The initiative aims to raise 25,000 euros to fund the first year of a PhD student at IRB Barcelona.
The campaign is part of "Giving Tuesday", a day devoted to charitable donations, which this year falls on Tuesday 29 November.
Today the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has launched a fundraising campaign called "Future" (#IRBfutur). The campaign, which will run for two months, seeks to raise public awareness of the role that biomedical research plays in advancing medicine, and the need to train scientists to ensure they can make the discoveries that may one day save our lives.
To emphasize the importance of training, the campaign aims to raise 25,000 euros from individuals, associations and companies. This amount will fund the first of four years that a doctoral student spends at IRB Barcelona working on a cutting-edge biomedical research project in order to obtain his or her PhD degree.
Joan J. Guinovart, director of IRB Barcelona, says that "the medicine of the future starts in in centres like IRB Barcelona. The discoveries being made here today by young researchers will serve to improve the quality of our lives. By donating, we are showing what kind of society we live in and what really matters".
The International PhD Programme at IRB Barcelona is one of the flagship activities of the centre. Since it was founded in 2015, IRB Barcelona has hosted 350 PhD students from around the world, 100 of whom are currently working towards their theses.
IRB Barcelona provides all-round scientific training, which includes the supervision of theses by renowned scientists, participation in cutting-edge projects, access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, seminars at the centre by leading international scientists, and workshops that cover subjects ranging from technology transfer and communications, to training in emerging lab techniques.
Given the focus of the campaign on training, IRB Barcelona has appealed to primary and secondary schools, and their Parent Teacher Associations, to organise fundraising events to support the campaign and to spread the word. As an integral part of the campaign, young researchers from IRB Barcelona will be visiting students at participating schools to do some hands-on experiments and to explain their work as scientists.
Companies have also signed up to support the campaign in various ways, one of which is through a matched giving scheme. In order to incentivize giving from the public, once IRB Barcelona has raised a given amount, companies will match these donations. The first companies to join the initiative are Merck, Promega and Waters.
To spread the word about the "Future" campaign, IRB Barcelona has prepared a website www.irbbarcelona.org/futur/en, which includes a video (in Catalan and Spanish) in which a grandfather and his granddaughter recognize the value of biomedical research and thank scientists for their work.
The campaign webpage also includes resources, such as drawings to explain why funds are being raised for a young scientist. The drawings illustrate the inherent curiosity of children, the dedication of students working towards a PhD, and the inspiring atmosphere provided by research centres, to show how research will benefit society by giving rise to new treatments and improved medical diagnostics, and allowing us to age with better quality of life.
Donations can be made using a credit card, PayPal, or bank transfer. Donors can also text IRBBarcelona to 28014 to donate 1.20 euros or to 38014 to donate 6 euros*. The campaign website will give daily updates on how much money has been raised.
This campaign is part of the international initiative “Giving Tuesday”, which started in the US in 2012 as a movement held at the beginning of the holiday season focusing on charity and giving to offset the spending generated by “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday". This is the second year #GivingTuesday has been held in Spain, where it is known as “Un día para dar” (A day for giving).