Technology Commercialization Fellowship Program

Spring 2024—Applications Closed

Overview

ERDCWERX, in partnership with Jackson State University (JSU), is pleased to offer a Technology Commercialization Fellowship Program. This opportunity is hosted by ERDCWERX and JSU’s Technology Transfer Office at the Mississippi Center for Innovation and Technology (MCITy) in Vicksburg, MS. Recent graduates (or seniors set to graduate by May 2024) from Mississippi Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are encouraged to apply.

Participants of this compensated program will gain insights into the fast-growing field of technology transfer and how patented innovations can be introduced to the marketplace. Benefits include an introduction to and direct participation in strategic planning and market development for STEM-based innovation. This interdisciplinary program will provide valuable mentorship and real-world exposure to how business and management skills apply to technology transfer processes that result in technology commercialization. Fellows will become acquainted with the mission and collaboration goals of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and other federal entities. 

Fellows will benefit from direct experience with the business, science, and legal aspects of technology transfer, which are valuable assets in today’s job market. Fellows will gain exposure to methods in use by federal government, academia, and industry in the commercialization of innovative technologies critical for our nation’s military and economic strength. Topics include market analysis, research and promotion of innovative technologies, intellectual property protection and licensing practices, and developing business relationships. 

This Fellowship is designed to identify and support exceptional talent and enhance their employment prospects by increasing their expertise and ability to contribute to STEM-related growth in the U.S. economy.

Timeline

  • April 24, 2023 Applications open
  • October 30, 2023 Application submissions due by 10:00 AM CST
  • October 30-November 3, 2023 Applications will receive timely review upon receipt. Interviews will be promptly scheduled and conducted. Fellow will be selected and notified.
  • January 16-19, 2024 Selected fellow begins program

Benefits of Participation

  • Enhance employability in tech transfer and related high-demand fields 
  • Strengthen and document skills gained through exposure to and increased familiarity with technology commercialization processes  
  • ​Exposure to the basics of technology commercialization and how non-STEM professions contribute significantly to the process 
  • Hands-on experience in the review and promotion of federal government patents for licensing and commercialization 
  • Introduction to professionals in the industry and establishment of mentor relationships 
  • Connection with organizations seeking to hire professionals with familiarity and confidence in the steps involved in technology commercialization 
  • Develop new competencies in science, business and legal disciplines
  • Introduction to associations that support technology transfer
  • ERDCWERX will link this fellowship activity to other national initiatives that support and strengthen the fellow experience.  

Compensation

  • Fellow will be identified through a selective application process and once selected, will be issued a letter of commitment from ERDCWERX
  • Individuals selected for this fellowship will be compensated by ERDCWERX

Program Activities

While working with ERDCWERX staff, Fellows will have the opportunity to: 

  • Gain exposure to federal government (ERDC) patents/technologies that are available for licensing and the nature of lab R&D activities as well as ​​​Jackson State University technology transfer initiatives and research activities 
  • Participate in technology transfer-related activities in collaboration with ERDC TTOs and ERDCWERX support staff 
  • ​Gain perspective on business strategies for innovation and patent commercialization  
  • Contribute to marketing and market research strategies that result in targeted outreach and generate interest in patent commercialization
  • Connect with licensing prospects in the promotion of ERDC patents and support patent license applications
  • Become familiar with basic intellectual property terminology as well as standard practices and terms associated with certain types of licensing agreements
  • Complete a capstone project, with support from ERDCWERX and other mentors, that includes the creation of a commercialization plan for a selected ERDC patent 

Candidate Requirements

WHO SHOULD APPLY? Eligibility will be based on a clear showing that the applicant has training, education and experience of the scope and quality sufficient to effectively carry out the required duties. At a minimum, qualifying candidates for this program will be/have: 

  • Bachelor’s degree (or be on schedule to complete undergraduate degree requirements before the start of the ERDCWERX fellowship) in business-related field 
  • U.S. Citizen (required)
  • Eligible to obtain a DoD Security Clearance 
  • Able to pass a background check to be conducted by ERDCWERX 
  • Free of any conflicts of interest affecting DEFENSEWERX or the Department of Defense 
  • Available for onsite participation at ERDCWERX in Vicksburg, MS, for the duration of the program 
  • A professional attitude with well-developed interpersonal and communication skills
  • A highly collaborative nature
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) 
  • Able to multi-task, work independently, maintain focus, and be detail-oriented
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills 
  • Requires technology savvy, quick learner, team player, and process improvement focused 
  • Willing and able to perform in a dynamic, rapidly changing environment
  • Able to lift 35 lbs.
  • A genuine passion for working in a small, fast-paced, entrepreneurial organization that is stretching itself, growing and highly focused on mission and impact
  • High emotional IQ, flexible thinker, ability to work with a team to co-create and co-design ideas and plans, strategic problem solver, quick learner 

Consideration

Applications will be accepted from all qualified persons. DEFENSEWERX/ERDCWERX does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact DEFENSEWERX directly. 

Application Process

Applications will be accepted consistent with the published project timetable and may be made using this submission form.

Application Content Required:

  • Full contact information
  • Professional resume with details of education completions and work experience
  • Brief essay explaining applicant interest in this fellowship, innovation and technology transfer, and personal goals or requirements for participation (500 words maximum)
  • Three professional references 

Program Partners

Jackson State University (JSU) is a public Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Jackson, Mississippi and is designated as Mississippi’s Urban University. It is one of the largest HBCUs in the United States and is primarily recognized for incorporating technology and cutting-edge research into every aspect of its curriculum. The Division of Research and Economic Development manages the technology transfer, licensing, and commercialization process at Jackson State University.  

ERDCWERX is a growing innovation hub that serves the technology transfer and technology transition goals of its government partner, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). Located in close proximity to ERDC’s facilities in Vicksburg, Mississippi, ERDCWERX is a major tenant of the new Mississippi Center of Innovation and Technology (MCITy). DEFENSEWERX, the ERDCWERX parent organization, is a private not-for-profit organization with additional federal government partners including Special Operations Command, Air Force Research Labs and Air University, Army Cyber, Naval Post Graduate School, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the premier research and development center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With seven research labs and multiple field offices, ERDC delivers innovative solutions that address the nation’s toughest challenges in military engineering, installations and operational environments, civil works, geospatial research and engineering, and engineered resilient systems.