Deadline for submission for the 2015–2016 academic year is September 30, 2015.
The Translational Fellows Program (TFP) is a competitive, nomination-based, year-long postdoc program that funds its fellows for a-day-a-week, providing them the opportunity to pursue commercialization of a technology that originated in MIT research. The program provides mentoring resources, integrated conflict-of-interest (COI) management and other support to help contain risk and maximize the opportunity to create a new venture. The TFP empowers postdocs to lead commercialization planning efforts, facilitating the launch of a successful commercial venture. The TFP aligns resources available through MIT’s rich entrepreneurial ecosystem to bridge the gap in the chain of research-based innovation and accelerate the pace of technology translation, thus increasing the impact of MIT’s research-derived innovations.
This program, entering its third year, builds on the RLE TFP which was introduced as a seed program in 2013. With the support of the MIT Innovation Initiative, the 2015–2016 program will scale to a target of 50 TFP Fellows.
Specific goals and expectations of the fellows:
- Studying the commercial opportunity and potential markets of a specific body of IP generated through research
- Learning how to perform customer discovery, customer validation and the creation of a viable business model
- Understanding best path to market and timelines involved
- Assess the level of technical risk and the path to a “working” prototype
- Document & share lessons learned
- Engaging with a VMS mentor team
- Connecting with the entrepreneurship ecosystem at MIT (such as ILP, Martin Trust Center)
- Engaging the TLO on options for licensing the technology
- Understand range of funding sources and their roles/optimal timing
As the time of incorporation approaches, plans are developed to assure smooth transitions and minimize any exposure to COI issues.
- Be a current postdoctoral associate at MIT in one of the affiliated departments/labs
- Have support of their research advisor
- Have a project that is primed for commercialization
- Be a significant contributor to the technology proposed
- Be highly motivated and have a strong interest in leading entrepreneurial activities
- Commit to a 20% (a-day-a-week) effort
Application and Selection Process:
The TFP application has two components:
- Nomination Letter:
Applicants (postdoctoral associates) and their projects must be nominated by their research advisor via a nomination letter. It is expected that the research advisor will address the selection criteria points (below) in the letter.
The postdoctoral applicant must provide a PowerPoint presentation that provides an explanation of the idea/technology, addresses the selection criteria, and includes information about the applicant and why they are the right person to take this idea to market. Slide guidelines >>
The nomination letter and presentation must be emailed by the research advisor to RLE Director Yoel Fink (firstname.lastname@example.org) and cc’d to Michal Gilon Yanai (email@example.com) and Tina Gilman (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the deadline of September 30, 2015.
Applications will be reviewed by the TFP Selection Committee which is comprised of MIT faculty, alumni and industry experts. Postdocs and their venture proposals are evaluated on the following:
- Support of the research advisor
- MIT research-derived technology
- Expectation of commercialization timeline, market potential and impact
- Genuine interest in exploring commercialization
- Alignment of research group
- Interested, mature, competent & engaged postdoc
- Absence of competing mechanisms for commercializing IP
Timeline and Deadline
1. September 30–APPLICATION DEADLINE
Research advisors should email nomination letters and postdoc presentations to RLE Director Yoel Fink at email@example.com and cc Michal Gilon-Yanai (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tina Gilman (email@example.com).
Selection Committee meets
Fellows announced; program launches