Innovation Fellows Information and Application

Congratulations on taking a significant step in your personal and professional adventure here at Iowa State University—participating in the Student Innovation Center’s Innovation Fellows Corps. The goal of our Student Innovation Fellows Corps is to identify and foster opportunities for innovation by pairing ambitious students with industry leaders and collaborators. These fellows will be our next generation of industry innovators, community influencers, and business leaders. As a Student Innovation Fellow, you will have the unique opportunity to—

  • Participate in monthly conversations and workshops with industry influencers and drivers of innovation
  • Build relationships and work side-by-side with a community of peers, business leaders, and visionaries who are investing in the next generation of innovators, products, and services
  • Create programs, products, processes, systems, and services that create economic, community, corporate or academic value
  • Achieve a level of academic and professional accomplishment that enhances your degree at Iowa State. Get experience and recognition for your contribution as an Innovation Fellow—partnering with leaders to co-create tangible value in the fields of research, teaching, or community service
  • Work with a team and mentors to propose a solution for a significant global challenge

Employers Identify Innovation Mindset and Practice as Defining Factor in Identifying Talent

“Hiring managers must keep innovation in mind when reviewing candidates. Candidates possessing innovative qualities and experience contribute to a successful company, directly impacting work culture, business practices, market position and returns on investment, among others.” (Forbes, The Importance of Hiring for Innovation, William Craig)

Your training, experiences and collaborative projects will uniquely equip you with a strategic mindset and innovation toolbox that will position you competitively as a future business leader, partner, or owner. Examples of careers geared for future innovators:

Drive and Accelerate Change

  • Director of corporate talent acquisition and leadership development
  • Corporate innovation strategist
  • Investors
  • Community development director
  • Instructional designers and computer aided learning specialists
  • Policy Makers

Innovate Products and Services

  • Inventors
  • Software/App developer
  • Design Engineer
  • Graphic Artist
  • Web/Social Media Designer
  • Program or project director
  • Landscape Architect
  • Business owner

Pioneer new knowledge

  • Biochemist and biophysicist
  • Research and development lead
  • University faculty
  • Data analyst/advisor
  • Medical researcher
  • Journalist

Program Participation

Students are invited to participate in some or all relays of the program; only students who complete all three relays will be designated an “Innovation Fellow” and  participate in other cohort innovation skill development sessions and partner with our corps of Professional Practices Coaches.

Relay 1: Loading Your Innovation Tool-Box (6 sessions—Flagship Fridays, Short-Circuit, and/or Circuit Training)

The goal of the first relay is to provide fellows with a foundation of crucial beliefs, practices, values, and understanding that will enhance and accelerate academic performance and professional contribution. Students will have access to industry leaders who share both what they do and how they think and connect their own behaviors and strategies to personal success stories. Mind-set, self and situational awareness are prioritized as portals to opportunity recognition and collaboration.

Relay 2: The Science, Art, and Strategics of Innovation (Coursework, College Experiences, Competitions, Pappajohn Center)

The goal of the second relay of the Fellows program is to support students in the practice innovating as a subject matter expert in a chosen field. Students may use existing courses, research, service, internship, or work experience to satisfy the “experiential” component for year 2. Or students may identify a new challenge or opportunity that they will continue to address in Year 3 of the program. Workshop content to include technical tools for innovation (IP, investment, prototypes, teams).

Relay 3: Building Your Professional Legacy through Contribution—the Innovator Challenge

The goal of relay three is to provide students the opportunity to contribute to our knowledge about innovation—processes, systems, practices, and challenges— as collaborating professional working with an established scientist, teacher, researcher, community builder or influencer. Outcomes may include publication, new teaching methods, programs, or projects, conference presentation, public speaking, community or school programs, or a proposal to address a significant global challenge.

Public Recognition and Fellows Awards—Completing the Program and Earning Your Fellows “Pin”

Students who complete all relays of the program will be “pinned” at a public ceremony hosted by the Iowa State University Senior Leadership and attended by friends and patrons of Iowa State University and Corporate leaders. Fellows will receive a certificate identifying them as an “Innovation Fellow” and can include the designation on their resumes.

Application Form