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Innovation Fellows Program

The Innovation Fellows Program is an initiative of the Center for Medical Innovation at Penn State College of Medicine. The fellowship provides research trainees who have an interest in translation, commercialization and business disciplines an environment to further develop a new health care innovation to address an unmet medical need. CMI will provide funding to support salary coverage for postdocs or project funding for medical or graduate students to their principal investigator or faculty member’s department, allowing for dedicated time to learn and practice innovation and technology development activities.

As part of the fellowship program, participants will align with their principal investigator to further the technology’s development. The program will guide fellows through informative workshops, innovation staff coaching, industry mentorship and customer discovery through I-Corps training.

Topics include:

  • Intellectual property: patents, licensing and inventions
  • Customer discovery and reimbursements
  • Regulatory processes: wading through the FDA
  • Partnerships: contract research organizations and contract development and manufacturing organizations
  • Fundraising and private equity
  • Plus: pitch decks, presentation skills and more!

Funding for this program is provided by the Peter and Ann Tombros Endowment for the Penn State Center for Medical Innovation. This program is provided in partnership with the Office of Technology Management and Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

See below for eligibility and other important program details.

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Program Details

How to Apply Expand answer

Applications accepted through InfoReady. Please include the following:

  • CV
  • Personal statement on why you are a good fit for the program
  • Letter of support from your supervising faculty member, including a statement on the status of the technology that is part of their ongoing efforts
Why is this important? Expand answer

Innovation is a process that leverages technology but is ultimately customer focused. In healthcare, multiple parties are considered customers: patients, insurers, regulatory bodies, physicians, administrators, government agencies and health systems. To be successful in translating and commercializing a technology, it is critical to understand all these external parties’ view of the technology and their role in its development.

Who is eligible to apply? Expand answer

Ideal fellows will be graduate students, medical students or post-doctoral fellows in a department with a principal investigator or faculty mentor who provides innovative projects and support during the program. Fellows must have a salary or stipend paid through Penn State or an affiliate and/or supported by a training grant. Medical and graduate students are eligible for inclusion in the Fellows program. Applicants are welcome from all Penn State colleges and campuses.

Program Benefits Expand answer
  • Funding to support salary coverage for postdocs or project funding for medical or graduate students to their principal investigator or faculty member’s department, allowing for dedicated time for the intended purposes of this fellowship
  • Monthly workshops on a variety of technology development and commercialization topics
  • Monthly group meetings with the innovation team and other fellows
  • Team participation in I-Corps programming
  • Experienced industry mentor
What are the expected outcomes? Expand answer
  • Expand educational and career opportunities for entrepreneurial trainees
  • Generate future leaders in life science translation and commercialization
  • Generate additional commercializable technologies at Penn State
  • Make a cultural impact on the College of Medicine

Contact the Program

For more information, contact Anne DeChant, MS, MBA, Innovation Program Manager, Center for Medical Innovation, Penn State College of Medicine at