Finding funding to produce animations - from grants to crowdfunding.

One thing I have noticed time and again when speaking to scientists about using animation to communicate their research is that although we start off with an excited conversation about how they would visualise their concepts, when it comes to funding it, they suddenly go luke warm.  If that sounds like you and you have some wonderful ideas for animations but don’t know where to source the funding for them, then this article is for you.  Below I will discuss a few avenues open to you to fund your animations and let you get your creative juices flowing to bring your visions to life! YOU can be the stand out talk at the next conference you are presenting at, or the person who has the most engaging visuals, at the next public engagement event.  Read on…

The first pot of money that can be used to fund production of scientific animations is grant funding.  Recently one of our customers, Professor of Molecular Genetics at The University of Dundee, Gordon Simpson, and his colleagues, were awarded 2 grants from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to investigate part of the process in which DNA is copied and modified.  When writing the grant application Prof. Simpson contacted me and asked for a formal quote to be included in the impact section of his grant application.  This would allow production of a couple of animations at the beginning of the project with a revised version to be made at the end of the project, based on their scientific discoveries.  I was happy to provide the quote and now that the funding has been awarded we can begin the production process with budget in hand.  Read more about the project on the BioDundee website here. 

Secondly, you might want to consider collaboration.  Perhaps you have a colleague at another University who works on a similar research area that might want to club together in order to come up with enough money to work with us. This is exactly what Dr. Nicola Stanley-Wall from the University of Dundee and Prof. Cait MacPhee from the University of Edinburgh did.  With two great minds contributing to the production process a terrific animation resulted.  See their collaborative work here.

Finally, crowdfunding.  Although none of our clients have tried this so far, there may be a maverick out there willing to give it a go, especially if your research area is one that is of interest to many people.  It does take a bit of an investment in time to get your crowdfunding campaign off the ground.  Nesta give a brief overview on how to crowdfund a project here.  If you are interested in this and want to be the first to try it with us, please get in touch. 

For further information on any of the funding strategies outlined in this article don’t hesitate to drop us an e-mail at or give us a call to discuss your ideas on 07709 939557.  We look forward to hearing from you.