Nouns x science (pod members needed)



Proliferate nouns through science grants for short-term research projects of early-career and mid-career scientists, supporting 3 scientific projects.

The grants should start latest 6 months after the funding of the pod.

Its all about the money

Funding affects what is studied and what is published. With the science pod we want to invest in new science by new minds. We want to provide three grants to short-term research projects of early-career and mid-career scientists. These people have really cool ideas but they don’t get the funding because they compete with a lot of success stories of well established scientists.

The average age of scientists receiving their first substantial grant is 46 and is increasing over time.

Early stage scientists have difficulty in establishing their line of research, as it is new and most likely low on previous results and published papers, making it difficult to obtain funding. Therefore, it is hard to advance in their careers, as they will have less money for experiments and staff, leading to slower progress in their research and number of published papers when comparing to long-established scientists. We will be stepping stones, helping them conduct their research and get the data they need to apply for larger funding. We will help them advance in their fields, to propose new theories and put them to test. We will help them move science forward.

As made clear by historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science, scientific advancement is best promoted by ensuring competition between ideas, paradigms, theories, methods, and approaches. A prerequisite for advances is therefore systemic underpinning of diversity, originality, and risk-taking. Dispersal of funding among more individuals and groups is one way to secure this (Aagaard et al., 2020).

And we believe this to be incredibly nounish.


The idea is to make the pod simple and straightforward for grant applicants. The requirements are:

  • Applicants must be early-career or mid-career scientists (it’s because of the Matthew effect: eminent scientists will often get more funding/credit than a comparatively unknown researcher, even if their work is similar).

  • Applicants must be verifiably connected to a university or research institute.

  • Paper must be open access. Too much science is locked behind paywalls.

  • Nouns must be named as sponsors in any publication that refers to the data funded by This will proliferate nouns within the scientific community.

How the process would look like (mature process but not final, yet - can still be changed):

  • Proposal gets submitted from Scientists

  • Proposal to be evaluated by peer reviewers on feasibility and ethics

  • Of the three scientific projects, 2 will be funded according to nouner votes (twitter poll or prop house - tbd) and one will be selected by pod committee. It’s an experiment.

  • Selected Scientists (by community vote and pod selection) will receive funding.


We believe the number of pod members should not be > 5 to keep high bandwidth communication and relationships. Currently we have B and niftynaut and are actively looking for more contributors. Please reach out to nifty if you want to contribute.


Total ask: ETH

What will be done with that money?

  • Allocating 25 ETH (30k USD) for each project, total of 75 ETH.

  • Allocating total of 5 ETH for Peer Reviewers (peer reviewers don’t get paid - we want to change that)

  • Allocating total of (2 ETH x 3 months x # of POD members) = XXX ETH for compensation (max 30 ETH if 5 pod members)

What pod members will do:

  • Running the science pod

  • Curating Peer Reviewers

  • Curating proposals

  • Accompanying / Mentoring Scientists

  • Outreach to Institutions and Universities to inform them about funding opportunities


  • could create “mini museum” style specimen to be sold and used as an additional source of funding.

  • Based on the success and the viability of the idea, could fork nouns protocol in the future to source funding on its own and continue spreading nounish vibes in science by creating nounish scientific characters.

  • We can probably shift from short-term to mid-term projects and eventually long-term project funding.

Why nots

  • Why not a simple We need to KYC the researchers first, confirm with their institutions and on top of that we need to make sure that there are no unethical proposals. Once we filtered through that we will open the props up for voting.


Aagaard, K., Kladakis, A., & Nielsen, M. W. (2020). Concentration or dispersal of research funding? Quantitative Science Studies, 1(1), 117–149. Concentration or dispersal of research funding? | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press**


Great idea. I’d be really curious to see how something like this would turn out. I always see massive research grants that are government funded, so it would be really cool to see what could be done and how much demand there is for smaller amounts like this.

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