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NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program (TTAP)

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The NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program (TTAP) is a free training program for NIH (specific Institutes/Centers [ICs] listed below) post-doctoral fellows, Staff Scientists/Staff Clinicians, and graduate students & postbaccalaureates seeking to enhance their current research activities with hands-on training in biomedical invention development, commercialization, and 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).

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, Drug Reviewers at the FDA, and Staff Scientists or Senior Scientists in the federal government or private sector.

*Virtual in 2023*

TTAP will continue to operate virtually in 2023, but will consider opening in person sessions simultaneously as more information on NIH guidelines is released. In person participation at the Technology Showcase (see below) is encouraged.

Informational Session: Learn more about TTAP from our Team Leads

  • The live session was recorded and can now be played back using the following link: 

Program Duration 

  • ~One year (January - December)
  • 5-8 hours per week (much of this can be completed 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 

Application Deadline for 2023 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 (The 2023 schedule will be available soon)

Applicant Requirements 

  1. Applicants must have access to a government-issued computer/laptop 
  2. Applicants must be one of the following:
    • Post-doctoral fellow within NIH (see ICs below)
    • Post-doctoral fellow within the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR)
    • Staff Scientist/Staff Clinician (see ICs below)
    • NIH (see ICs below) Graduate student [see Application requirement below under "How to Apply"]
    • NIH (see ICs below) Postbaccalaureate trainee (IRTA/CRTA)
  3. Applicants must be members of one of these NIH ICs: 
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
    • National Eye Institute (NEI)
    • National Institute of Minority Health and Disparities (NIMHD)
    • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
    • NIH Clinical Center (NIH CC)
    • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
    • National Institute on Aging (NIA)
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    • National Library of Medicine (NLM)
    • Center for Information Technology (NIH CIT)
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
    • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
    • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
    • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
    • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
    • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
    • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
    • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
    • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    • National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
    • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
    • *NEW for 2023*
      • National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) [see Institute-specific Application requirement below under "How to Apply"]
      • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) [see Institute-specific Application requirement below under "How to Apply"]

How to Apply 

If you are interested in joining TTAP, and meet all Applicant Requirements, complete the application and other required materials using the links below and return to on or before the Application Deadline. You must submit ALL of the Required Additional Documentation listed in the application for consideration.

Download and Complete 

  • Application and PI Approval Form and the Abstract Form (ensure you follow all formatting guidance on this form). 
  • **Graduate Student Applicants**: Must receive approval from your graduate program and NIH PI (include these emails in your application materials)
  • **NINDS & NHGRI Applicants**: Must receive approval from your Institute's Training Director & Technology Transfer Director (include these emails in your application materials)


  • 1 year commitment
  • 5-8 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 NCI TTC
    • Meetings with Team Leads and other Ambassadors
  • Mandatory attendance to the following
    • Technology Transfer Boot Camp
      • **Ambassadors must successfully pass the Boot Camp before being fully accepted into the program**
      • Homework completion by deadlines
      • Final presentation
    • "Perfecting Your Pitch" Workshop and Practice Session
    • Monthly TTAP Meetings
    • Participation at the annual NCI Technology Showcase
      • Date: September 7, 2022 (2023 date TBD) 
      • Location: TBD [previous events have been virtual and/or at the Advanced Technology Research Facility [ATRF] in Frederick, MD] In person attendance is encouraged to get the most out of the Pitch/Poster Sessions and Networking.
      • Poster & Pitch on a selected invention
        • See previous pitches here (scroll down to the Poster Session)
  • *Optional* - Audit-like participation with Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School's Discovery-To-Market (D2M) course
    • Opportunity: This course is only offered to TTC trainees, including TTAP ambassadors 
    • Curriculum: Provide scientific technical expertise to MBA student teams while learning how to commercially assess NIH inventions
    • ​Schedule: [January-May] TBD (usually Mondays or Wednesdays, 6-9pm) 
    • Location: Remote access available


Curriculum & Training Schedule:

Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program 2023 Curriculum and Training Schedule

Program Components

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

Early in the program, Ambassadors will participate in 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 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 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: 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, and at the NCI Technology Showcase, are required for successful completion of the program.

Certificate Criteria:

• Commit 5-8 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 the TTC Unit
– If unable to meet a deadline, give advance notice to TTM and/or Team Lead
• Track assignments, progress, completion
• Attend monthly TTAP meetings
• Technology Showcase Participation: Attend Perfecting Your Pitch Workshop & Practice Sessions, Pitch and Present a technology marketing poster at the event, Participate at the full day event and post-event networking session

Program Objectives

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

  • Understanding 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 publication
  • Communication and networking

2. Strengthen connectivity between the greater NIH research and technology transfer communities 

3. Foster a more well-rounded and resourceful NIH research community

4. Maximize the effective use of NIH 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)



 Technology Transfer Manager, Suna Gulay FrenchSuna Gulay French, PhD - Technology Transfer Manager, NCI TTC (Shady Grove)


LinkedIn Image of Whitney Hastings Whitney Hastings, PhD - Technology Transfer Manager, NCI TTC (Frederick)

Tuesday, January 3, 2023