Crowdfunding Undergraduate Research

The Henry Bellmon Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research is partnering with the OSU Foundation to crowdfund undergraduate research projects this summer.  The effort will build on the success of the OSU Foundation’s pioneering PhilanthroPete platform, which raised nearly $30,000 for six initiatives since its launch last fall.  In June, donors will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of research projects and give directly to the student conducting the project.

OSU’s Wentz Research Scholars will lead the launch of this new crowdfunding initiative, and plans are underway to open the opportunity to all OSU undergraduates.  The first projects to appear this summer were conceived by some of OSU’s most accomplished students and will be guided by experienced faculty researchers from a wide range of disciplines. 

Project proposals underwent a rigorous review process directed by the twenty faculty members of the Wentz Review Committee this past spring and will be conducted during the fall and spring semester of the 2015-16 academic year.  The results of these projects will be shared with the public at Scholar Development’s Undergraduate Research Symposium next spring.

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What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding involves soliciting many modest donations from a large group of supporters.  These fundraising campaigns are typically conducted online using websites often referred to as “platforms” because they provide a venue for many different campaigns.  IndieGoGo and Kickstarter are notable examples of crowdfunding platforms.

How do I support an undergraduate project?

You can browse the projects seeking funding at the OSU Foundation’s PhilanthroPete website.  Details about each project, including the budget, will be posted with a video explaining the research objectives.  Donors can give directly through the PhilanthroPete platform, which is managed by the OSU Foundation.

Can I fundraise for my project on PhilanthroPete?

This summer, the 2015-16 Wentz Research Scholars are the only undergraduates eligible to crowdfund their research on PhilanthroPete, but the opportunity may soon be open to all OSU undergraduates.  Email OSU's Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Tim O'Neil at for updates on future developments. 

How do I submit a project for crowdfunding?

If you are a 2015-16 Wentz Research Scholar, you can submit your project information (title, description, fundraising goals, donor audience, marketing presence and so forth) on the PhilanthroPete platform here:  Please submit your project no later than May 18, 2015 to be included in the June campaign launch.

Who do I contact for help submitting my project?

You can receive help developing your crowdfunding plan by contacting John Grice at, Anna McCrarey at, or Amanda Davis at

What other resources are available to help manage my campaign?

How do I know my donation will get to the student?

100% of the funds raised on PhilanthroPete go to support the undergraduates’ projects.  The OSU Foundation does not charge the students a fee to use the platform.  After the campaign concludes, the undergraduates will post updates about their projects' progress, explaining how your donation helped realize their objectives.

Is this an “all-or-nothing” system like other crowdfunding platforms?

No. Undergraduates who do not meet their fundraising goal will still receive all of the funds donating to their project at the end of the campaign.

How are the funds used?

Funds raised on PhilanthroPete will be transferred from the OSU Foundation to the departmental account of the undergraduate’s faculty mentor where they will be able to purchase supplies and other necessities in coordination with the department’s purchasing manager.


For more information about crowdfunding undergraduate research at Oklahoma State University, contact the Scholar Development Office at 405.744.7313 or







Slideshow Title: 
Crowdfunding Undergraduate Research with PhilanthroPete
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Learn more about our campaign launch in June!
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Crowdfunding Undergraduate Research with PhilanthroPete