruments and supplies to university departments in developing countries around the world at significantly reduced costs. Seeding Labs staff, along with a panel of qualified scientific reviewers, will now begin an extensive process to assess applications. An official announcement of 2015 awardees is expected in early 2016.

This cohort of applicants presents a unique picture of scientific need in developing countries, filling a need for information about the state of global science. Among this year’s applicants were university departments from all areas of the developing world, including Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Bangladesh, and Malawi. Ten new countries applied to Instrumental Access, including Colombia, Mozambique, and Pakistan. The Sub-Saharan African region produced 79% of 2015 applications, with Nigeria responsible for one-third of those applications.

IA-2015-applicants-by-country

In the Instrumental Access application, we ask prospective equipment recipients to share a specific research area in which the new equipment would be a critical asset. Among 22 research areas, the most common answers included drug discovery and development, nutrition, and food safety. These three research topics were represented on more than half of the applications and are especially relevant, given that they are each scientific frontiers in which research conducted regionally can have far greater impact globally. The most common areas of academic discipline were biology, chemistry, and health sciences/medicine, representing an accurate cross-section of the scientists Seeding Labs serves.

IA-2015-applicants-by-discipline

 

This year, Instrumental Access drew a large number of applications from young research departments, with 63% of institutions founded after 1999 and 24% after 2010. Young departments in developing countries often have the physical lab facilities required for the hands-on training that is essential to science education but lack the equipment to effectively deliver practical instruction to students. The Instrumental Access application process ensures that awardees have immense potential to further develop, accelerate, and bolster teaching and research efforts, while also confirming that recipients have sufficient infrastructure and capacity to set up, calibrate, and maintain equipment.IA-2015-most-requested-equipment

To meet the equipment needs outlined in Instrumental Access applications, we source donations of new and surplus lab equipment, instruments, and supplies from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and manufacturing corporations. These donations will make it possible for us to award 15 to 17 equipment shipments to university departments from the 2015 cohort of applications. The most frequently requested equipment from this year’s applicants include HPLC stacks, DNA sequencers, and spectrophotometers. These pieces of equipment are relatively common in the labs of developed settings but are often inaccessible in emerging regions of the globe with developing scientific infrastructure.

While Instrumental Access applications have closed for university departments, equipment donation is a year-round need for Seeding Labs. Individuals, corporations, and manufacturers interested in learning more about donating equipment, funds, or time to Seeding Labs can visit our Donate Equipment page or email us at equipment@seedinglabs.org.

Socializing for Science

Melissa Wu Announcements, Blog

There’s nothing better than getting out of the lab and enjoying a few drinks with friends – especially when you know that you’re making a difference while having fun.

2015-01-28 Rutgers Fundraiser-Rutgers Seeding Labs and Neuroconnection members crop

The Rutgers NeuroConnections Club and Seeding Labs chapter mingle

The Rutgers University Seeding Labs chapter is passionate about global science. For several years, they’ve been supporting Seeding Labs’ mission through raising awareness, holding fundraisers, and collecting equipment. They’ve experimented with different activities and have hit on one intersection of interests for graduate students: socializing and global science!

On January 28, 2015, our Rutgers University Seeding Labs chapter gathered friends, classmates, and colleagues for a happy hour fundraiser at the George Street Ale House in New Brunswick, NJ. For a $5 entry fee, students had a relaxing venue, tasty appetizers, and room for conversation. Co-organized by chapter members Eva Rubio and Valentina Dal Pozzo, this event was a great success!

“After a long day working in the lab, there is no better way to unwind and talk global science,” said chapter president Christina Ramirez. It’s clear the sentiment is shared: over 30 supporters came and by the end of the night, our Rutgers University chapter had raised $230!

What’s next for Rutgers’ Seeding Labs chapter? First off, they hope to repeat this event every three months and raise a larger sum each time. They’re also growing the organization, bringing awareness of the group to the Rutgers University community, and gaining momentum for an expansion to an undergraduate organization. Their goals for the year include increasing membership, developing and executing innovative fundraising ideas, and forming collaborations with our Seeding Labs partners.

“Forging relationships and providing resources to fellow researchers” is what truly motivates the group, says Christina.

Seeding Labs Recognized by Fast Company for its Contribution to Global Science

Seeding Labs Announcements, Blog, Press Releases

BOSTON-Feb. 13, 2015- Seeding Labs has been named one of the world’s top 10 most innovative not-for-profit companies by Fast Company magazine. The fast-growing nonprofit joins some of the world’s most recognizable brands and influential organizations, cited for its unique model to bring meaningful equipment and resources to scientists in developing countries.

Most Innovative Companies is one of Fast Company’s most significant and highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. The magazine’s editors spend months gathering and analyzing data on companies around the globe.

Fast Company“We are thrilled to be included on such a prestigious list,” said Seeding Labs’ founder and CEO Nina Dudnik. “All the organizations display excellence and commitment to social change, and we are honored to be highlighted among them. We consider this a mile marker in our growth as an organization, and look forward to increasing our impact even more over the next year.”

Seeding Labs was started by Dudnik in 2008. Since that time, the organization’s founding vision to support scientists conducting life-changing scientific research has grown significantly. To date, Seeding Labs has partnered with scientists in 22 countries, providing access to essential lab equipment, training, and educational resources to help solve the world’s most pressing issues. Through their Instrumental Access Program, Seeding Labs underscores the creativity and innovation Fast Company editors sought to recognize with its annual ranking.

Looking forward, Seeding Labs anticipates tripling the organization’s current impact by shipping equipment to 45,000 recipients by 2016. The company is supported in this goal through equipment donations from universities and corporations and a recent $3 million grant provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).