APPLICATION: University Innovation Fellows Program
Each campus must submit a student and faculty application to be eligible for an interview
Two Annual Deadlines: Spring and Fall
FALL DEADLINE: May 11, 2015 (midnight EST)
SPRING DEADLINE: TBA (midnight EST)
About the Program
University Innovation Fellows are teams of student leaders who work to ensure that all students gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future. At their schools, Fellows increase student engagement with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation.
The program is run by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA). Read more »
Building a Leadership Circle
We are pleased to continue the Spring 2014 pilot of a team-based approach to training Fellows on campus! Faculty identifying up to five strong student candidates, each with letters of support, may put forth a letter from the College or University President (or Vice President / Vice Chancellor / Vice Provost) requesting formation of a University Innovation Fellows Leadership Circle. Interested students may also propose four additional candidates to their faculty sponsor in order to build a Leadership Circle on their campus. Training up to 5 students will be the same cost to the university as training one student. In doing so, the team of five will develop and implement strategies together, and students will gain greater traction in starting an innovation and entrepreneurship movement. Faculty may apply for this pilot by putting forth multiple candidates on the Faculty Sponsorship Application, available at dreamdesigndeliver.org/apply. Applications will be evaluated based on the commitment expressed by the institutional leader, the breadth of class years and diversity of student majors.
Why Sponsor a University Innovation Fellow?
Using their unique perspective as students and working with their peer volunteers, teams of University Innovation Fellows work to enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem on their campuses. Learn how a University Innovation Fellow might be of value to your campus.
Why Become a University Innovation Fellow?
From helping create maker spaces to starting student-led venture funds, engineers and their peers are working to create lasting institutional change that will increase student body’s exposure and opportunity to developing skills in team building, creativity, innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurship and venture creation. Learn more about becoming a University Innovation Fellow.
Criteria for Selection
The ideal team of candidates demonstrate a strong interest in innovation, creativity and the entrepreneurial mindset coupled with a genuine desire to inspire fellow students and make a positive impact on campus. We like to select students who are:
- Actively enrolled: ideally rising juniors, but underclassmen/women and graduate students will also be considered.
- Engineering, ideally, or STEM majors: students who realize the importance of these technical majors paired with an entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, design thinking and innovation to excel personally and as a society. Students in other majors who value innovation should also apply!
- Action oriented: students who possess a great attitude, strong listening skills and exceptional execution abilities.
- Respected by friends and classmates: candidates who can inspire peers and recruit/manage/empower a team of volunteers.
- Insightful and mature: students who can develop a rapport with faculty and institutional leadership, build support and form coalitions.
- Strategic thinkers: students who understand that change in academia is not easy, but possesses the persistence, perseverance and willingness to set up systems that will continue even after they graduate.
- All ’round cool individual: candidates who the other University Innovation Fellows would want to have in their network as peers, friends and potential collaborators.
**For sample email, Facebook post or tweet that might help recruit nominees, contact Katie Dzugan.
Application for Students
The Student Application asks questions to better understand each student and his or her ideas. The application requires students to provide one video that is no more than 2 minutes long and to choose two of four additional questions to answer by video in under 60 seconds (interview style). The remainder of the application is comprised of 5 written-response questions that require twitter-size answers (under 140 characters). After requesting an application, students should take a moment to review the application questions and get started a few days before submitting.
Each student in a Leadership Circle must submit an individual application, but only need one faculty sponsor for the team (i.e., in the faculty application, the faculty sponsor can claim up to 5 students). With this application, students must have their faculty sponsor (need only one sponsor per Leadership Circle) identified and ready to pay by credit card in the faculty application and their faculty letter of support (one letter of support per student regardless of Leadership Circle status) ready to be sent. For more information about what being a Fellow entails, please see our information page for students.
Application for Faculty
The Faculty Application is a simple form that asks the faculty sponsor for their contact information and to identify his or her student(s). The application will also allow them to provide the credit card payment for the program fee. If opting in to be a campus with a leadership circle, please have the institution’s letter of support (from the President, Vice President, Provost, etc.) ready for submission along with the application. For more information about becoming a faculty sponsor, please see our information page for faculty.
Strategic Resources | Student-led Movements | Landscape Analysis | Student-led Strategies for Change in Innovation & Entrepreneurship | Spaces of Innovation | Developing a Workplan
TYPICAL WEEK: expect to spend 2-6 hours per week during training
Review assigned materials | Complete assignment | Present work during video-conference meetings (1-2 sessions) | Repeat until complete
ACADEMIC CALENDAR: expect to spend 6-8 hours per week starting during summer/winter downtime and continuing through the beginning of the academic semester.
Six-week University Innovation Fellows Training (via video-conference) | Hold public kick-off meeting | Begin executing on projects | Participate in closed discussion forums with other Fellows | Attend one-on-one coaching & monthly national WebEx meetings | If applicable, recruit successor | Revise landscape analysis | Attend Meetups and Conferences (like this one at the National Academy of Engineering) | Repeat
During the course of six weeks, we take students through a process of mapping their entrepreneurial ecosystem, identifying a work plan, recruiting volunteers and kicking off a series of activities designed to create lasting and positive enhancements to the entrepreneurial climate on campus. The best part of this highly experiential training is that bright engineering students are learning from peers across the country, benchmarking the best entrepreneurial ecosystems, gathering ideas and forming an essential support network. All throughout the year, students are given exclusive access to monthly national WebEx meetings, reports and online social networks that support ongoing communications. During their tenure as Fellows, students go on to hold multiple campus-wide events, experiential learning opportunities, and projects that benefit their campus engineering entrepreneurship programs.
About the online training
Students receive course materials online through NovoEd, much like any online university course, and are assigned tasks that engage individuals from national leaders to campus stakeholders. Assignments are designed to teach in truly experiential fashion, so the mere act of completing a homework assignment teaches them how to lead a movement on campus. Students share their experiences, gaining feedback and learning from one another, during weekly check-ins via our Blue Jeans online video-conferencing platform. Students who miss a check-in due to finals and other pressing commitments share their update via YouTube and are provided a recording of the session from the day they missed. We record all of our online sessions for this purpose, but to also share check-ins with our network of current Fellows, our stakeholders and as needed for supplemental materials on our website or the University Innovation Wiki.