Hosted by the Translational Fellows Program

MIT Postdocs, what is the next step in your career?

Whether you intend a career in academia or industry, it is important to understand and communicate the broader impact of your research and ideas. How might your contributions make impact? How might you play a key role in maximizing the impact?

The Translational Fellows Program (TFP) — a competitive program for MIT postdoctoral associates that provides the opportunity for professional development and commercialization of a technology that originated in MIT research — is introducing a new two-part program structure designed to expand participation, further the goals of accelerating the transfer of research-derived technologies into commercial products, and create professional development opportunities and jobs for postdocs.

TFP is open to all postdocs who want to:

  • Enhance your career
  • Discover career options
  • Consider the commercial possibilities of your research
  • Influence your research
  • Gain confidence communicating with business people

Part 1: Essentials

Essentials is a two-month short program providing an introduction to the research-derived innovation process. It is a group learning experience based on the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps curriculum delivered by certified instructors in partnership with the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS).

Open to all postdocs via self-nomination, Essentials consists of three evening lecture/workshop sessions augmented by reading, videos, VMS mentor-guided practice sessions, and instructor office hours. Participants should expect to spend approximately 25 hours over the two-month period. No day-a-week time commitment or financial sponsorship is required for this portion of the program.

Postdocs who complete the short program will have an initial business model framework for their research-based technology outlining the value proposition, customer segments, and a preliminary view of the product-market fit. Participants will also have completed 10 customer interviews to explore practical applications of the technology and test market assumptions. Finally, everyone will receive certification demonstrating successful completion of the NSF I-Corps curriculum, which may be helpful in future NSF grant requests.

Essentials is the prerequisite for a follow-on program, Product-Market Fit. For information on part 2, click here.

To apply for Essentials, fill out the *application form. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2017.

*After registering, select TFP Essentials from the programs list.


  • Open to all MIT Postdocs via self-nomination
  • Please discuss with your PI/advisor prior to signing up. We suggest that together you incorporate this program into your MIT postdoctoral training program. The program is relevant to research problem selection and career development.


  • To apply, click here (after registering, select TFP Essentials from the programs list).
  • Application Deadline: January 30, 2017
  • Application Deadline has been extended to February 3, 2017

Session Dates

*Room location TBD for all dates. 

  • February 16 @ 5-8 pm
  • March 2 @ 5-8 pm
  • April 20 @ 5-8pm

To learn more about the new program structure, visit the Translational Fellows Program website