Apply to join a national community 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.

Deadlines & Dates of Training

Fall Application Deadline: May 11, 2015 at midnight EST
Fall Training Dates: September 2015 – October 2015

Spring Application Deadline: EXTENDED until November 2, 2015 at midnight EST
Spring Training Dates: January 2016 – February 2016

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;
  • Student letter of support (one letter per student);

Additional requirement for Leadership Circles:

  • Institutional letter of support from the president, vice president, or provost (one letter per leadership circle)


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: 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.

Building a Leadership Circle

We now accept teams of five students per campus to create a Leadership Circle. Faculty identifying five 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 four additional candidates to their faculty sponsor in order to build a Leadership Circle on their campus. Current Fellows and Faculty sponsors can screening potential students using questions found on the UIF student application and also by holding interviews.

Training up to five 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 five to develop and implement strategies together, and students will gain greater traction in starting an innovation and entrepreneurship movement. Faculty may identify multiple candidates on the Faculty Sponsorship Application. Applications will be evaluated based on the commitment expressed by the institutional leader, the breadth of class years and diversity of student majors.