Students: Want to make a difference at your school and join a global movement of student leaders? You’re in the right place!

Deadlines & Dates of Training

Spring Application Deadline: October 30, 2017 at 11:59pm ET
Spring Training Dates: January 2, 2018 – February 15, 2018

Why Become a University Innovation Fellow?

Fellows are students who want to make a difference on campus and in the world. They want to solve our society’s most pressing problems, beginning with higher education. Students have the ability and drive to create change so that their peers are being equipped with the skills to compete in the 21st-century economy. This includes being the best problem solvers we can be, identifying opportunities with the potential to greatly benefit our society, and implementing disruptive ideas.

The role of a University Innovation Fellow

Fellows are working to create lasting institutional change by creating new learning opportunities and exposing the student body at their school to opportunities to develop skills in team building, creativity, innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurship and venture creation.

Fellows are leaders, followers, liaisons, thinkers, creators, doers, designers, pushers of boundaries and conversation starters, among many other roles. They are challenged to do what they feel is right, not what is easy.

Teams of candidates are trained to think critically about their entire campus ecosystem surrounding innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the course of 6 weeks, candidates survey the landscape of courses, programs, curricular and extra-curricular assets in the entrepreneurial ecosystem at their schools. This will help them identify what gaps need to be addressed in order to facilitate more invention and innovation activity amongst engineering, scientists and their interdisciplinary peers.

The ideas formed through this process are different for all candidates. Having a team of Fellows provides the ability to create mass amounts of ideas from a group of minds that all understand the same campus ecosystem. For some, it has meant hosting a design thinking workshop or innovation challenge on campus. For others, it’s involved holding a 1,000+ person TEDx event that provides numerous examples of faculty and student innovations that have formed real companies and achieve positive social impact.  To see other activities our students have created, visit the University Innovation wiki, an information sharing platform used to support university innovation as a whole.

Can I go through training with other students at my school?

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.

What happens if I miss part of training?

Students who miss a session because of a school-related event, finals and other pressing commitments are required to make up the missing work. All session check-ins are recorded and shared every week. We also highly recommend checking in with your leadership circles to get up to date on training.

After training, how do we stay connected?

The best part of this highly experiential training is that bright students are learning from peers across the country, benchmarking the best entrepreneurial ecosystems, gathering ideas and forming an essential support network. After the 6-weeks of training, University Innovation Fellows stay connect across different online platforms and in-person events that become accessible to the candidates who are successfully launched.