6 freelance platforms to hire top PhD talent and scientists

updated on 10 April 2022

Sruthi Rambhatla            

There aren't many people who know about freelancing and those who do may not know much about it. What is freelancing? How does it work? Freelancing refers to working independently rather than working under someone else's company. In simpler words, you may call it a part-time job where you work to fulfill relatively small contracts. It is a kind of similar to entrepreneurship where you are your own boss. The most interesting and convenient thing is flexibility! You can choose your work and also working hours. You can either work directly with clients or work through websites. If you are looking for a platform to showcase your talent and earn money at the same time, I have curated a list of the best freelancing platforms for PhDs.



You might have heard about this website, probably the world's largest freelancing platform. It was founded in 1998 as Elance. Later with oDesk, they announced their merger in 2013 and is currently being called Upwork Global Inc. From content writers to iOS developers, you can hire anyone with ease. Though the availability of sheer volume of applicants for a single job is like two sides of a coin, new CEO Hayden Brown has brought many changes that include increased client payment and subscription fees to improve the quality of freelancers by purging 1.8 million of them which led to increased financial gains for investors.



This global network was founded in 2015 and incubated by CACTUS as a freelance platform for scientists which connects businesses to respective subject experts. Its services are spread over 170+ countries and are limited to scientific research. Almost all of its freelancers are academics and PhD qualifiers. Freelancers here can choose their own fees and working hours. The biggest cons are that one can't find a freelancer for every business and it also charges a high commission. Their focus is remote work and majorly writing, which is limiting.



This Israel-originated company founded by Micha Kaufman and Shai Wininger has now spread its wings all over the world. Gigs (services offered) include writing, designing, programming, and surprisingly silly tasks like funny reels and pranks. It is budget-friendly and a great platform for small and simple chores. It did face many allegations stating poor graphics, fake reviews, and unhealthy working hours. Despite all these hurdles, it managed to increase its revenue by 77%. Their cater to anyone, anywhere which is not always good.



Taso Du Val and Breandan Beneschott founded the company a dozen years ago that started as a virtual company. In the beginning, it only offered software developers and later expanded to other fields like finance, designs, management, and many more. Toptal's business plan is completely different from that of Fiverr's. It doesn't come cheap, has inflexible contract hours, and isn't suitable for small projects though it ensures the high quality of experienced developers.



This is a UK-based company founded in 2007 by Xenios Thrasyvoulou and Simos Kitiris who were the CEO and CTO of it, respectively. It works similar to Upwork and Fiverr. A wide network of clients and self-employed enables you to work or hire easily. It has created countless projects on freelancing providing a path for beginners. Irrelevant, spam and bot accounts may interrupt your trawl though it comes with flexible work hours and rates.



With the vision to help PhDs, tech-hop was founded by female solo founder Malak Kawan, a PhD candidate in Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. It acts as a bridge between deep-tech startups and highly qualified PhDs/researchers. We help PhD researchers to discover global freelancing opportunities offered by leading startups to freelance on-site or remotely. We match our clients with curated technical talent from all over the world to lead the major breakthroughs in life sciences and engineering of tomorrow. Be it a short-term or long-term project, we ensure to meet our clients' requirements with our wide range of technical disciplines. Once a freelancer signs up on our platform, we carefully evaluate the candidate's application via technical and communication assessments to ensure high-quality standards and deliverables. Need top PhD talent to hire? Fill the short form here and our team will reach out to you!

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