Penn Center for Innovation

APPLICATIONS will be accepted starting December 2014

Selection for this program is based on:

  • Academic performance
  • Scientific / technical background
  • Preferably relevant prior experience in business or commercial environments
  • Interest in technology transfer
  • Commitment and availability for a maximum of 10 hours per week
  • Support from advisor/supervisor to engage in the program
  • U.S. employment eligibility
    Please review the FAQ before proceeding. It will answer most questions you might have about the program.

Required Time Commitments

Before applying, please review the time commitment requirements described below. All those accepted into the program are expected to fulfill all of them.
Please do not apply to the program unless you are certain you will be able to fulfill all of these.

1- Minimum Required length of stay within the program: One year
2- Initial training:  the initial training workshop takes Fridays May 16 and May 23 from 1 to 5pm.  There is no flexibility with these dates; and the training cannot be made up in any other way.
3- Weekly time commitment: You will be asked to allocate 6 to 10 hours a week to the program. The program load varies throughout the year, depending on a number of factors. You will never be required to devote more than 10 hours on any particular week.

  • Marketing fellows are required to be physically present in the PCI offices during office hours (M-F, 9-5)
  • IP Fellows can work remotely.

You will be required to complete projects on strict deadlines.
4- Monthly meetings:  there is a fellows meeting the third Tuesday of every month from 4pm to 5:30pm, although the date and time of the meetings may change.
Fellows are required to attend every meeting.

Application Process

The application process involves the following steps:

A. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION DOCUMENTS: as described below, several documents are required to apply.
B. INTERVIEW: you will be invited to an interview at PCI if you are selected for this stage. Interviews take place during the month of March. In some cases applicants will be called for a second interview.
C. DECISION: Applicants will be informed of their standing by April 15.

Application Documents

The application process requires a number of documents. You need to have these ready to be uploaded as part of your application process. Since the application form can only be submitted once, we strongly recommend that you prepare these documents ahead of time and have them stored on your computer BEFORE filling the online application.

The documents fall into four categories:

  1. Resume
  2. Consent forms
  3. A technology evaluation write-up
  4. A statement of interest essay

1. Resume
Please provide a recent one-page resume (not a scientific CV, but a one page resume)

2. Consent forms
Depending on the program you are currently on you may need zero, one, or two consent forms (linked below). These have to printed, filled-out, signed, and scanned to be uploaded.

Why do we ask for a consent form from your advisor?

PCI wants to ensure that your advisor supports your participation in the PCI Fellows program, and that your advisor does not perceive this as a conflict to your primary responsibility. We ask for this consent at the time of your application because we want to ensure that if you are accepted you will be able to participate.  Moreover, a discussion with your advisor at an early stage will help you get a better understating of how to better integrate the fellowship with your primary responsibility at Penn.

Why do we ask for a consent form from your business administrator?

We want to make sure that if you are accepted into the program, you can get paid. There might be administrative restrictions on your ability to engage in additional work at Penn. It is better to clarify this early, and not find yourself in a position where you have worked and can not get paid.

3. Technology Evaluations

Written communication skills are crucial for the kind of work you will be performing. You will be required to explain complex technologies in succinct ways using language that is not too technical. Think of it as writing an article for the New York Times’ science section. In order to appraise your ability to communicate in writing, please read one of the articles below and prepare a brief summary of the article.
Your summary should be prepared using our Word template. Please follow the instructions in the file. Once completed, please name the file as follows <Last_name>- <First_name>-PCI_sample.docx (e.g., Lennon-John-PCI_sample.docx).
Using the link below access Google docs and under “file” select “download original CTRL-S” to download an editable Word file.

Download template for sample assessment template.

Articles For Technology Evaluation (Select only one)

To access these articles you can go through the Penn’s library site. You will need to log-in with your Penn-ID. For the first two, use PubMed Plus and enter the PubMed ID# in the search box, then use PennText. For the third one use Penn’s online library to access “IEEE Transactions on Haptics”.

  1. Naim MY, Friess S, Smith C, Ralston J, Ryall K, Helfaer MA, Margulies SS. Folic acid enhances early functional recovery in a piglet model of pediatric head injury. Dev Neurosci. 2010;32(5-6):466-79. Epub 2011 Jan 5. PubMed PMID: 21212637;
  2. Mawn Theresa M., Popov Anatoliy V., Delikatny E. James, A quantitative continuous enzyme assay of intramolecularly quenched fluorogenic phospholipase substrates for molecular imaging. PubMed PMID: 22230285
  3. W. McMahan, J. Gewirtz, D. Standish, P. Martin, J. A. Kunkel, M. Lilavois, A. Wedmid, D. I. Lee, and K. J. Kuchenbecker. Tool Contact Acceleration Feedback for Telerobotic Surgery. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Special Issue on Haptics in Medicine and Clinical Skill Acquisition. Volume 4(3):210-220, July 2011.

4. Statement of interest

In 300 words or less explain:

  1. Why you are interested in the fellows program
  2. Why the PCI Fellows Program should be interested in you
  3. What expertise you can contribute to PCI that qualifies you for #2

Please name the file as follows <Last_name>- <First_name>-statement.docx (e.g.: Lennon-John-statement.docx)

In sum, these are the documents that you need to upload:

For doctoral students and Post-Docs:

  • One page resume
  • Letter of consent from advisor or program director
  • Letter of consent from business administrator
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Statement of Interest

For MD and Master Students

  • One page resume
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Statement of Interest

For Penn Staff

  • One page resume
  • Letter of consent from business administrator
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Statement of Interest

Once you have all these documents ready, please proceed to the online form.