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NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program (TTAP)

NCI Technology Transfer Center Website images - devices, diagnostics, research materials, software, therapeutics, vaccines

The NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program (TTAP) is a free training program for post-doctoral fellows seeking to enhance their current research activities with hands-on training in biomedical invention development and commercialization, as well as entrepreneurship. *Ambassadors must successfully complete the Technology Transfer Boot Camp before being fully accepted into the program*. Upon successful completion of the TT Boot Camp and program requirements, Ambassadors are awarded a certificate of achievement signed by the Director of the NCI Technology Transfer Center (TTC).

The NCI TTAP is a particularly unique opportunity for its range of subject matter; experience gained through training is valuable toward a wide variety of non-traditional PhD career paths. Previous Ambassadors have pursued careers such as: federal Technology Transfer Managers, Patent Agents & Technical Specialists at law firms, Senior Associates working in Clinical and Corporate Contract Resource Management at universities, Health Science Analysts in the federal government, and Staff Scientists or Senior Scientists in the federal government or private sector.

Informational Session: Learn more about the TTAP from our Team Leads

  • Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • Time: 11:30am-12:30pm
  • Locations:
    • Bethesda Campus [in person presentation with NCI Shady Grove Team Leads] - Building 37, Room 2041/2107
    • Frederick - Fort Detrick [view Bethesda videocast in person with Frederick-based Team Leads] - Building 549, Room Bldg 549 A
    • Remote - Webex Option - Contact for login/call in details


  • Approximately one year (January - December 2020)
  • ~8 hours per week (much of this can be completed remotely and/or outside of normal working/lab hours, i.e. evenings/weekends/between experiments) 
  • TTAP is a flexible program spread out over one year. This format allows trainees the time to learn about commercialization and apply that knowledge, while continuing to meet their laboratory priorities. The bulk of TTAP in person time commitment will be during the initial TT Boot Camp, where in person attendance is required.

Applicant Requirements: 

  • NIH post-doctoral fellows (within those Institutes & Centers [ICs] serviced by the NCI TTC) and post-doctoral fellows within the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) 
  • Must have access to a government issued PC computer (laptop is preferred if you would like to work on projects off-site). You may request a loaner PC from your IC's IT service team OR if you have a Mac (government-issued), request to add the "Parallels" virtual machine (at no cost) to your Mac. 

Application Deadline: 

December TBD 2019

How to Apply: 

If you are interested in joining the TTAP, please complete the application and other required materials using the links below and return to Please be sure to submit all of the Required Additional Documentation listed in the application for full consideration.

**Application Documents will be added soon!**


  • 1 year commitment
  • ~8 hours per week (much of this can be completed outside of normal working/lab hours, i.e. evenings/weekends/between experiments)
    • Work directly with Technology Transfer Managers [TTMs] within the NCI TTC
    • Meetings with Team Leads and other Ambassadors
  • Technology Transfer Boot Camp
    • **Ambassadors must successfully pass the Boot Camp before being fully accepted into the program**
    • Mandatory attendance (in person)
    • Homework completion by deadlines
    • Final presentation
  • "Perfecting Your Pitch" Workshop
    • Mandatory attendance (in person)
  • Regularly scheduled/attended in person meetings with assigned Team Lead
  • Monthly TTAP Meeting at NCI Shady Grove Campus
  • Participation (poster & pitch) at the 2020 NCI Technology Showcase
  • *Optional* - Audit-like participation with Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School's Discovery-To-Market (D2M) course
    • Opportunity: This course is only offered to post-docs participating in the TTAP 
    • Curriculum: Provide scientific technical expertise to MBA student teams while learning how to commercially assess NCI inventions
    • ​Schedule: [January-May] Once per week, 6-9pm 
    • Location: ​Baltimore, MD or remote
      • In person attendance recommended
      • Remote access available
    • Final report: Marketing poster



  • Technology Transfer Boot Camp

    • 6 Training Workshops & 1 Final Presentation

      • Location: NCI at Shady Grove 
      • Dates: TBD
      • Time: 9 AM-12 PM
      • ​Homework: Assigned weekly for Ambassadors to practice what they learned during training 
  • "Perfecting Your Pitch" Workshop & Practice Session
    • Preparation - (April) Select a technology to present (begin developing poster/1-minute pitch) for Technology Showcase
    • 1 workshop to learn how to develop your pitch
      • Communications Expert: Scott Morgan, The Morgan Group
      • Location: Main NIH Campus, Bethesda, MD (or remote option for Frederick fellows)
      • Date: TBD
      • Time: TBD


Program Components:

Technology Transfer (TT) Boot Camp: **Ambassadors must successfully pass the Boot Camp before being fully accepted into the program.**

Early in the program, Ambassadors will participate in TT Boot Camp training. During this training, Ambassadors will develop a deeper understanding of technology transfer tools used by TTMs and the basics of product development necessary to bring research from the lab to the market. Homework assignments will reflect the type of experiences Ambassadors encounter while working with TTMs throughout the program. Examples include: initial assessment of new inventions, market & patentability analyses, drafting market summaries, and invention portfolio review.

TTC Unit Assignments: Ambassadors who successfully pass the TT Boot Camp will have the opportunity to apply these skills by assisting TTMs in the initial assessment of new invention disclosures, drafting business-oriented marketing summaries of NIH inventions, and reviewing the NCI TTC invention portfolio. Those Ambassadors will also develop effective networking and communication skills, while directly interfacing with fellow scientists & technology transfer professionals in the NIH/TTC.

NCI Technology Showcase: The NCI Technology Showcase is a one-day conference, during which Ambassadors will present a one-minute pitch and a poster for an invention from a “potential commercial product” perspective. The pitch and poster showcase the competitive advantages and commercial value of selected NIH technologies. Ambassadors will be guided through poster and pitch development with their Team Leads and through the “Perfecting Your Pitch” Workshop & Practice Sessions. At the Technology Showcase, Ambassadors will practice effective networking and communication skills while interacting with business professionals and industry stakeholders.  

TTAP Certificate of Achievement: 

To qualify for the TTAP Certificate of Achievement (signed by the NCI TTC Director), ambassadors must meet the following program expectations and certificate criteria...

Program Expectations: The NCI TTAP requires a commitment of continued participation and awareness throughout the year. Due to the multi-faceted nature of the TTAP curriculum and schedule, Ambassadors must be able to work independently as well as with a team, be self-starters, highly organized, and personable.

The curriculum augments each Ambassador’s current professional experience with high-level learning/understanding of biomedical technology development and commercialization. To maximize the experience and benefit, Ambassadors must be prepared to participate fully in scheduled activities. Attendance at the Boot Camp, "Perfecting Your Pitch" workshop, monthly TTAP meetings, regular Team Lead meetings, and at the NCI Technology Showcase, are required for successful completion of the program.

Certificate Criteria:

• Commit ~8 hours/week to TTAP training for 1 year
• Maintain confidentiality
• Attend and successfully complete TT Boot Camp HW and final presentation
• Meet assignment deadlines within the TT Boot Camp and within TTC Unit
– If unable to meet a deadline, give advance notice to TTM and/or Team Lead
• Track assignments, progress, completion
• Meet regularly with TTAP Team Mentor to review progress
• Attend monthly TTAP meeting
• Technology Showcase
– Attend Perfecting Your Pitch Workshop & Practice Session
– Pitch and Present a technology marketing poster at the event

Program Objectives:

1. To equip TT Ambassadors with the following skills for career development:

  • Understanding of technology transfer principles and the path to commercialization
  • Triage inventions submitted to TTC from within the NCI intramural program and TTC Service Center ICs 
  • Develop business-oriented marketing summaries for patented NIH inventions for NCI TTC publication
  • Communication and networking

2. To strengthen connectivity between the greater NIH research community and NCI TTC 

3. To foster a more well-rounded and resourceful NIH post-doctoral community

4. To maximize the effective use of NCI technology transfer resources and capabilities within Ambassadors' own laboratory/branch

Meet the Team Leads!:

LinkedIn Image of Laura Prestia Laura Prestia, PhD - TTAP Program Lead; Communications & Strategic Initiatives Manager, NCI TTC (Shady Grove)

LinkedIn Image of Taryn Dick Taryn Dick, PhD, MBA - Technology Transfer Manager, NCI TTC (Frederick)

LinkedIn Image of Rose Freel Rose Freel, PhD - Technology Transfer Manager, NCI TTC (Frederick)

LinkedIn Image of Abritee Dhal Abritee Dhal, PhD - Technology Transfer Manager, NCI TTC (Shady Grove)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019