Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations

Shaping a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders focused on transforming health and wellness

The Fung Fellowship

Creating breakthrough innovators

“Fung Fellowship diagramThe Fung Fellowship is a two-year fellowship for undergraduates at UC Berkeley. It represents an entirely new experience for undergraduate students—learning how to advance novel, real-world solutions that change outcomes and lives through a new model of corporate–campus partnership; cross-disciplinary, participatory learning; and immersion in specific communities.

Launching in fall 2016 as a collaboration between the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership and the School of Public Health and in partnership with entrepreneur, founder of Blue Goji, and UC Berkeley alum Coleman Fung, the two-year fellowship will create a cohort of promising undergraduate scholars at UC Berkeley, each selected for his or her transformative vision, capacity for collaboration, and commitment to innovating in the health and wellness field.

During the two-year program, fellows will be immersed in specific communities to understand their health and wellness needs. They will participate in a cross-disciplinary, experience-based curriculum that integrates the best of engineering, public health, and leadership disciplines and applies it to real-world problems.

Fellows will partner on a signature project of their own design that accelerates wellness innovation that truly moves the needle on wellness outcomes. They will also receive mentorship from faculty and leaders in the field to prepare them for high-impact careers as wellness innovators.

Read more about the launch of the Fung Fellowship and the 2016 Fellows

Fung Fellows

Fung Fellows are a diverse group of students, majoring in public health, engineering, computer science, social science, arts, and other areas of study that represent the many perspectives needed to tackle challenging public health issues and to design breakthrough solutions. Students are selected for the program as rising juniors, with specific recruitment for veteran, transfer, and re-entry students to expand the range of life experiences that fellows bring to the program. 

Integrated, iterative learning

The fellowship emphasizes student-directed and team learning, with significant time spent on team-based projects. Fellows participate in a three-unit course each semester of their junior and senior years. Each three-unit element integrates core health, technology, and leadership topics, and includes faculty lectures, industry and community guest lectures, and opportunities for student-directed learning. Consistent throughout the entire fellowship, students learn about and develop skills in teaming and using human centered design approaches for innovations. While all fellows experience the same foundational education, as the program progresses their studies become more team/self-directed around the specific health issues of their target communities and the technology requirements of their projects. By the end of the fellowship, all students are prepared with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the 21st-century digital economy.

Students in bootcamp

Students advancing novel, real-world solutions

The Fung Fellowship distinguishes itself by focusing the learning and doing experiences on specific communities—at‐risk youth, veterans, and seniors—with unique health and wellness needs.

Throughout the fellowship, students form project teams and work with pre-selected community informants on projects that drive their learning about product and app development, wellness assessment, needs identification, and health system access and equity.
 
These student-driven projects are the centerpiece of the fellowship experience, with fellows participating in the full innovation cycle: basic needs identification, solution development, prototyping and validation, and market testing and business case development. The culminating experience of the fellowship is a presentation of a case for investment to a panel of faculty, community, and corporate partners.

Fung Fellowship community and corporate collaborations

The Fung Fellowship establishes an enhanced model of collaboration for UC Berkeley. Fung Fellows engage with community organizations serving targeted at-risk populations to learn more about their lived experiences and understand their health and wellness challenges.

The fellowship will also engage tech companies working on health and wellness innovations as learning laboratories for student projects. The partnership with Blue Goji exemplifies this new kind of corporate–academic interaction. Students will have opportunities outside of their course to engage in internships/employment that leverage the fellowship curriculum and community engagement with Blue Goji’s activity, nutrition, and wellness intelligence. The program welcomes and encourages participation from other companies that share the same health and wellness objectives for the targeted communities.

Fung Fellowship teaching is enriched through guest speakers and volunteer faculty from across the public health and technology sectors. Chun Ming Chin, a technical program manager at Microsoft, is serving as a volunteer technology instructor for the Fellowship. Chun Ming obtained his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley and leads engineers and researchers on web search and artificial intelligence projects at Microsoft. In this capacity, he has co-authored a paper that is being presented at an international computer science conference, participated in Microsoft hack events, and authored a patent as the solo inventor.

Professional development and career preparation

Regardless of Fung Fellows’ majors and expertise, the entire cohort will learn, experiment, and apply modern digital technologies—from mobile technology, game design and development to virtual reality and artificial intelligence/machine learning tools—in their final team projects.

During the summer after Year 1, each Fung Fellow will participate in an internship or community‐based practicum with a commercial enterprise or community organization involved in wellness and health. As a part of the experience, fellows will create a portfolio including a personal statement, résumé, cover letter, personal brand, and mission statement.

Improving health and well-being

By building networks of health and wellness experts from academia, industry, and community organizations to share knowledge and resources, and by fostering a health and wellness research agenda, the Fung Fellowship will create new knowledge to address complex health and wellness challenges of at-risk communities. Fung Fellows will draw from their academic, community, and corporate education as they become the future leaders and innovators in the field.

Coleman Fung with fellows

Who we are

In the summer of 2015, faculty members and thought leaders from the School of Public Health, the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) partnered with Coleman Fung, entrepreneur and founder of Blue Goji, to answer the question:

What would it take to shape a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders capable of transforming the health and wellness of at-risk youth, veterans, and the elderly?

Through an intense period of conversation and collaboration, a new program for undergraduate students was designed. Launching in fall 2016, the goals for the Fung Fellowship are:

  • Develop students prepared with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the 21st-century digital economy.
  • Improve the health and well-being of targeted at-risk populations.
  • Create an approach to undergraduate education that serves as a model for the university by leveraging academic, industry, and community partnerships and delivering student- and team-directed cross-disciplinary, experiential learning.

Application process

The application process for the 2016-2017 academic year is now closed.

Connect with us

“Fung Fellowship logo

Joni Rubin MPH, MSW

Director

Fung Fellowship for Wellness & Technology Innovations

Adrienne Greer MPH

Program Specialist

Fung Fellowship for Wellness & Technology Innovations

Please contact us at fungfellowship@berkeley.edu if you have any questions.

Office address

214 Shires Hall, UC Berkeley
fungfellowship@berkeley.edu

Mailing address

Fung Fellowship for Wellness and Technology Innovations
Shires Hall
2451 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709