Join a global community of student leaders who are leading change in higher education.

The University Innovation Fellows program is now accepting international applications! The same requirements apply for both U.S. and international schools.

Deadlines & Dates of Training

Fall Application Deadline: May 1, 2017
Fall Training Dates: September 5, 2017 – October 20, 2017. Orientation is on September 5 at 8pm ET; and 10pm ET/8:30am IST for participants in India.

Spring Application Deadline: October 30, 2017
Spring Training Dates: January 2, 2018 – February 15, 2018. Orientation is on January 2 at 8pm ET; and 10pm ET/8:30am IST for participants in India.

Application instructions

Request an application by clicking on the above buttons. Once requested, you will receive access via email to the full online application. Please review the requirements for and the content of the application, and get started at least a few days before the deadline. The student application is comprised of Twitter-size written responses as well as video responses.


Four items are needed for an application to be complete. Submitting all of these items will allow students to be invited to an interview through video conference.

For each applicant:

      • Completed student application;
      • Completed faculty application with program fee;
      • Three letters of support from peers and mentors in your community (submitted online after the student application is submitted)

Additional requirement for Leadership Circles:

      • Institutional letter of support from the president, vice president, or provost (one letter per leadership circle)
      • Schools new to the University Innovation Fellows program are limited to one leadership circle for the first training cohort.
      • Note for Community Colleges: In addition to the institutional letter of support from the Community College President, we are also requesting a letter from the collaborator at a partnering 4-year institution.


Over the course of 6 weeks, students are exposed to design thinking, the lean methodology and activities that help them map their entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus. Course materials are shared weekly through the online classroom platform NovoEd.


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: students from all majors who have at least two more years left on campus; undergraduate, graduate and post-docs will be considered. We strongly discourage applicants who will graduate the year they are trained, or who plan to study abroad during their training year.
    • 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.

Building a Leadership Circle

We accept teams of 4 students per campus to create a Leadership Circle. Faculty identifying four strong student candidates, each with student letters of support, may put forth a letter from the college or university president (or vice president / vice chancellor / vice provost) requesting support for the formation of a Leadership Circle. Interested students may also propose three additional candidates to their faculty sponsor in order to build a Leadership Circle on their campus. Current Fellows and Faculty sponsors can screen potential students using questions found on the UIF student application and also by holding interviews.

Training up to four students will be the same cost to the university as training one student. Each student must apply individually, as well as secure letters of support from those who can attest to the student’s leadership abilities. A Leadership Circle allows the team of four to develop and implement strategies together, and students will gain greater traction in starting an innovation and entrepreneurship movement. Faculty, staff and administrators may identify multiple candidates on the Sponsor Application. Applications will be evaluated based on the commitment expressed by the institutional leader, the breadth of class years and diversity of student majors.

Online Info Session Recording

Watch this 30-minute info session recording to learn about the University Innovation Fellows program from current Fellows, faculty and program leaders.