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Rice University to launch a new fellowship program for graduate and postdoctoral students

Marisol Gallagher

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HOUSTON, TX — Rice University is launching a new program with the focus of providing graduate as well as postdoctoral students with the tools they need to turn their hard-earned research into solutions for real-world problems.

The Provost office partners with the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Lilie) to launch the Rice Innovation Fellow program starting this fall. With the program, students will be allowed to focus on commercializing their research. It also includes personalized mentorship from Lilie as well as the Rice innovation network. It includes representatives from the Ken Kenedy Institute, the Smalley-Curl Institute, the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, the Office of Technology Transfer, and an external advisory board of industry leaders and venture capitalists.

Included in the program are education (business development, business model/target markets, product management, and venture creation), resources (personalized mentorship, venture funding, connections to talent, co-working/access to labs), licensing (IP licenses, market approved terms, standardized IP licenses, deferred fees), and an innovation ecosystem (industry and talent connections, office and lab space, and venture capital and accelerators).

The program is set to launch this fall, with six to 10 fellows participating, and it will operate as a pilot program during the next year. The program will be overseen by an executive committee consisting of persons from Lilie, Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Kennedy Institute, and the Smalley-Curl Institute leadership. The goal is to eventually turn the program into a permanent fixture at Rice, according to Rice Provost Reginald DesRoches

Anyone who is currently enrolled at Rice as a graduate student in an engineering or science-related discipline with good academic standing, as well as postdoctoral researchers who are part of a lab, are eligible to apply to become a fellow of the program. Po

“This program is a key step in providing a culture shift to a more entrepreneurial ecosystem at Rice that will, in turn, elevate recruitment of top graduate students and postdocs attracted to this unique training opportunity,” said Yael Hochberg, Head of the Rice Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Liu Idea Lab, as well as the Ralph S. O’Connor Professor of Entrepreneurship.

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