Small funders get free access to portfolio tool

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ÜberResearch, a portfolio company of Digital Science, has launched the ÜberShare initiative to offer small funders free access to the enterprise level grant portfolio tool ‘Dimensions for Funders’, covering c$750 billion of historic and future spending on scientific research. Small funders with less than $1 million to invest in research are invited to register at

Dimensions for Funders gives funding organisations access to its cloud-based software in order to search grant, publication and researcher databases; compare overlaps between grants, proposals and prior awards; assign peer reviewers based on publication and grant history, and do advanced categorisation and portfolio analysis for reporting and decision-making on their own funded projects.

Organisations will benefit from the opportunity to make informed decisions about science funding by access to grant data and peer organisation activities, which would previously have been available to large funding organisations and out of their reach. ÜberResearch has set aside resources to support the small funders. The offer will be on a ‘first come-first served’ basis – allowing it to add up to 10 small funding organisations per month. It will also set up a snowball training system, whereby each recipient funder commits to train others who wish to benefit from the scheme.

Stephen Leicht, managing director of ÜberResearch, said: 'Deciding on the best way to spend funds for scientific research is like placing a bet on limited information. Access to Dimensions makes the information knowledge gap narrower by pulling together the project portfolios from various science funders – providing insights in the ‘bets’ of other funders decision makers.'

Annette Thomas, CEO of Macmillan Science & Education: 'It’s an honour to open up this valuable resource to small scientific funders, which are often largely staffed by volunteers with a personal or familial desire to propel research in an area they are passionate about. These funders care deeply about picking the right projects with limited budgets, and seeking out the very best advisers and reviewers. They also want to monitor global activity in their focus area.  The challenge is that they don’t have the funds, the staff, or the budget to pay for this information.'