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UNFUNDABLE is a tabletop card game that puts players in the competitive, yet collaborative, world of academic health research. Each player becomes a Principal Investigator (PI), heading their own lab. Each PI works to receive grants that will help them achieve their personal goals.

Example Game Pieces

Specialy card: Pink.
Goal card: The Competitor.
Grant card: Cancer prevention.
Event card: Budget cuts.
Token: Paper.
Token: Pink resource.
Token: Pink resource.
Token: Gray resource.
Token: Brown resource.
Token: Green resource.


How do I play UNFUNDABLE?

TL;DR Each player runs a research lab with a single specialty. Players compete for grants that require a mix of specialty resources. Players try to get grants on their own or collaborate with others; they negotiate how they split the required resources and the rewards. Each player has their own unique win-condition. So, technically, it’s possible for multiple people to win.

For more details, see the Print & Play version of the game.

Where can I get UNFUNDABLE?

A free Print & Play version of UNFUNDABLE will be available on this site by the end of summer 2019. There may eventually be a free web-based version or even a professionally printed version available in the future. Only time will tell.

Why did you make UNFUNDABLE?

UNFUNDABLE is meant to be an engagement tool for career scientists and students interested in academic research careers. For more background info, see the About section of this site.

However, UNFUNDABLE is playable by wider audiences. As the game develops, it is being adapted to fit in more contexts. That's a challenge and a fun puzzle to solve. For more details on the game's development, see the Dev Log on this site.


Playtest Photo

The first ever play-test of the game, prototyped using index cards and thumbtacks.

Print & Play Photo

Cutting prototype v1.32, the first Print & Play copy to go public.

Presentation Photo

A Print & Play copy, ready to go!