Julia Faiers recently became the first PhD student in Art History to raise her tuition fees via crowdfunding.
Julia shared this exciting experience with us:
‘I tried crowdfunding after missing out on Research Council and internal funding from St Andrews. I researched how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, which involved coming up with Perks for people who pledged. Because of my research subject, these had a medieval French flavour, including ‘your name in medieval Occitan’, a postcard sent from one of my research sites in south-west France, and a bespoke art history tour around one of my main research sites, Albi cathedral.
I also had to shoot a video of myself – in effect a sales pitch – to put on my campaign page. This was a real challenge, as I normally shy away from the camera lens! However, the video seemed to clinch it. I reached 30% of my fundraising target within three days, with pledges ranging from £10 up to £1000, and coming from as far away as the Philippines and New Zealand. My final amount was £3,125.
The majority of pledges came from people within and just beyond my personal network, but I also secured pledges from a handful of people I don’t know. It was especially rewarding to know that my research subject roused strangers to donate, or perhaps that as a working mother of two children I may have inspired people to pledge. The knowledge that so many people have paid into my education drives me to succeed even more than if I had received official funding. I feel that as well as my supervisor Dr Kathryn Rudy, there are a lot of people out there who are relying on me to deliver first-class research. I don’t want to let them down!’
Julia is currently researching the art patronage of bishop Louis I d’Amboise in C15th Albi, south-west France.