Alpha Eta Mu Beta, National Biomedical Engineering Honor Society
You can be an AEMB MINDS Scholar

Apply for the 2021 - 2022 MINDS Scholars Program

We are excited to announce the seventh year of our Mentoring for INnovative Design Solutions (MINDS) Scholars Program. The MINDS program is an innovative approach that provides students with the opportunity to collaborate and network with peers and mentors across the country, while building necessary engineering design skills, including 3 key considerations that are not usually stressed in coursework projects. The 3 key considerations are (1) market considerations for commercialization (unmet need, size of market, reimbursement potential, etc.), (2) regulatory strategy, and (3) evaluating prospects for intellectual property protection.

MINDS Scholars enhance their knowledge of product design, and learn how to effectively communicate with teammates and mentors who are from other schools and organizations using collaborative online tools, which are becoming an increasingly important skill in today’s work environment. The MINDS Scholar Program has received yearly funding from the National Science Foundation since 2016 to support participant attendance to the MINDS workshop that starts the program. For more information about the MINDS Scholar Program and information on past participant projects, please visit:

Participation in the MINDS Scholar Program is through a competitive application process that takes place annually August- September. The theme for the 2021-2022 MINDS Scholars Program is Biomedical Engineering Design for Unmet Health Care Needs. Alpha Eta Mu Beta will provide registration stipends (virtual student registration) for all MINDS scholars to virtually attend the 2021 BMES conference on October 6-9, 2021. All MINDS sessions will be offered virtually during the same time period, and scholars are expected to attend MINDS sessions as part of their conference activities, as well as take maximum advantage of attending other BMES sessions that do not conflict with MINDS sessions. The initial MINDS virtual workshop and training session will occur during BMES, where participants will meet their assigned teams and professional engineering mentors. Each team will continue to work on their project for five months after the workshop using collaborative tools such as online meetings, document sharing, and group collaboration applications. Alpha Eta Mu Beta will provide additional resources and assistance to help participants and mentors address the design criteria. After five months, teams will present their design online in the form of their choosing, such as presentations for potential investors, videos for kickstarter campaigns or other creative outlets.

Please note that students do not need to be AEMB or BMES members to participate. We are especially encouraging sophomores and juniors to apply because they will get the most out of the program, but seniors and graduate students are also welcome.

The application form is at Please fill out the application in its entirety and submit by September 17, 2021. If you have any questions about this application or about the MINDS program, please email

What did past Scholars get out of this program?

You can read more about past MINDS Scholars, mentors, and their projects at our MINDS Scholars Recognition Page. In previous cohorts of the MINDS Scholar program, team members communicated with industry experts and entrepreneurs from start-up companies, technology transfer offices, and established medical device companies. These MINDS Scholars indicated that they gained experience working with different universities and using different collaboration and communication tools. They also felt they acquired important insight into the value of intellectual property management and its challenges, FDA & ethics approval and market considerations, and their understanding of the thought process from invention to market.  A majority of students in past cohorts agreed or highly agreed that the MINDS program had improved their ability to be part of collaborative projects between institutions and provided them with tools to collaborate more successfully, as well as improved their teamwork skills. Many also indicated that it had impacted their career goals, making them more likely to engage in careers that involved actual product development and entrepreneurship. Scholars reported being more aware of practical barriers in design, and how to handle collaborative projects. Here are some sample comments from past MINDS Scholars:

“All of the talks we were a part of can be devolved into three questions every engineer should ask themselves before they make a commitment to a product’s development: Can it be done? Can it be sold? Can it get approval? If any of these questions give you pause you should assess your current position and rethink the path you will take. This program has given me enough tools to plan on attacking these questions before I ask them.”

“The MINDS program has been an amazing experience. The new experiences and lessons learned outside the classroom setting have included how to work with someone across a state line, learning how to match up each other schedules, and hearing professionals talk about the importance of the design process in their jobs and career paths. Particularly insightful was hearing how the professionals come up with ideas and brainstorm.”

“I enjoyed the freedom associated with the project and the knowledge I was able to gain by doing research on my own. If I was not involved in this project, I would have not pushed myself to read as many scientific papers or explore the development process as in depth as I did. Further, I was able to apply concepts from my current classes to our project and thus was able to practice out-of-class applications, solidifying my knowledge of material I needed for courses integral to my major.”

“I enjoyed the aspect of having a mentor and the whole concept of working remotely. I think it is important we had someone to discuss our ideas with, as well as it has the potential to create a meaningful and lasting relationship. Also, the strictly online meetings were good exposure and experience to working remotely with a team on technical projects.”

“I'd like to thank the committee members and coordinators of the program for providing me the opportunity to meet and work with people from all across the country. It has widened my perspective and given me insight on the challenges I have to overcome in order to become a better engineer.”

Are you the next MINDS Scholar? We sure hope so and we hope to review your application soon!


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