Engineering Design and Innovation Scholars Program

NSF Logo.

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM)

Collage of 4 images showing various students working on projects outside of the classroom in the local community.

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences aims to provide scholarships for academically talented students from low-income backgrounds interested in effecting positive change in the world as Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) scholars.

The EDI Scholars Program, funded by an NSF S-STEM grant, provides students the opportunity to be part of a hands-on, community-based cohort of scholars who will learn how to put social justice theory into practice in STEM fields. As EDI scholars, students will solve complex societal problems through engineering and computing projects. 

On this page:

Program overview

The EDI Scholars Program's main goals are:

  1. to improve the local community by integrating student expertise as we solve community problems;
  2. to improve the learning experiences of low-income students with academic ability or potential to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields.

Ultimately, NSF S-STEM programs seek to increase the number of academically promising low-income students who graduate with a STEM degree and contribute to the American innovation economy with their STEM knowledge. 

Scholar benefits
  • Award of up to $10,000 per year* 
  • Cohort membership and support
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Professional development
  • Experiential learning
  • Paid research opportunities

*Up to $10,000 annually for up to four years for undergraduates and up to two years for MS students

Become an EDI scholar

As a part of this program, you’ll join a cohort of students committed to social change. With faculty mentors, a professional development series to introduce you to the needs of local community partners, and a funded summer research project, you will have the opportunity to apply your engineering expertise to local community problems. These projects might include:

  • Working to understand the impact of environmental injustice on community health;
  • Understanding how to build a racially just approach to developing an application for a company;
  • Developing an equitable and inclusive approach to replacing lead pipes in the local community.

Eligible undergraduate students will receive up to $10,000 annually for up to four years. Master's students will receive up to $10,000 annually for up to two years. Community partners may include the United Way of Buffalo & Erie CountyJericho Road Community Health Center, FeedMore WNY, and PUSH Buffalo, among others.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible, students must be entering their first year of either an undergraduate degree program or Master's degree program. Master's students can be from the Engineering Science MS program or the Biomedical Engineering MS program. Students must also be:

  • Full-time students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences;
  • Eligible for a Pell Grant;
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • Interested in projects that demonstrate engineering or computing for social good.
The undergraduate application is now open!

New undergraduate students and prospective undergraduates who were recently accepted to the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are encouraged to apply by March 15, 2023.

How to apply

Eligible undergraduate students should complete an Undergraduate EDI Scholarship Application. Finalists will be interviewed to ascertain motivation, leadership, determination, and persistence.

The master's application is not open at this time but is expected to open next fall.

If you have any questions about the EDI Scholars Program, email us at

Meet the UB S-STEM team

Become a community partner

UB is looking for national and local non-profit organizations, NGOs, local small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs to partner with our EDI scholars. Contact Harrison Kelly to learn more about becoming a community partner.