It's time to do help young researchers

As some of you know, I bootstrapped and raised money so I could work on a project to help people with trichotillomania and do a study soon. One thing that has been frustrating is there is no organization dedicated to supporting student research projects that could help people with trichotillomania. It was hard navigating how to set up a study alone (still is). I found out there was no one who could advise me at all on the research part. I had to get my own funding through GoFundMe and pitch events (which is fine, but it doesn't make it easy since you are spending many months pitching when you could be researching). You only have a few summers to do your research at the university. The clock is ticking. 

How can we hope for a cure if we can't support young scientists who are interested in researching the disorder? Its more likely they will research something else with more support instead. I did research on breast cancer last summer because I had guidance, materials, and funding. In two months, I had a research poster. 

So I want to make a non-profit to help support trich student researchers. If you would like to be a part of this non-profit, please email me. I am not asking for money. I think just having a space where a young researcher can get feedback on their ideas, connect with other researchers, get mentorship, get help on their study design, and connect with people who would want to be a part of their research would be very helpful. There are things that are not easy to do like getting IRB approval through your university to conduct your research. How can we help a student with that? How can they conduct research on a behavioral disorder if they don't know anyone with trich? How can we connect them better early on?

I had no way of testing my Prohibere formula on people to optimize it before making a batch size. Looking back, it would have been helpful to find 20-40 people to meet me and try it so I could determine if there were issues with sensitivities (which it turned out there were 20% of people who could not feel it and I needed to make a stronger formula. There was no way to know without being able to test it on more people beforehand). I have made those formula changes but that's just one example of the lack of connection you have by yourself. I don't like disappointing people and even though it's free returns on Amazon if it didn't work for someone, my heart always sank when I read a review about someone not feeling it. 

Why can't researching trich be easier than this? How can we connect mentors and supporters to young researchers? 

If you are a student who wants to conduct research on a trichotillomania project, please connect with me! If you would like to mentor young researchers, please connect with me too! I'd like to find a way to make a platform to help bridge the gap! 

Emily Kight