2015 Call for Proposals for NSF-Funded Epicenter's Pathways to Innovation Program


(August 1, 2014) - The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is accepting proposals for its Pathways to Innovation Program.
The Pathways to Innovation Program is designed to help institutions fully incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education. The program is run by Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).
Participating schools assemble a team of faculty and academic leaders to assess their institution’s current offerings, design a unique strategy for change, and lead their peers in a two-year transformation process. Program teams receive access to models for integrating entrepreneurship into engineering curriculum, custom online resources, guidance from a community of engineering and entrepreneurship faculty, and membership in a national network of schools with similar goals.
Twelve U.S. schools representing more than 24,000 undergraduate engineering students are currently participating in the program. Their projects include innovation certificates and majors, maker and flexible learning spaces, first-year and capstone courses, faculty fellows programs, and innovation centers. Another product of the program is the community created by the faculty and leaders from the participating schools. Several cross-institutional collaborations have resulted from the first group of schools, and participants are able to connect regularly to share best practices and resources.
Magdalini Z. Lagoudas, leader of the Texas A&M University Pathways team and Director of Engineering Student Services and Academic Programs in the College of Engineering, said of her team’s participation in the program: “The program provided us with access to training and support for the development of our new initiatives on innovation and entrepreneurship. It also provided opportunities for networking with other institutions across the nation for future collaborations. The Pathways to Innovation staff has been wonderful to work with and they have been very willing to support our efforts to promote innovation among engineering students.”
Epicenter will select up to 24 schools from the current round of proposals, and accepted institutions will begin work in January 2015. Any U.S. college or university with an engineering or computer science degree program may apply. Undergraduate engineering must be a primary focus of the work to be done as part of the program, but Epicenter also welcomes proposals for interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary initiatives.

Proposals are due October 10, 2014.

Epicenter staff and current participants will host online info sessions about the program and application process on August 14, September 10 and September 23. Info session call-in instructions, additional information about the program, and a complete Call for Proposals are available at epicenter.stanford.edu/pathways-to-innovation.
About Epicenter:
The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Epicenter’s mission is to empower U.S. undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society. To do this, Epicenter helps students combine their technical skills, their ability to develop innovative technologies that solve important problems, and an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Epicenter's three core initiatives are the University Innovation Fellows program for undergraduate engineering students and their peers; the Pathways to Innovation Program for institutional teams of faculty and university leaders; and a research program that informs activities and contributes to national knowledge on entrepreneurship and engineering education. Learn more and get involved at epicenter.stanford.edu.


Media contact:
Laurie Moore
Communications Manager, Epicenter
(650) 561-6113

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