Provost's Innovation Student Fellowship


The Provost’s Innovation Initiative fosters innovation and entrepreneurship serving as an incubator where inquiry leads to real impact and a place where innovation occurs at the intersection of disciplines.

The Provost’s Innovation Student Fellowship program is a seven-month, cohort-modeled, co-curricular program that will both educate students about the wider campus entrepreneurial ecosystem while also promoting the development of an entrepreneurial mindset through the creation of student-led projects that expand UO’s ecosystem.

Students will attend bi-monthly meetings where they 1) learn about key facets of UO’s entrepreneurial ecosystem from senior leaders, alumni and community leaders; and, 2) create their own student projects through a peer-support network.

Ecosystem Component:
The cohort will meet once a month with senior leaders around a specific topic related to UO’s entrepreneurship ecosystem (see Tentative Calendar below for further information). The one-hour virtual meetings will expose students to areas such as commercialization and faculty spinouts, the Knight Campus, student resources available and how UO fits within the wider community and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. Students will come away from the program with a strong understanding of what makes a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and be able to direct their peers on how to access resources.

Student Project Component:
The student project is meant to empower students to build their own entrepreneurial initiative in response to what they learn about UO’s ecosystem that will increase student engagement around entrepreneurship and innovation. Possible initiatives could be focused at the college-level (developing new entrepreneurial programs or resources specific to certain departments or majors) or creating campus-wide buy-in by developing programming or resources around diversity, interdisciplinary collaboration or student support networks (clubs). Participants will develop their own initiative over the year, in consultation with the program facilitator, and present their findings during the Trade Show portion of the annual UO Entrepreneurship Awards ceremony (held in June).

In addition to having a standing monthly Ecosystem meeting with senior leaders, the cohort will also meet virtually once a month with their peers and the program facilitator to discuss their learnings to date and to update their progress on their student project. Students will be encouraged to map out the entrepreneurial resources within their own college and share those connections with their peers in an effort to identify gaps in UO’s ecosystem where they may want to focus their student project around.

Meet the 2020-21 Cohort 

Required Reading: The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Brad Feld and Ian Hathaway (2020) Students will be given a copy of The Startup Community Way to read and discuss during the monthly peer meetings.

Additional Student Assignment: In an effort to capture and promote the cohort’s learning over the academic year, participants will be required to write a couple short blog posts that will be shared through the university’s communication channels. Blog postings can relate to specific concepts or insight gained from the monthly meetings, readings or connect personally to the student’s project of interest.

Anticipated Program Outcomes:

  • Thorough understanding of ecosystem building and one’s role in fostering entrepreneurship
  • Building a sustainable entrepreneurial initiative that future students can benefit from
  • Networking with UO senior leadership to learn the ins and outs of the UO campus ecosystem
  • Meeting likeminded peers interested in innovation & entrepreneurship

Expected Time Commitment:

  • Two one-hour virtual meetings a month (November through May)
  • Two hours a month reading the assigned book and writing a blog post
  • Additional time devoted to developing your own entrepreneurial project for the campus

Student Funding:

Provost’s Innovation Student Fellows will each receive a $1500 stipend in recognition of their work that can be used in any capacity they see fit. Additional funding to support student developed projects may also be available.

Application Process: (Link to application)

Students of all majors (including undergraduate and graduate students) are welcomed to apply.

Applications will be evaluated taking into account a cohort make-up that reflects diversity of major, gender, ethnicity, undergraduate and graduate status and prior experience in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Check back this fall for application deadlines for the 2021-2022 Challenge.