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CIE students gathered for a pitcure


The Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Scholars program is a distinguished initiative developed to recognize and engage the top graduate students at OSU. Each semester, a small group of outstanding students from graduate programs across campus are chosen based on an application and interview process. Each student admitted to the class will receive a scholarship, which amount will be announced each semester. Selection criteria include previous academic performance and achievements, leadership experiences, extracurricular or community engagement activity and unique life accomplishments. Graduate students with academic interests in any discipline are welcome to apply.

The CIE Program

The CIE Scholars program will take research being performed on campus or other technical ideas and the scholars will spend a semester developing a commercialization plan for the technology. Students will participate on interdisciplinary teams using the OSU NSF Innovation Corps Process ( This class is part of the NSF I-Corps program under contract 1548003. All participants in the class will become funded NSF researchers and gain lineage that will allow them to apply for the I-Corps nationals program.

The CIE Values

The CIE Scholars program is intended to recognize and celebrate the best. The core values that underlie this program are excellence, innovativeness, creativity, responsibility for change, engagement in one’s surroundings, personal integrity and strong moral character. These values are central to all aspects of the CIE program.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible to serve as a CIE Scholar, students must be enrolled in a graduate level program at OSU. Student participation has ranged from Master’s of Science, MBA, MSE and PhD candidates. Both full- and part-time students are considered, but students must be available to actively participate and complete group work. No academic prerequisites are required for the class. However, the student should have adequate evidence of significant academic accomplishments.

Student Class Options

This class is being taught in three different sections over the course of the academic year. During the Fall semester, the course will be offered online and in class on the Stillwater campus. The online only option is being taught in the fall by David Thomison. The in-class section is being taught on the Stillwater campus from 4:30-7:15 p.m on Mondays by Richard Gajan. In the Spring semester, the course will be offered in a hybrid format as a combination of online as well as in class on the OSU-Tulsa campus by David Thomison.

Scholarship Acceptance Requirements

Each student admitted to the class for Fall 2021 will receive a $1,500 scholarship. The recipient will be required to write a handwritten thank you note to the donor, sign a non-disclosure agreement with the university, and, of course, complete the class in good standing. Please note that there is a significant amount of work in this class.

Scholar Responsibilities

If chosen as a CIE Scholar, the student must participate in a three-credit hour course throughout the semester focusing on experiential learning through the development of a commercialization plan for a student or University Developed Technology. This technology can be the product of research completed by students in the class. Students will be placed in a multi-disciplinary team with fellow classmates. Activities include interviewing researchers, customers, vendors, as well as regulators and others, as necessary, to understand the commercial viability of the technology. Class procedures are based on the Lean LaunchPad Approach by Steve Blank and as approved by the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program. The final deliverable for the class is a full commercialization plan in the form of an investor presentation and a complete business plan.

The student makes a commitment to fulfill these responsibilities at the time they are selected as a CIE Scholar. Any student who fails to meet these responsibilities will be removed from the program and the scholarship rescinded.

Selection Process

The CIE Scholars program is a competitive program. Students will be invited to apply to become CIE Scholars. Application forms are available online by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. Eligible students will be selected from the pool of applicants to interview for the CIE scholarship. Interviews will be held on a rolling basis. All selection decisions will be made prior to the commencement of the semester.

Program Benefactors

The CIE Scholars program is made possible by generous donations from Malone Mitchell and other OSU alumni. In addition, the support of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the Spears School of Business is integral to the ongoing success of the program.

For More Information

If you would like additional information, contact:

Richard Gajan (In-Class), 405-744-2356 or

David Thomison (Online Only and OSU-Tulsa hybrid), 405-744-7391 or

Applications will be accepted until the class is full.

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