Institutes at Wildwood Fellowship Program

Who is eligible?

The Institutes at Wildwood Fellowship Program is intended for recent high school graduates interested in further exploring STEM, social leadership, or entrepreneurship. In its inaugural year, the Fellowship is designed to offer fellows an immersive, year-long opportunity for deeper, experiential learning and study in these fields.

What are the Institutes at Wildwood?

The Institutes at Wildwood are experiential centers that tackle complex social, scientific, and interdisciplinary problems. They are led by experts with extensive academic and field experience. Institute members work collaboratively to organize, manage, and design their projects and research. Each Institute is described as follows:

The Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development (WISRD): WISRD is a research lab featuring five areas of research; Earth/Space, Engineering, Systems Integration, Life Science, and Augmented/Virtual Reality. Members are expected to conduct research, develop collaborators, and publish within one of the five areas of study.

The Wildwood Institute for Social Leadership (WISL):
WISL operates as a collaborative consultancy whose mission is to address social issues by conducting community investigations and field research resulting in both deep understanding and concrete plans to actively create positive change.

The Wildwood Institute for Entrepreneurship (WIE): As a startup incubator, WIE’s mission is to foster ideas into disruptive products and services. Members identify problems, iteratively generate and evaluate potential solutions, and translate their work into products and plans for new ventures.

What do Institute Fellows do?

During the Fellowship Year, Institute Fellows will:

  • Co-develop and implement a year-long Fellowship Program with their selected Institute
  • Work collaboratively with Institute faculty, other Institute Fellows, and current Institute members
  • Connect and network with Institute partner organizations’ resources, field mentors, and systems
  • Gain professional, personal, and global skills that are transferable to college, work, and citizenship
  • Participate in ongoing reflection and mentorship to refine interests that intersect with future life and career opportunities

Fellows and Institute Directors hold an initial fellowship design meeting to co-develop goals for each unique program of study, identify milestones and deliverables, and establish timelines. Institute Fellows should expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week meeting with their Institutes and a minimum of 10 hours per week outside of Institute meetings on activities that align with their program of study. Examples of the work that Institute Fellows might undertake during their year-long experience include:


  • Lab Research: Conduct research with outside entities, such as UC Riverside, Caltech, UCLA, Southwest Research Institute, Quarknet (CERN, Fermi Lab) etc.
  • Presentation, Preparation, Implementation: Presenting at conferences, publishing research, and networking with partners


  • Taking Action: Researching current social issues and working with the wider community on outreach and creative solutions
  • Covid-19 Response: Developing and enacting a social leadership program in tandem with local and national nonprofits


  • Product Discovery and Design: Developing an idea into a new product or service using lean startup frameworks
  • Digital Fabrication for Product Design: Developing expertise in tools and techniques for rapid prototyping of products

How do I apply and/or find out more?

The two-part application process consists of:

  1. Fill out the Institutes at Wildwood Fellowship Program Application and Statement of Purpose Form (Deadline July 31, 2020)
  2. Interview

The deadline to submit the online application is July 31, 2020. We will contact you shortly after we receive your online application.

*Please Note: The Institutes at Wildwood Fellowship Program does not include any financial stipend or payment for services. The total fee for participation is $5,000 ($3,500 for Wildwood alumni).

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Joe Wise
Dr. Liza Bearman
Matthew Lucas 
Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development (WISRD)  
Wildwood Institute for Social Leadership (WISL)  
The Wildwood Institute for Entrepreneurship (WIE) 


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