The University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program empowers students around the world to become agents of change in higher education. Fellows create opportunities that help their peers unlock their creative potential and develop the design-centered mindset required to take on complex challenges in today’s world. Students of all majors and academic levels – from freshmen to PhDs – who want to shape the future of education are encouraged to apply. Learn about applying here.
What University Innovation Fellows Do
Fellows represent the student voice in the global conversation about the future of education. They become deeply familiar with the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem at their schools, working closely with faculty, administrators and community stakeholders. They develop system thinking skills and learn a variety of design approaches that support their work as change agents.
Based on their deep understanding of the landscape of learning opportunities available at their schools, Fellows design and implement activities to enhance that landscape. 776 Fellows at 164 schools in nine countries (and counting) have created new innovation and makerspaces, courses and extracurricular resources. Learn more about the Fellow’s impact here.
Before joining the d.school, this program was created as part of the National Science Foundation-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) from 2011 to 2016.
University Innovation Fellows program
Fall Application Deadline: March 24, 2017 midnight ET
Fall Training Dates: September 5, 2017 – October 20, 2017
Spring Application Deadline: October 30, 2017 midnight ET
Spring Training Dates: January 2, 2018 – February 15, 2018
What types of opportunities for peers do fellows organize?
Fellows have created innovation spaces, founded student organizations, hosted experiential events, engaged incoming students during orientation, and worked with faculty to develop courses. See stories of impact here.
How long does the fellowship take place?
Once a Fellow, always a Fellow. Students go through an experiential 6-week online training program, and are then launched as University Innovation Fellows. After completing the online training, they attend the Silicon Valley Meetup, where they connect with one another and build on the learnings from the online training. Fellows receive year-round mentorship and represent the program and their schools at national conferences and events.
Is there training to immerse Fellows in design thinking?
Yes, UIF candidates go through a 6-week online training to help them understand design thinking and lean startup methodologies, and to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and creative confidence.
Do Fellows interact with other Fellows across the country?
Yes, all the time! This is more than a network; it’s a family of passionate and driven students who learn from one another and share strategies for change. They collaborate with one another during and after training, connect during in-person events, and continue to meet with one another even after they graduate.
I’m a university educator. How can I get involved?
Having students involved in the UIF program means having allies in the change that you and your faculty peers are making at your schools. Students are more than your school's customers; they are your partners in the education of all students. If you’d like to have student changemakers at your school, you can learn more about how to nominate students here. If you’d like to learn some of the teaching and learning practices we promote in our program, we also offer a workshop for faculty and teaching staff that is co-facilitated by our Fellows. Learn more about the workshop here.