“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~Wayne Dyer
We believe students can change the world through their unique perspective and their limitless creative potential.
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)
The Role of a University Innovation Fellow
Students are so much more than the customers of higher education. Across the country, our engineering students and their peers are working to create lasting institutional change that will increase student engagement with creativity, innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurship and venture creation. This is why the University Innovation Fellows program is one of the three strategic initiatives spearheaded 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).
The University Innovation Fellows program is one of the ways we help undergraduate engineers and their interdisciplinary peers become bold entrepreneurial thinkers. Using their unique perspective as students and working with their peers, Fellows enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem on their campus.
Selected teams of students undergo a process of training and coaching to survey the entrepreneurial landscape at their schools and identify opportunities for impact. Past projects include 1,000-person innovation-themed TEDx events, design challenges, maker spaces and student-run venture funds. Our purpose is to cultivate each student as a leader who coalitions others in support of lasting institutional enhancements that create a vibrant culture of innovation, one that produces scientists and engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset, regardless of career path. By being part of a team that all participate in the same training, these 5 students can coalition even more peers and provide their campus with a wider breadth of opportunity in regards to innovation and entrepreneurship.
University Innovation Fellows become part of an extraordinary national network and have cited numerous personal benefits from leadership skills to venture development know-how. New candidates attend an Annual Meetup in the Silicon Valley where they learn strategies for fostering an innovative ecosystem.
Your Role as a Faculty Sponsor
As a faculty sponsor, we encourage you to play an active role with the Fellow(s) on your campus. It is important to keep the flow of communication open so that your Fellows know they have direct support on campus at the administrative level should they hit roadblocks. We have seen faculty support be quite advantageous to the success of our Fellows. It is essential that students view you as a person of support, a liaison to other faculty champions and administration, and as an advocate for the change your students want to see surrounding innovation and entrepreneurship. In the video below, Mark Mondry, the faculty sponsor of Corey Brugh at the Colorado School of Mines, discusses with Fellows during a Monthly Meetup how he has cultivated a strong faculty-Fellow relationship.
To see more faculty thoughts about the University Innovation Fellows program, visit our Word Up page.
Don’t worry, you can select more than one excellent student!*
If you are a faculty sponsor struggling to decide on only one student for the University Innovation Fellows program, you don’t have to! We are pleased to announce the continuation of the Spring 2014 pilot of a team-based approach to training Fellows on campus, the Leadership Circle. We have seen single students on campus be extremely successful, so the possibilities for a team of up to five students per campus are endless. By appointing multiple students, the team of five will be able to develop and implement strategies together, and students will gain greater traction in starting an innovation and entrepreneurship movement. Faculty sponsors may apply for this pilot by putting forth their chosen 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.
*For sample email, Facebook post or tweet that might help recruit nominees, contact Katie Dzugan.
There are a limited number of seats for each training, and the candidates will undergo a rigorous vetting process by the Epicenter team and current University Innovation Fellows. If you are interested in having a University Innovation Fellow and Leadership Circle on your campus, you will need to do the following:
- Identify a team of students who meet the criteria for selection.
- Secure the $2,000 program fee* (minus a $100 application fee, and the balance is returned should your students not be selected). This is payable by credit card only.
- Secure a small travel budget to allow the student lead to attend the Annual Meetup and all Leadership Circle team members to attend one of two east-coast Regional Meetups.
- Identify a faculty sponsor (this may be you) who will write a letter or support and, if selected, serve as a resource to the Fellow. This role can be served by a faculty, dean, department chair, center director or other member of the institutional staff.
In order to be an institution with a Leadership Circle, you will need:
- To put forth a letter from the College or University President (or Vice President / Vice Chancellor / Vice Provost) requesting the formation of a University Innovation Fellows Leadership Circle.
- To ensure that each student candidate has their own unique letter of support. Each student’s letter of support does not need to be written by the faculty sponsor (although it can be). We encourage letters of support from each students closest mentor or faculty member.
When these items are in place, please request the online registration form: Apply. The next deadline is June 30, 2014 for a six-week training that begins August 25th and ends October 3, 2014.
*We encourage you to secure additional funds for your students travel expenses. Candidates will be invited to attend our annual Meetup at Stanford (for the students being trained in the current academic year) and one of the two regional Meetups (with all active Fellows, irrespective of cohort, within your institution’s region). There is also opportunity for other travel as we represent the University Innovation Fellows program at conferences across the nation; for example, the invitation-only National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges. We foresee a total overall budget between $3,000 to $3,500 ($,2000 program fee + $1,000-1,500 travel expenses). Please also note that if you are to become a campus with a Leadership Circle, these events are very dependent on capacity, meaning only one student (selected by the student team and the faculty sponsor) may be able to attend.