OTD Business Development Fellowship

A rewarding program for Harvard graduate students and postdocs

At Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD), the Business Development Fellowship provides current Harvard graduate students and postdoctoral researchers an opportunity to participate in the crucial early stages of technology development. By analyzing technologies’ commercialization potential and crafting marketing strategies, Fellows help us achieve our mission of translating research discoveries into products that reach the public.

During the yearlong program, the Business Development Fellows will be assigned to projects that may require their scientific background and domain expertise and asked to evaluate markets, assess intellectual property and patent landscapes, identify appropriate licensing partners for Harvard technologies, and create marketing campaigns.

The selection process begins with an in-depth 2-day educational workshop on technology development. Fellows will then be selected from among the interested participants. See below for application details.

Program highlights

  • Participate in the intensive 2-day Business Development Workshop

  • Over the course of a year, gain a valuable practical introduction to the fields of technology transfer, intellectual property, business development, and marketing

  • Expand your network through exclusive events with outside experts, through interactions with OTD’s highly experienced professional staff, and by connecting with other researchers who share an interest in commercializing science

  • Develop marketable skills for alternative careers in science

  • Receive compensation for your time

In recent years, alumni of this program (formerly known as the Early Technology Assessment Program) have found rewarding career opportunities in intellectual property law, technology transfer, business development for pharmaceutical companies, and venture-backed entrepreneurship.


  • Generating written reports detailing market size, competition, intellectual property, and partnering strategies for Harvard technologies
  • Preparing marketing materials for potential industry partners
  • Attending, and participating in, scheduled seminar series and group meetings
  • Up to 5 hours of work per week completed at any location convenient to you


  • Harvard or Harvard-affiliated PhD students or postdocs
  • PhD students must have completed qualifying exams
  • Ability to commit up to 5 hours per week for 1 year
  • Registered for (or previously completed) the Business Development Workshop

Important recruitment dates (2017)

  • Mid-February: Optional information sessions in Longwood (February 14) and Cambridge (February 22).
  • March 1: Application due to participate in 2-day Business Development Workshop and be considered for the Fellowship
  • March 8: Participants selected for the Business Development Workshop
  • March 22–23: Business Development Workshop. A case study, the next step in the application process, will be distributed.
  • April 7: Completed case studies due
  • April 14: Next-round interviewees notified
  • Week of April 16: Interviews conducted
  • April 24: Accepted Fellows notified
  • April 27: Work begins

How to apply

Interested PhD students and postdocs should submit a résumé and cover letter to Adam Brown (adambrown@fas.harvard.edu) by March 1. The cover letter should explain why you are interested in the Fellowship. Applicants are required to attend the Business Development Workshop on March 22–23 in order to be considered for the Fellowship.

Looking for something else?

Recent MBA graduates of Harvard Business School may be interested in the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship. Learn more.