Graduate Immersion Program

The Graduate Immersion Program is a competitive opportunity for ASU graduate students to join the Office of Applied Innovation for a 30 week period to advance their own applied project(s) in service of the Office mission. Our team provides participants with the time, space, training, network, and support they need in order to be successful.

This program is paused for the 2022 cycle.

What does it look like to participate in the Graduate Immersion Program?

Over the course of the program graduate interns will:

  • Advance a project-based idea within an interdisciplinary, fast-paced, collaborative environment.
  • Contribute to the development and refinement of an Applied Innovation curriculum for future versions of the Graduate Immersion program based on the processes and practices tested in this pilot.
  • Develop mutually-beneficial partnerships with mission-aligned internal and external stakeholders.
  • Design, contribute to, and participate in professional development and training opportunities.
  • Provide occasional support to staff on projects related to areas of development and interest.

Past Participants and their Projects:

Lex Williams is a Junior Software Developer at the Center for Games and Impact, with a BA in the School For Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, and is currently a first-year Public Interest Technology MS student. They plan to study the implications of discriminatory surveillance in smart cities through examining glitch politics, race, gender, and sexuality in addition to working as a software developer and game developer.

The intervention Lex is working on as part of the Graduate Immersion Program is a group management app that will add nuance to the way probation officers identify and describe “progress” so that justice-involved youth are spending less time in detention. Probation officers with Durango and Pima counties are given various educational tools that track the youth under their supervision, but none of these methods can actively identify how those youth are progressing.

Tyler Eglen is a 2nd year student in the Global Technology and Development program within the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Tyler's work as a Graduate Immersion Innovator is to create a student driven grassroots distributed plastic recycling hub that provides real world learning applications for students in a variety of disciplines (engineering, design, sustainability, business, education). With lessons learned here at ASU, the work is then going to be taken into communities and handed off to local entrepreneurs working in plastic reclamation. Tyler comes to Applied Innovation after working as a teacher and researcher at ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination. He has also been a teacher in both formal and informal environments working to create novel STEAM learning experiences for K-12 learners for the past 7 years. Tyler holds an MFA from ASU (2014) and a BA from Purdue University (2008) (see more info in this video).

Veronica is a Graduate Immersion Innovator developing “reTech Fundamentals”, a project aimed at closing the computer literacy knowledge gap for students in Title One schools. Our objective is to help students better participate and excel in the online learning environment.

Veronica earned her undergraduate degrees at W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, then entered the workforce as a Global Emerging Markets analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase. She decided to pivot her career track and apply everything she learned to develop communities as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She served in the Dominican Republic and worked on initiatives in community economic development and women empowerment. Her service inspired Veronica to create reTech in 2017. reTech is a grassroots organization that is dedicated to bringing awareness to the digital divide and creating solutions to support communities with limited access to technology.

Veronica is a Coverdell Fellow at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, earning her master’s degree with a concentration in Global Development & Innovation. Veronica is a native Phoenician.

Become an Applied Innovation Graduate Intern

The Office of Applied Innovation recruits new cohorts for the Graduate Immersion Program every Fall. Check back in late 2022 for details on our spring-summer 2023 program.

Eligibility and Qualifications

Applications for the Applied Innovation Graduate Immersion are invited from those who:

  • Are current graduate students at Arizona State University in good academic standing. Master’s, Doctoral, and Professional (e.g., law, MBA) degree-seeking students are all welcome to apply. Students must be registered for at least one credit hour in the spring and fall semesters of 2021 to be eligible.
  • Are authorized to work in the United States (Applicants must be either a citizen of the United States or be able to maintain work authorization throughout the fellowship. Arizona State University does not offer visa sponsorship to candidates for the immersion program.)
  • Are able to commit for the entire duration of the program from January 11, 2021 – August 6, 2021.

Appointment Details

Applied Innovation Graduate Interns:

  • Are 30-week long appointments (spring and summer semesters) at 20 hours per week (0.50 FTE).
  • Are not required to be enrolled in classes in the summer but need to be enrolled for at least 1 credit in the spring and (following) fall semesters.
  • Are paid a stipend of $11,000 in the spring and of $6,600 in the summer.
  • Do not have any health benefits, but are eligible for health insurance through student health (

Successful Candidates

We seek candidates with a passion for problem-solving and who wish to apply their unique talents to advance Arizona State University’s charter and our office’s goals of expanding access to educational and economic opportunity. Successful candidates will exhibit the following qualities:

  • Creative problem-solving skills, learning agility and ability to adapt to change quickly
  • Experience in making adjustments to project strategy and implementation
  • Comfort working with emerging technologies and their economic/social implications
  • Capacity to perform in a fast-paced environment
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to connect people, groups and organizations
  • Self-motivation, teamwork-orientation and entrepreneurial spirit

How to Apply

Applicants must create a single Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) document that includes the following components, in this order:

  • Cover letter (addressed to Luke Tate, Managing Director)
  • Resume (2-page maximum)
  • Contact information for three academic or professional references (phone and email)
  • Executive summary of proposed idea (not exceeding two pages in length), inclusive of:
    • What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon and in only 100 words.
    • How is your problem or challenge of interest currently being addressed? How is your solution different from or an improvement on the current practice or solution?
    • What is new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
    • Who cares? Who are your target populations or users? If you are successful, what difference will it make?
    • How is it socially embedded? What are the opportunities to collaborate (across ASU, with policymakers, with community partners, etc.?)
    • What are the risks? What challenges do you anticipate?
    • What resources does it require?
    • How long will it take?
    • What can you accomplish within time constraints of the immersion program? What will your deliverables be?
    • What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success? How will you know you’ve succeeded?
  • There are no formatting requirements beyond the page limit. Please produce a document that is brief, accessible, and readable.


Application materials should clearly exhibit the qualifications listed above under “Eligibility and Qualifications.”

Interviews may be held before the application deadline. Applications will be considered until suitable candidates are identified. 

Check back in Fall 2022 for details on how to apply to the 2023 program.