DECENT Database recognises that a major limitation in conducting empirical research in developing and underdeveloped nations is access to equipment, which ultimately affects research quality. Globally, technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and developed nations have the advantage of first use due to having access to funds to pay for such equipment.
For instance, cutting edge equipment like a high-resolution transmission electron microscopy range in cost between 1 to 2 million US dollars, which is generally unaffordable for universities in developing and underdeveloped nations. Furthermore, the yearly maintenance cost of such equipment can be unsustainable for researchers in those countries. The access that researchers in developed nations have to such facilities gives them an advantage, aids in critical reasoning, and increases the translational impact of research on the community — characteristics that are highly valuable to peer-review scientific journals.
The scenario is different in regions that provide few research grants, low incomes, and poor socioeconomic situations. Researchers in such places often depend on obsolete technology, which is unattractive to standard scientific journals. Alternatively, some researchers end up paying exorbitantly high amounts to employ foreign expatriate services.
The DECENT Database road map includes the establishment of a centralised research facility, which would be called DECENT Hub, situated in either a developing or underdeveloped country. DECENT Hub would be an ultra-modern research facility, furnished with cutting edge equipment (such as high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, advanced X-ray diffractometer, etc.) and maintained by DECENT. The location of the DECENT Hub will be determined by the level of commitment to public-private partnership obtained following a pitch of our vision to interested countries. The idea is to set up a model research facility with a management team that routinely scrutinises research proposals for feasibility and potential translational impact. Selected proposals would then be supported for bench work.
It is important to point out that the DECENT Hub would be ABSOLUTELY FREE for all researchers, irrespective of their location.
Also, DECENT Database will offer funds to researchers at tertiary institutions in developing or underdeveloped nations with a grant called the “DECENT Research Grant”.
The selection of successful candidates will be based on a single-blind graded peer-review of the research proposals drawn from a pool of researchers and students in developing and underdeveloped countries. Potential DECENT grant awardees would be required to provide a proof of concept and a letter from the head of their institution supporting the proposed idea. Funds will be given to participating Universities and would gradually be released to the researcher after proper justification. The DECENT Research Grant will be used strictly for research purposes, including attending conferences, not to meet the researcher’s personal needs. Periodic audits will be carried out to ensure adherence to the conditions of the grant. The budget for the grant will be determined by the funds generated on the platform.
Furthermore, funds generated on the DECENT Database platform will be used to periodically organise conferences and workshops — mostly in developing and undeveloped nations — to connect the brightest minds in those nations to their fellow colleagues in developed countries. Scholarships will be offered to meritorious high school students in developing and underdeveloped nations to assist them with international examination fees (such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and GRE) and importantly, to stimulate their interest in the sciences. DECENT Database will also provide libraries to tertiary and research institutions all over the world, including developing and undeveloped nations. Access to these libraries will be at an affordable cost.