The IDC Foundation Innovation Fellowship

IDCThe IDC Foundation Fellowship Program at The Cooper Union seeks to prepare more professionals to pursue collaborative innovation created at the intersection of architecture, engineering, and building construction. To that end, the IDC Foundation Innovation Fellowship is a merit-based scholarship awarded to rising seniors in engineering or rising fifth-year architecture students who demonstrate exceptional academic performance and career potential to develop innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to pressing societal needs. 

The Fellowship provides a full tuition scholarship for the recipient’s final undergraduate year at Cooper Union and a $1,000 award for expenses related to their senior thesis, capstone project, or research project. Examples of eligible costs include materials, licensing, purchases of images, maps, or datasets, exhibition needs, travel, or any other expense demonstrably related to your final year project. 

This award augments existing Cooper scholarships. Each recipient’s financial aid awards will be impacted differently by this award and as such, students are obligated to connect with the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their individual circumstances. 

To be eligible for a Fellowship, a student must be a rising senior in engineering (junior who will be a senior in the Fall) or rising senior in architecture (fourth-year who will be a fifth-year in the Fall), be in good academic standing, and a full-time matriculating undergraduate at Cooper Union with a maximum of two semesters remaining before graduation (excluding the current one). 

IDC Foundation Innovation Fellows will be expected to report on a senior thesis, capstone project, or proposed area of study that seeks to address a societal problem using an interdisciplinary approach to find an innovative solution, including two or more of the fields of engineering, architecture, or building technologies. Fellows will submit an interim and final report on their projects and a final accounting of how the award funds were spent to support their projects. 

Application Deadline is May 1, 2024 for use in academic year 2024 – 25. Notifications of awards will be made by June 1, 2024. 

Applicants must provide a letter of reference from a faculty member who can attest to the student’s level of academic achievement, innovative thinking, and ability to complete their senior thesis or capstone project. Faculty members should submit their letter through this form. 

If you have any questions, please contact 

The IDC Foundation promotes innovation in architecture, engineering, and building construction with an emphasis on interaction among those fields to address pressing societal needs. The IDC Foundation has been a generous benefactor of The Cooper Union including scholarship and student travel support and the transformative grant that funded our IDC Foundation Art, Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (AACE) Lab. 


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.