IDEA Summer Design Program
Find out more about different things you can experience through IDEA. IDEA consists of a variety of unique experiences that help our students learn new skills and also put them to the test. We host Design Labs, workshops, and other programs that last from a few days to even a whole semester.
IDEA believes in early experiences in a college journey. The Summer Design Program matches you with an industry or community partner to work on a problem area of interest to the organization based upon their mission and/or philanthropic focus or area. We believe that early engagement with industry and organization professionals allows you to explore your interests while providing workforce development for a forward-thinking career.
- Define the problem space or opportunity
- Gain experience with using design techniques to use to explore the problem space or opportunity
- Conduct primary and secondary research to develop hypotheses
- Test research-informed hypotheses
- Bridge research to application through relevant and impactful presentation decks, narratives, videos, posters, or exhibits.
- Build a practice of community engagement and action
- Identify a topic or focus you are passionate about
- Comfort level with self-directed work within a team culture and navigating ambiguity.
- Openness to critique and curiosity to learn from a spectrum of perspectives.
- Curiosity and willingness to explore organizational processes and why things are done that way
- Passion -- A strong passion for making a positive difference for the community through design.
IDEA partnered with Hajar Shirley, Health Innovation & Technology Instructor, Digital Strategist, and Researcher to create an Agile Framework to organize and structure the experience.
The five-week program is divided into one-week "sprints", short, time-boxed periods where the teams work to complete a set amount of work. Each sprint results in a specific design artifact that contributes to the final deliverable.
Sprint #1: Design Research
Sprint #2: Experimentation
Determine what to Prototype
Sprint #3: Experimentation
Testing and Validation
Sprint #4: Outcomes Reporting
Final Report and Presentation
Sponsor a Summer Project
The IDEA Summer Design Experience is a guided summer fellowship through which Freshman and Sophomore design and entrepreneurship students work with community partners on problem areas of interest to the organization based upon mission and/or philanthropic focus or area.
Traditional student programs are focused on capstone or culminating experiences within a program of study. Opportunities exist long before these upperclassmen experiences take place for students to apply curricular knowledge and contribute to an organization’s success.
When industry and non-profit organizations partner with universities, problems are solved, innovative solutions are found, and groundwork for future partnerships is laid. When these partnerships are focused on students, new perspectives and real-world learning flourish.
We invite you to co-develop the potential of an early academic experience.
We look for Project Sponsors interested in:
Mentorship: The Summer Design Program Framework provides for project teams to meet with their mentor/sponsor weekly throughout the program. During the weekly stakeholder meeting you meet with your project team at the start of each week to provide feedback on the sprint goals and task board that the team has developed for the week’s work. Additional, optional, engagements include site visits for the project team to shadow company employees, mentoring, or company/employee presentations on career options.
Time Commitment: Project Sponsors will commit one individual for a one-hour weekly meetings on Mondays to provide feedback on the project team's plan for the week. Project Sponsors are encouraged to schedule additional meetings with a design team as your schedule and interest allows.
The Summer Design Program is open to Rising Sophomores. They are motivated students, looking to start earlier with connecting their classroom learning with valuable, practical work experience. They do not want to wait until the end of their undergraduate education for a capstone design project to apply knowledge and demonstrate their skills.
Teams of four to six students with diverse interests and perspectives will be formed and assigned to each sponsored project. Each student is expected to spend 30 hours per week on the project. Students will be provided with on-campus housing and social events.
Great projects will have a clear purpose with a recognized value to the organization or society. They should have specific functional objectives with a scope that is broad enough to provide opportunity for exploration through design methods.
Projects should have a level of complexity that is compatible with a five-person team of First-Years / Rising Sophomores working on average 30 hours a week each for five weeks.
Exploratory or generative projects can be quite successful as summer projects.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about submitting a project idea or if you would like to speak with the IDEA Director to make sure your idea is a good fit for the summer program.
- One or more 5-week projects based on your interests and needs.
- Fresh eyes and minds focused on moving your project forward.
- Meet and develop connections with our most qualified students for jobs or internships.
- Over 600 person hours dedicated to your project across 5-weeks.
- Final Project Presentations and Networking event
- Each team is assigned a Project Advisor (PA). Their role is to guide the team during the weekly sprints.
- Great exposure on campus for your company’s brand.
Project Sponsors support IDEA and students in the program through a sponsorship fee. The fee goes directly to paying student stipends, housing, and project materials. Non-profit organizations and NGOs are eligible for a reduced fee. Governmental agencies and Rutgers University departments are not charged a fee. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Project Sponsors can choose to retain all IP generated for the project or all students to retain the IP from their work.