Scismic and Rationally, two projects aiming to disrupt the academic space, are the latest recipients of the Catalyst Grant award for innovative startups.

Scismic Job Seeker is an online, diversity-promoting, automated recruiting platform for the biopharmaceutical industry. The platform matches scientists to jobs based on expertise and removes sources of bias, with its gender and race-blind matching algorithms, helping increase diversity in scientific hiring.

Co-founder Elizabeth Wu said:

“Our goal is to help all scientists, no matter their background, find workplaces that empower them to propel ground-breaking science. One major barrier to scientific innovation is workforce development.”

Co-founder Danika Khong added:

“Our market research and previous studies show that scientists from underrepresented groups face greater barriers in finding jobs, even though diversity has been shown to result in greater productivity and innovation. We will leverage our platform to address the lack of racial diversity in STEM. There are currently no widely accessible and scalable services that address diversity at the recruiting stage for scientists.”

The beta platform has so far attracted attention from biotech companies and pharma, as well as over 1,200 scientists so far, mostly in the Boston area. They hope to expand this year across the US and are also looking to enhance the platform with additional diversity and inclusion features.

Rationally is an online platform that guides good research design according to published standards (e.g. CONSORT, PCORI) and reduces predictable sources of irreplicability. Founded by Kristin Lindquist, who has worked at technology startups and in product design for over 10 years, the platform aims to guide researchers in their efforts to design more replicable, feasible and less biased experiments.

The founder argues the “publish or perish” incentivises researchers to find the interesting/anomalous over the uninteresting/replicable.

Kristin Lindquist commented:

“Compounding the problem, good research design is hard, peer review is untimely, and meticulous science isn’t readily distinguished from the sloppy. An epidemic of poor study design and R&D waste results. How do we get the 8 million researchers in the world to know about and adhere to better practices?

We’ve tried to reduce an ambiguous and complex process into a guided, step-by-step experience. It helps researchers think about how their study will be perceived in the meta-analysis process or by research reliability experts.”

Find out more about the Catalyst Grant here. Our next application deadline is 30 JUNE 2019.

Read the full press release here.