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

Scenes from the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp


Program highlights

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

  • 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 Bench-to-Business Boot Camp in 2018 (or the Business Development Workshop in 2017)
Scenes from the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp


Important recruitment dates (2018)

  • Early December: Optional information sessions in Longwood (December 11) and Cambridge (December 13)
  • January 15: Application due to participate in 2-day Bench-to-Business Boot Camp (required)
  • January 18: Participants selected for the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp
  • February 1-2: Bench-to-Business Boot Camp takes place at Harvard Medical School
  • February 5: Must express intent to apply for Business Development Fellowship. A case study will be distributed.
  • February 26: Completed case studies due
  • March 5: Next-round interviewees notified
  • Week of March 12: Interviews conducted
  • Week of March 19: Accepted Fellows notified
  • April 1: Work begins

How to apply

Interested PhD students and postdocs should first apply to attend the Bench-to-Business Boot Camp on February 1-2 in order to be considered for the Fellowship. The deadline to apply for the Boot Camp is January 15, and application details are available here. After the Boot Camp, you should formally express your interest in the Fellowship by February 5.

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.