The PCI Fellows is an experiential education program that was launched in the Fall of 2008.
It is open to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and in exceptional cases, junior research staff at Penn. PCI Fellows get exposure to a wide range of emerging technologies and commercialization opportunities in the life sciences, physical sciences, nanotechnology, and more.
The program runs on an annual cycle. A new cohort starts each Spring and Fellows can participate in consecutive cohorts.
We accept applications at any time. The application deadline for 2023 is November 30th, 2022. (You can request an extension if you experience delays in getting the forms signed.)
For information beyond what is on this page, see Overview of the PCI Fellows.
- Instructional component: PCI Fellows participate in an intensive training workshop – typically three half days – followed by individualized mentoring that provides the necessary elements to support the commercialization of Penn technologies.
- Experiential component: following the instructional piece, PCI Fellows take part in a paid internship program focusing on assessing technical, commercial, and IP aspects of Penn technologies, thereby directly supporting the development of commercialization strategies for Penn technologies. PCI Fellows commit up to 10 hours a week and complete most assignments remotely.
- Invention Assessment: is a report focusing on technical, commercial, and IP aspects of invention disclosures submitted by Penn researchers
- Marketing Assessment: is a non-confidential summary of a Penn invention, published on PCI’s website and used by PCI licensing officers in outreach to potential partners
PCI Fellows are expected to:
- Participate in the instructional component
- Commit to work as a Fellow for one year, with the option to extend
- Work up to 10 hours per week on assigned projects
- Attend monthly training meetings (typically 4 to 5pm Eastern on the third Monday of the month)
- Complete projects on strict deadlines
Who can become a PCI Fellow:
We are seeking highly-talented, scientifically-trained Penn persons to assist in managing Penn’s invention portfolio.
Graduate and Post-Doctoral students, and research staff from all Penn schools are encouraged to apply. Support from their supervisor is required for those working under one. Persons not actively affiliated with Penn do not qualify. Applicants must be eligible to work at Penn.
Selection is based on:
- Penn affiliation
- Scientific and/or technical background
- Outstanding written communication skills
- Academic performance
- Interest in technology transfer
The PCI Fellows program is directed by Dr. Tomás Isakowitz, who has extensive business and academic experience. Dr. Isakowitz also runs Penn I-Corps, an NSF-funded program to hep start companies out of Penn research. Participants interact with professionals across multiple areas within PCI.
Meet the 2022/2023 Fellows
Adama is a native of Bloomington, Indiana, and completed his B.A. in Neuroscience at Kenyon College. Adama is progressing towards his Ph.D. with the Neuroscience Graduate Group in Dr. Alice-Chen Plotkin’s lab. His research employs machine-learning-based proteomic analysis to uncover mechanisms of neurodegeneration.Click Here to View the 2022/2023 Fellows Cohort
- Neuroscience Graduate Group
- Perelman School of Medicine
- 3rd-year doctoral student
- P.I.: Alice-Chen Plotkin
- Sr. PCI Fellow 2021/2023
Meet the 2021/2022 PCI Fellows Graduates
Ana grew up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She started as a PCI Fellow in her 5th-year Bioengineering Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Robert Mauck’s lab. She now works as an Associate at Soleus Capital Management, L.P., a healthcare investment firm primarily focused on the innovative areas of life sciences.Meet the rest of the 2021/2022 PCI Fellows Graduates
- Ph.D., Bioengineering
- Doctoral student in Mauck Lab
- PCI Fellow 2021/2022
Required Application Documents
The applications process requires five documents. Because the application form can only be submitted once, you need to combine these five documents into one PDF file BEFORE proceeding to the online application. The PDF file should be named as follows:
<Last Name>_<First Name>_PCI_Fellow_Application.pdf
Within the PDF, each documents should start on a new page in the following order:
1. Cover Sheet
Edit the cover sheet format available here; add your name and date where shown.
Please provide a recent one-page resume (not a scientific CV, but a one page resume)
3. Technology Evaluation Write-up
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. To appraise your ability to communicate in writing, you need to select a publication below and prepare a technology assessment using this Word template. You are not allowed to pick a publication from your own research team.
Publications for Technology Evaluation:
1. Peyster EG, et al., An automated computational image analysis pipeline for histological grading of cardiac allograft rejection. Eur Heart J. 2021 Jun. PMID: 33982079;
2. Sterling et al., GLP-1 Receptor Agonist NLY01 Reduces Retinal Inflammation and Neuron Death Secondary to Ocular Hypertension. Cell Rep, 2020, PMID: 33147455
3. Peredo et al., Mechano-activated biomolecule release in regenerating load-bearing tissue microenvironments, Biomaterials, 2021, PMID: 33099065
4. Kumar, P., Lynch, J., Song, B. et al. Light–matter coupling in large-area van der Waals superlattices. Nat. Nanotechnol. 17, 182–189 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-021-01023-x (access via Penn Library using pennkey)
5. Yadavali S, et al., Silicon and glass very large scale microfluidic droplet integration for terascale generation of polymer microparticles. Nat Commun. 2018 Mar 26;9(1):1222; PMID: 29581433;
6. Park et al., Impact of Interleukin-27p28 on T and B Cell Responses during Toxoplasmosis, Infect Immun, 2019, 87(12) –e00455-19; DOI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33147455/
7. Scalable Manufacturing of Hierarchical Biphasic Bicontinuous Structures via Vaporization-Induced Phase Separation (VIPS), Tiancheng Wang, et al., ACS Materials Letters 2020 2 (5), 524-530, DOI: 10.1021/acsmaterialslett.0c00080
4. Statement of Interest
In 350 words or less prepare four separate paragraphs, each with a section title elaborating on
- Why you are interested in the Fellows Program,
- Why the Fellows Program should be interested in you
- What expertise you can contribute to PCI that qualifies you for #2
- Finally, write about your envisioned long term professional goals.
5. Consent Forms
Depending on the program you are currently on you may need zero, one, or two consent forms. These have to be signed and included with your application.
Master students employed by UPENN (e.g., as a TA, or RA): Letter of consent from business administrator.
Other Students: No consent forms are necessary
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 with 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 understanding 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 cannot get paid.