Simranjit Singh, PhD student in Pathology and blogger conducted an interview with Teilo Schaller, a Pathology PhD student who spent one calendar year as a Duke Office of Licensing and Ventures (OLV) Fellow.
Sim: “Tell me about this extra-curricular love of yours.”
Teilo: “I highly recommend the program if you are interested in translating science [and] if you are not only interested in conducting science.”
Fellows serve as the front end of the OLV and write thorough market research reports on each idea described in invention disclosure forms submitted to the office.
Teilo: “Fellows at OLV are really involved in this early process of going from an idea and making a decision on whether we should move forward with a patent.”
The Duke University OLV is responsible for patenting and licensing new technologies developed by researchers at Duke. The OLV offers a year-long part-time internship known as the Tech Transfer Fellows Program. Through this program graduate students gain exposure to the patent process and the commercialization of science.
Sim: “Along with accumulating love, which crucial skills have you gained as a result of your involvement in the program?”
Teilo: “This speaks a lot to what I want to do with my life and my future goal is to be more at the interface of bringing science into the real world. With that future goal in mind, I have learned a ton of skills. I can look at ideas and see:
-Whether there’s a market [for that idea/invention]
-What is the size of the market? What is the financial size of the market? Is that market growing?
-Is there space in the patent field for this invention? Or is it too crowded?
-This idea could be interesting to these [specific] companies.”
In addition to communicating his enthusiastic endorsement of the Fellows Program, Mr. Schaller would like everyone to know that he “loves Pathology.”
From speaking with Teilo, it seems that the OLV Fellow experience would be invaluable to students interested in the fields of technology transfer and scientific intellectual property. Further information on the OLV Fellows Program, including time commitments, eligibility, and the application process, can be found on their website.
Tech Transfer Fellows Program Banner, from https://olv.duke.edu/students/fellows-program/