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

Applications are closed for 2023. More info about 2024 applications coming soon!

Stay up to date on application news

2023 Deadline & Dates of Online Training

Deadlines & Dates

  • Applications are due April 30, 2023
  • Interviews will be conducted in May and June 2023
  • Online training will take place August 28 – October 15, 2023
  • This cohort’s Meetup will be held in the Netherlands, April 12-14, 2024 (see below for details)

We’re going to Europe!

The 2023 Fellows will get to experience something new, as our team continues to experiment with how and where we connect with all of you. The 2024 Meetup for this cohort will take place at the University of Twente in the Netherlands! While we’ve loved holding the Meetup at the, we’ve also had amazing experiences bringing the Meetup and our UIF energy to other parts of the world. So for 2024, instead of meeting at Stanford, we’ll meet at the Design Lab, the home of our fabulous UIF community at Twente. We look forward to learning from our European friends about issues they’ve been at the forefront of, including smart cities, sustainability strategies, and global migration. 

This change will impact Meetup travel and expenses: hotels are generally less expensive in the Netherlands than in Palo Alto; airfare may be higher for U.S. students; and our non-U.S. participants may have an easier time getting travel visas. Stay tuned for more information to be posted here.

Funding for HBCUs

Our program received a donation to fund participation of 60 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) over the next three years.

There are currently 12 active schools and 32 students in our HBCU community. Will you be next? Learn more here »

Application Details

How to apply

Faculty will begin the application process (using the link above). Once faculty join the application platform, they will invite students to the platform to fill out their materials.

Applications for the University Innovation Fellows program are team-based by school. All the application materials are listed below, and will need to be submitted for a school’s application to be complete. Please review the requirements and get started at least two weeks before the deadline.

Before you submit the team application, you will need the following items and information:

  • Completed faculty champion application;
  • Payment of the $4,000 program fee (the fee will be returned minus a $100 application fee should the students not be selected);
  • An institutional letter of support written by the President, Chancellor, Provost, or other VP-Level administrator and uploaded with the faculty application;
  • Completed student application (one per student);
  • Each student application requires three email addresses of peers or mentors, who will be invited to complete a letter of support on behalf of the student applying. We encourage students to find three unique individuals that can attest to their abilities and qualities that make them a good fit for the program.

Schools new to the University Innovation Fellows program are limited to one leadership circle for the first training cohort.


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.