Apply by May 11th for Fall 2015 Cohort

March 16, 2015 — The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) has opened the application process for its University Innovation Fellows program for U.S. college and university students. The application deadline is May 11, 2015. Learn more and apply at

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. The Fellows are a national community of students in engineering and related fields who work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future. To accomplish this, the Fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, design thinking and venture creation at their schools.

The program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and VentureWell (formerly NCIIA).

The Fellows believe that all students need to leave school better prepared to tackle our world’s big problems and create new and fulfilling jobs for themselves and others. They help their peers learn an entrepreneurial mindset and creative confidence by creating student design and maker spaces, founding entrepreneurship clubs and organizations, working with faculty to design courses, and hosting events and workshops. At present, there are 291 active Fellows from 115 schools across the country.

Fellows take part in online training and in-person regional and national gatherings to study their campus ecosystems. The program provides a platform for Fellows to learn to be strategic thinkers, develop a student community to share strategies about what’s working at their schools, examine the landscape of learning opportunities at their schools, and formulate action plans to implement their ideas. Throughout the year, they have opportunities to learn from their network of Fellows, Epicenter mentors, and leaders in academia and industry.

Leah Bauer and Kathryn Christopher are University Innovation Fellows working together at Grand Valley State University.

“As Fellows, we realized that it had become commonplace for students at GVSU to only interact with other students in their major,” they said. “To help break down these barriers, we created a group on campus called IDEA (Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Alliance) that brings in problems from the outside world and encourages students to collaborate with students outside their major and use the design thinking framework to come up with solutions. The ultimate goal of our work is to teach students how to solve any problem they are faced with. Changing the way the students learn at GVSU and across the nation has become our passion, and the impact that it will create will not only benefit our university but also our community.”

David Duncan, Director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development at Clark Atlanta University, works with a team of University Innovation Fellows.

“Clark Atlanta University is committed to creating transformational change focused on fostering an ethos of innovation across all disciplines,” Duncan said. “Student participation and engagement in this transformation is vital. I am working hand in hand with our four University Innovation Fellows as I continue to build Clark Atlanta’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development. From the innovation ecosystem mapping to the connections made with other institutions, the University Innovation Fellows program has been catalyst for this effort.”

Students, faculty and university leaders are forging partnerships like this across the country as part of the University Innovation Fellows program.

Join the movement! The application deadline for the University Innovation Fellows program is May 11, 2015. Students can request an application, and faculty can request an application to sponsor a student at

Application and program details:

  • The application deadline is May 11, 2015.
  • Ideally, applicants are undergraduate students in engineering or other related STEM fields. However, Epicenter is thrilled to consider undergraduate and graduate applicants from all disciplines who are interested in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship and who are passionate about making a lasting impact at their schools.
  • Students can apply individually or in groups of up to five, called a Leadership Circle.
  • Applicants are sponsored by a faculty or administrator who can provide a program fee, secure funding for travel and provide a letter of support.
  • Following acceptance, students take part in a 6-week online training and in-person events. Upon successful completion, students participate in a three-day immersive experience in Silicon Valley.

Learn more and apply at

Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113

This post originally appeared on the Epicenter website on March 16, 2015:

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