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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 is a 12-month, non-clinical program that admits multiple fellows per year on a competitive basis. It is designed to provide qualified young scientific leaders who have an interest in translation, commercialization and business disciplines to align with an innovative faculty member and further develop a new healthcare invention to address an unmet medical need.

As part of the fellowship program, participants will align with their principal investigator to further the technology’s evolution. The program will guide development of fellows through informative seminars, innovation staff coaching and assigned industry mentorship, and access to the NIH-funded I-Corps@NCATS training.

Funding for this program is provided by the Peter and Ann Tombros Endowment for the Penn State Center for Medical Innovation, CMI, and the NIH through a supplement award to the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute award.

Fellows have been selected for the pilot year, 2022-23. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and selections will be made as qualified candidates apply. See below for eligibility and other important program details.

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Program Details

How to Apply Expand answer

Please send the following application materials to innovations@psu.edu:

  • 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 a current or incoming postdoctoral fellow in a department with a principal investigator or faculty mentor that provides the innovative project and support during the program. Fellows must have a salary or stipend paid through Penn State University or an affiliate and/or supported by a training grant. Graduate and medical students may be considered for inclusion in the program as appropriate. Fellows must be willing to commit 20% effort for one full year, starting July 1 through the academic year. Fellows maybe eligible for a second year of support with the same or other technologies.

Program Benefits Expand answer
  • 20% salary coverage for the postdoc to the PI or faculty mentor’s department, allowing for 20% dedicated time for the intended purposes of this fellowship
  • Monthly seminars on a variety of technology development and commercialization topics
  • Monthly group meetings with the innovation team and other fellow
  • Entry into the NIH-funded I-Corps@NCATS program – PI/mentor participation is required
  • Experienced industry mentor
What are the expected outcomes? Expand answer

This program is expected to generate additional commercializable technologies within the College of Medicine each year, expand the educational opportunities for entrepreneurial trainees and faculty, and make a cultural impact on the College of Medicine. The Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) also expects to generate future leaders in life science translation and commercialization, a skill set that will support the mission of CMI, our university and the life science industry.

Contact the Program

For more information, contact Kevin Harter, MBA, Associate Dean for Medical Innovation and Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship, Penn State College of Medicine at kharter@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.