OTD Business Development Fellowship

A rewarding program for Harvard graduate students and postdocs

Scenes from the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp


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 application process begins when you submit your résumé and a cover letter to senior fellow Tyler Brown. A select number of applicants will be invited to complete a commercialization case study and to interview with members of the OTD Business Development team. No prior training is necessary to complete the case study. If accepted into the program, OTD Fellows will be required to attend an in-depth, 2-day educational workshop — the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp — as part of their training. See below for complete application details.

Scenes from the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp


Program highlights

  • 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

  • Participate in the intensive 2-day Bench-to-Business Boot Camp

  • 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
  • Completion of a commercialization case study provided by OTD
  • Participation in OTD's Bench-to-Business Boot Camp
Scenes from the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp


Important recruitment dates (2019)

Please note, these dates reflect revisions made in January 2019.

  • Early December: Optional information sessions in Cambridge (December 10, 2018) and Longwood (December 13, 2018)
  • January 25: Applicants express intent to apply for the Fellows program by submitting a résumé and cover letter to Tyler Brown, senior fellow
  • February 1: A select group of applicants will be asked to complete a case study
  • February 18: Completed case study due
  • March 11: Next-round interviewees notified
  • Week of March 25: Interviews conducted
  • April 3: Accepted Fellows notified
  • May 1-2: Bench-to-Business Boot Camp takes place at Harvard Medical School
  • Mid-May: Work begins

How to apply

Interested PhD students and postdocs should submit a résumé and cover letter to senior fellow Tyler Brown, expressing interest in the OTD Business Development Fellows program, by January 25. OTD will then provide a select group of applicants with a commercialization case study on February 1, to be completed by February 18.

Questions? Please contact Tyler Brown.

Scenes from the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp

Photos from the 2018 Bench-to-Business Boot Camp / credit Tony Rinaldo Photography

Looking for something else?

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