Common questions about how WellSpringboard works:

WellSpringboard is a new adventure – a way to bring the public into health research, and health research to the public, like never before – to help patients be healthier, more informed, and better served by their healthcare. WellSpringboard was created to match patients and researchers through new ideas that can make health research better. WellSpringboard is designed to help patients, the public, and researchers connect through new ideas and learn together how to improve healthcare of the future.

Health research can help the public. And at WellSpringboard, we believe that the public can help health research! By providing ideas, giving support, and offering to be volunteers, people like you can make health research better than it’s ever been – by involving the public at every step of the process. In the past, researchers came up with ideas as best as they could and hoped they would help the public. With WellSpringboard, the public will come up with ideas and researchers will be matched up with the ideas – in order to keep the public connected with research from start to finish.

Anyone can take part in WellSpringboard! You can post ideas for research that is needed. You can support ideas by making donations. You can also support ideas by offering to volunteer for research about the ideas. You can share ideas with family, friends, and other people in your social network.

Common questions about putting your idea on WellSpringboard:

It doesn’t matter how big or small your idea is. Just think it through and explain why the idea is important. Be specific. Instead of saying, “We need research about cancer,” talk about a new way researchers could try to help patients with cancer that hasn’t been tried. The ideas that are the best are the ones about people and patients.

There are millions of possible research ideas in the world. WellSpringboard is built to support ideas that are directly about people and patients and how medical care affects them. Researchers call this “patient-centered outcomes research”.

No – it’s free. WellSpringboard is part of the University of Michigan, a not-for-profit organization. We just want to help connect your ideas to researchers who can do it best in order to improve and advance health research for everyone.

Introduce yourself! It’s ok to just use your first name if you want. Explain why researching this topic matters to you. Then, explain your research idea in detail, to answer questions like:

  1. “What is the research idea?”
  2. “Why do you think the research is important?”
  3. “What could be different for patients if the research were successful?”
  4. “How is the idea different than the situation for patients right now?”

Remember: The clearer you are in your video, the more likely people will be to support your idea.

It’s up to you. Make sure it’s long enough that you’ve given people all the information they need to understand your idea and want to be a part of it. But keep it short enough that you hold people’s attention. We recommend keeping it to about 3 minutes or less.

Congratulations and thanks for submitting your research idea! Once you submit your idea, it will be reviewed by a member of the WellSpringboard team to make sure it meets our guidelines. Then, we’ll notify you that your idea has been approved and we are matching it with a researcher! The WellSpringboard team will reach out to experts at the University of Michigan who can answer your research questions and propose a project and target funding goal to conduct the research. When your idea is matched with a researcher who can bring it life, we’ll post it to WellSpringboard and open it up to collect funds for 30 days. Share it with everyone you know so your project gets funded before the deadline!

If your project doesn’t meet the funding goal within 30 days, the money you collected will still be used to fund research projects in the same focus area! For example, if your project is in the pediatric heart disease focus area and it doesn’t get fully funded, any funds that were collected will be used to help fund other research projects in pediatric heart disease.

All of them. 100%. Every last penny. How is this possible? At WellSpringboard, we want every dollar to go to funding health research ideas from the public, so we’ve secured operational funding from the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) at the University of Michigan. That means that our overhead costs are covered and we don’t need to make any extra money to keep the lights on. Most crowd-funding websites have to shave extra money off of donations to cover credit card processing fees, but not WellSpringboard. That’s because WellSpringboard credit card payments are processed through the University of Michigan Office of University Development, which covers the cost of credit card processing in order to encourage donations.

So really, every penny donated on WellSpringboard will contribute to funding health research ideas from the public.

Common questions about the Idea Well:

Just like it sounds, the Idea Well is a well of health research ideas contributed by other WellSpringboard users. You can read other people’s ideas and show your support for the best ideas by liking them and sharing them on social media. Ideas with lots of likes and shares will build momentum and attract researchers who want to design a research project and carry out the idea.

When an idea meets the target number of likes, we will contribute up to 15% of the total funding goal set by the research team who matches with the idea. That means that when the idea is opened up for crowd-funding on WellSpringboard, they’ll have a 15% start-up boost right away.

Do you have a health research idea you want to explore? Share your idea now!

WellSprinboard uses the LikeBtn API to track “Likes”. LikeBtn has an elaborate caching system and uses a variety of techniques to prevent cheating. So, don’t worry, after some time your vote will be available for everyone and anyone who is looking at an Idea in the WellSpringboard Idea Well and will see how many votes it ultimately has received including your vote.

Common questions for people who want to support research ideas:​

If you donate to a project that doesn’t meet its funding goal within 30 days, your donation will still be used to fund research projects in the same focus area. For example, if you donate money to support a pediatric heart disease project and it doesn’t get fully funded, your donation will be used to help support a future publicly-submitted research project in pediatric heart disease. We are committed to making sure that your money is used to fund health research in the focus area that you supported.

There are several ways to support a research idea on WellSpringboard!

  1. You can volunteer to be contacted to participate in research that would be done on a research idea; you’ll just need to provide contact information. If you are younger than 18, you will need to ask a parent or guardian to sign up for you.
  2. You can share the research idea with your family, friends, and anyone else who you think might want to hear about it. Then they can support the idea in whatever ways they would like!
  3. If you want, you can do any or all of the above! It’s up to you.

Yes! Donations to WellSpringboard ideas are made through the University of Michigan secure giving service. The University of Michigan has 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt status; federal tax ID number is 38-6006309.

Your gift may provide you with federal and state income tax benefits:

  • If you itemize deductions on your federal income tax return, you may be able to deduct your contribution to U-M from your adjusted gross income. In addition, gifts of appreciated property you owned for longer than one year may avoid long term capital gains tax. Check with your tax advisor for deduction and capital gains tax requirements and limitations for your situation.
  • Your state may also allow a credit or deduction. Again, check with your tax advisor regarding applicable state law.

Common questions for researchers:

Introduce yourself and give a quick overview of your research interests. Then explain your research proposal to answer the idea that was submitted and explain why it’s important. Remember that your audience will include members of the general public and patients, so try to present information in a way that is easy to understand and engage with. Try to keep it brief. We recommend a max of 3 minutes in length.

Funds generated through WellSpringboard will be provided as direct research support to the “Matched” research team from WellSpringboard in annual amounts, consistent with federal funding protocols and with the submitted research plan and budget submitted by the “Matched” team.

WellSpringboard is designed to engage the public in research. Therefore, the funded research team will be expected to update the public at least every 6 months about progress in the research project, until the funded research has been completed and findings are announced. WellSpringboard will provide a communication platform for funded research teams to provide updates to the public.

Receive updates on idea submissions and research match-ups: