How to find an expert in any field: Rocket scientists, data ninjas, and more


Rocket scientists. Cancer researchers. DNA-sequencing data analysts. Marine ethnobiologists. Terrestrial ecologists. Imagine a world where these scientists were easily accessible to you and me. But how do you find an expert in any field? Many experts have traditionally been accessible only within academia and research settings.

However, as the freelance revolution takes over, scientific expertise is becoming increasingly available and affordable. As the world produces more PhDs than there are jobs for, researchers are looking at new ways of sharing their skills with the world. A 2020 survey by Kolabtree, in collaboration with a social science research team, showed that over 79% of scientists took on freelance projects out of choice. This is of great benefit to organizations worldwide, who can now find the expertise they need to launch novel products, publish expert-reviewed content, and push research and innovation to the next level.

Finding experts with niche skills

Scene 1

Imagine you’re writing a science fiction book. You find yourself stuck when it comes to the technicalities of implementing your life-on-Mars idea. You need to speak with a space scientist, preferably an expert on exoplanetary habitability. This is where you would typically spend days and weeks trying to find the right person. Would it be even realistic to expect that you could find and talk to someone highly-qualified at short notice?

Scene 2

Imagine you’re a food business trying to launch a medical cannabis product. You’re taking hours to sift through all the published literature over the last few decades so that you can pick out the most relevant material and make an informed choice. You also need information on the legislative status in various countries and states. You wish you had an expert to carry out a thorough literature review and consolidate a report. How do you search for the right expert, and where do you start?

Scene 3

Imagine you’re watching (or should I say, rewatching) the “Pivot” scene of friends and can’t understand why it was so complicated for Ross, Rachel and Chandler to get the couch up to his room. Perhaps an expert could solve how they needed to angle the sofa so it could be carried safely upstairs? (This really happened.)

In all of the above situations, finding an expert on demand would be fairly difficult if you went the traditional way of searching for and trying to contact individual experts. You might reach out to consulting firms (likely to be too expensive), research institutions (may or may not encourage your request) or academic specialists (may or may not respond/have the time or inclination, etc.)

With the aim of cutting out these complex processes and making it simple for people to speak with scientists, Kolabtree was born. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a massive enterprise or a first-time entrepreneur, Kolabtree helps you find an expert in any field.

The Kolabtree story

Like all great stories go, Kolabtree was founded in a living room by 3 individuals working into the early hours of the morning, fuelled by unlimited pizza. What started as a one-page website with a simple form has now grown into a global network of 20,000+ registered freelance experts.

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When the platform went live in 2015, data scientists and scientific writers were among the first to join. Gradually, the pool of experts diversified into biotech industry experts, biomedical engineers and molecular biologists. Within two years, the expertise of registered freelancers was spread across 2,500 subject areas. Formulation chemists registered to help SMB clients on the platform formulate cutting-edge cosmetics and food products (vegan, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, you name it). Mathematicians and physicists from the world’s top universities worked with financial and retail clients to develop algorithms and build models.

Surprisingly, Kolabtree saw a large number of scientists joining the platform to broaden the suite of skills they had to offer. Many PhD-qualified professionals don’t get to use their entire array of skills in their day jobs. And so, astrophysicists started to double up as data visualization experts, geologists freelanced on data modeling projects. Most freelancers on Kolabtree are experts in niche areas: take Ahmed Elewa, for instance, who studied how salamanders grow back their arms, or Hugo Lisboa, who specializes in spray drying.

How to find an expert on Kolabtree

To find experts on Kolabtree, simply search by your area of interest and browse the list of freelancers. There are two ways to connect with freelancers:

  1. Post a project directly: Simply post a project directly on the platform to get quotes from interested freelancers. You can also request for freelancers to be handpicked by our team to save time and energy.
  2. Contact freelancers directly: Contact any expert for free with the details of what you’re looking for. It’s free to chat with multiple freelancers until you find the best suited expert for your project.

Scientific expertise has so far been largely inaccessible. With Kolabtree, for the first time, small businesses on shoestring budgets can access some of the world’s best scientific minds.

Kolabtree helps businesses worldwide hire freelance scientists and industry experts on demand. Our freelancers have helped companies publish research papers, develop products, analyze data, and more. It only takes a minute to tell us what you need done and get quotes from experts for free.

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About Author

Ramya Sriram manages digital content and communications at Kolabtree (, the world's largest freelancing platform for scientists. She has over a decade of experience in publishing, advertising and digital content creation.

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