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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 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. Upon successful completion of the Technology Transfer Boot Camp and program requirements, Ambassadors are awarded a certificate of achievement.

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: 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.

Duration: Approximately one year (January - December 2019) 

Applicant Requirements: NIH post-doctoral fellows (within those Institutes & Centers [ICs] serviced by the NCI Technology Transfer Center [TTC]) and post-doctoral fellows within the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) - *Note different application deadlines below* -

*NIH* Application Deadline: Monday, December 17, 2018

*FNLCR* Application Deadline: Monday, December 31, 2018

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.

NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program Application

Abstract Form for the Technology Transfer Program Application

PI Approval Form for the Technology Transfer Program Application



  • 1 year commitment
  • 8-10 hours per week (~4-5 hours per week 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
    • Mandatory attendance
    • Homework completion
    • Satisfactory final presentation
  • "Perfecting Your Pitch" Workshop
    • Mandatory attendance
  • Regularly scheduled/attended in person meetings with assigned Team Lead (TBD upon TTC Unit assignment) 
  • Monthly TTAP Meetings (with bi-monthly socials)
  • Participation (poster & pitch) at the 2019 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
      • In person attendance highly recommended
      • Remote access available
    • Final report: Marketing slide deck (~6 slides) & Tech Showcase poster (encouraged) for your team-assigned invention



  • Technology Transfer Boot Camp

    • 5 Training Workshops & 1 Final Presentation

      • Location: NCI at Shady Grove 
      • Dates: Thursdays - January 31; February 7, 21, 28; March 7 and 21 
      • 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: Thursday, May 2 
      • Time: 10 AM-12 PM
    • 1 post-workshop session to practice your perfected pitch
      • Location: NCI Shady Grove
      • Date: June (TBD - during regularly scheduled monthly TTAP Meeting)
      • Time: 1-2 hours (TBD)


Program Components

Technology Transfer (TT) Boot Camp: 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: After TT Boot Camp, Ambassadors 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. 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. 


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. 


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; Invention Development & Marketing Specialist, 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, October 24, 2018
Wednesday, June 19, 2019