Have you as a researcher have been inundated with posts, talks and articles on DAOs or Decentralized Science (DeSci)? Are you curious if you can use them to aid your research career or raise funds for hypothesis? DeSci and DAOs are the hottest topic in research right now and are being touted as an alternative to traditional funding and publishing. DeSci is still in its early stages with a handful of scientific research focused DAOs that have been launched on the blockchain. We will try our best to help clear doubts about DAOs and how or if you can use them.
DAOs or Decentralised Autonomous Organisation as the name implies are essentially tokenised companies (or as some put it a chat group with a bank account) which hypothetically allows anyone to participate via investing in tokens or contributing crypto to that particular DAO. The token holders oversee the functioning of the company in order to safe guard their investments. Tokens, which when bought are as a way to invest in the DAO’s mission, also hold a monetary value and voting power.
What are DeSci DAOs?
Comparing traditional DAOs to DeSci DAOs, ideas become hypothesis and token holders replace grants from universities or governments. DAO’s initial process is similar to a grant application process, with a bit more dumbing down of the hypothesis so that non-academic investors can make sense of it.
The token holders get a vote in order to decide on vital next steps or areas of research where focus needs to be made. In many cases once research is concluded/published/patented, the benefits are reaped equally among the token holders or investors. I hope you are following me so far, below is a visual representation of a DAO.
Are DAOs better than Grants?
DAOs in DeSci research are being integrated as a means of solving the lack of funding for non-conventional research by providing a long-term funding model. There is a huge debate about lack of ground breaking research stemmed from the “Publish or Perish” model in traditional research that punishes risk taking (link). Most conventional research grants are destined for incremental research as opposed to path-breaking research. Another factor demanding for a decentralised funding model is lack of patient involvement in research development.
VitaDAO : This is one of the earliest and most successful platforms focused on drug development for human life and health span extension. If your hypothesis is targeting any form of longevity projects, then VitaDAO is a great option for raising fund. It has a huge community behind it and great industry support. They support NFT-IP’s powered by MoleculeDAO.
Very recently VitaDAO funded research led to the creation of Gero, a company funded by VitaDAO and formed in research collaboration with Pfizer to discover potential targets for fibrotic diseases. A promising future for DeSci. Longevity based companies are set to become the next trillion collar market.
AthenaDAO : Researchers working on women’s health issues looking for funding can send in their funding applications to AthenaDAO. Women’s health issues are traditionally under represented when it comes to grant approvals, something that AthenaDAO set out to change. According to their mission statement they source, fund, govern, support, and incubate translational research in women’s health.
Issues given importance are ovarian aging, fertility, menopause, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome among others.
ValleyDAO: In case your research overlaps the field synthetic biology under agriculture, medicine or creating animal free meat/milk, your team can use ValleyDAO. The DAO has immense support and a huge community behind it.
Apply for Funding (No active application from is seen on this page, keep an eye out for the next round of funding)
PsyDAO: Projects dwelling in the controversial field of psychedelics can reach out to PsyDAO to raise funds. The DAO has not announced any research projects that it has funded yet, but applications are open for both micro grants and full fledged research grants.
Research focused on finding benefits of illegal drugs in a scientific way are welcome.
CryoDAO: Researchers working towards cryogenics as a way to help humans time travel in the future can use CryDAO to raise funding.
HairDAO: As the name implies, any research focused on baldness is welcome to raise funds. They have a very open research method where all hypothesis and their results are visible.
CerebrumDAO : Researchers looking for alternate sources of investments for little invested areas such as advanced brain health issues and neurodegeneration, can reach out to CrebrumDAO. The DAO exclusively focuses on dreaded brain issues related to old age. Potential investors include millions of millennial millionaires.
Ownership Post Research?
Molecular DAO is lighting the way ahead with NFT-IP’s that ensure non-editable records on the blockchain regarding ownership, patent royalty distributions and easy transferability of the NFT-IPs.
DAOs are in its infant stage just like the rest of the blockchain ecosystem, it took internet three decades to get to the place it is currently at today, DeSci DAO’s will get there much faster. Believers argue that better, larger, more powerful examples will arrive in the coming years bringing along with them more supporters. However, even in its current form DeSci can’t be ignored, especially with the niche, low funded and high risk projects that are getting support.