Innovation Fellows FAQs

I don’t know anything about innovation. Should I still apply?

YES! The whole point of this program is to give you the opportunity to learn about innovation and real-world problem-solving, and then work with us to design an experience we can scale to more students. We are looking for students who are curious and motivated to learn, from a variety of different disciplines. You can be an innovator – whether you are a nursing student or a marine biology researcher.

We are also joining an international movement! (learn more below…)

Why should I apply?

We want to bring innovation to all students at UNE. Why? Because we’re listening! Students have told us that they want the opportunity to 1) get experience outside of the classroom and 2) work on problems that matter in the real world. Students also want skills that will add to their resume or portfolio. You will also be part of creating some new and exciting at UNE!

Learning about design thinking and practicing the skills of innovation will give you the tools to be successful in any field. As an Innovation Fellow, you will be working with other students on a real-world problem. Employers love when you bring this kind of experience! Innovators are curious, confident, resilient, able to work well with teams, and present their ideas effectively – but these skills need to be learned. We’re going to start with a small group of Innovation Fellows and expand this program in future years.

You will be working with the Director of the Makerspace, Justine Bassett, who is experienced with design thinking and also passionate about helping students develop skills that matter. You will also have a chance to meet some really amazing innovators from a variety of fields – including David Shaw, founder of IDEXX labs and an experienced innovator and entrepreneur.

This is going to be so much fun! We hope you join us. 

What is the time commitment?

We anticipate that this will take about 3 hours/week throughout the school year. This will include one meeting as a student team and some outside work to do on your own. Hours may go up or down somewhat depending on what the team is working on, but this isn’t about putting in a lot of hours.

Fellows are also welcome to come by the Makerspace during student-only hours on Tuesdays from 5-7pm, to hang out with the team, to do homework or try the project of the week.

What’s the deadline to apply?

We need to hear from you by September 17 to be considered for this year’s program. Just RSVP here and a member of our student team will get back to you.

How many students will be selected?

We are looking for a team of 7-10 students, from different undergraduate disciplines. Two students will be selected as Shaw Innovation Fellows, and the rest of the team will be UNE Innovation Fellows.

What will I be paid as an Innovation Fellow?

Innovation Fellows are expected to commit to being part of the program for an entire academic year, and will receive a stipend of $500 per semester (or $1k for the year). Fellows will be expected to participate consistently and will also be part of a final showcase event in May.

What is a Shaw Innovation Fellow and how do I apply?

David Shaw is an American innovator and entrepreneur and valued supporter of UNE. He was the founding Chairman and CEO of IDEXX Laboratories Inc; founding CEO and Executive Chair of Ikaria Pharma; and co-founder and chairman of Direct Vet Marketing. He also devotes time in public service, management consulting and teaching. We are very fortunate to have received his support for two Shaw Innovation Fellows at an award level of $5,000/yr. These Fellows will serve as leaders in our Innovation Fellows program, representing the student innovation work to external audiences and actively participating in the co-design of our innovation programs.

All UNE Innovation Fellows will have an opportunity to apply to also be a Shaw Innovation Fellow. This will require written responses to questions as well as an additional interview process.

How do I sign up?

Once you RSVP here, Hannah Welch, our Student Engagement Lead, will be in touch. You will have the opportunity to either attend a group session:

  • On September 21 between 5-7pm
  • Or if you can’t make that time, Hannah will coordinate with you and other students on a separate time.

In this meeting, you’ll learn more about the program, get your questions answered, and try a fast and fun project. After that meeting, we’ll be in touch about joining the program, and you can decide if you also want to apply to be a Shaw Fellow.

Tell me more about going to California!

The University Innovation Fellows (UIF) program was started at Stanford, and so far the program has trained 2,399 students at 270 schools around the world. They range from undergraduates to PhD students, and all of them demonstrate a passion for innovation, creativity and the entrepreneurial mindset as well as a drive to make a lasting impact at their schools. You can learn more about the program here.

UNE Innovation Fellows will have a chance to apply in the spring to be part of a select team representing UNE in the Stanford UIF program. This will include online training in the fall of ’22 and a Meet-Up with students from schools all over the world in 2023 (that’s the California part!).

Can freshman sign up?

Yes! All graduating years are welcome to apply, and preference will be given to Freshman, Sophomores and Juniors. Seniors may apply and depending on the mix of majors, may be invited to join the team!