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NCI Advancing Innovations through Mentorship (AIM)

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*Fully Virtual Training in 2023*

NCI's Advancing Innovations through Mentorship (AIM) is inspired by the I-Corps at NIH™ program and uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight on how to translate technologies from the lab into the marketplace. The AIM curriculum integrates scientific inquiry & industrial discovery, in a highly data-driven way, to enable the transformation of invention to impact.

NCI AIM Flyer with schedule

What is AIM?

The goals of AIM are to advance scientists’ focus beyond the laboratory, accelerate the development of a new technology, and to help identify prospective partners. Teams will learn to identify valuable product opportunities from their research, gain skills in market analysis with guidance from industry experts, and learn about Customer Discovery and the Business Model Canvas.

Teams will be encouraged to identify an initial indication/application of their technology, learn from future customers what is most important, and evaluate the size of their market opportunity. This course is intended to provide teams the opportunity to learn more about the commercial sector for which they are developing research solutions.

AIM Deliverables

Teams are expected to interview at least 30 individuals during the course of the program with 15 completed by the midpoint. Planning is critical to success; please make interviews the team's top priority. The information gleaned from these interviews will form the basis of your market analysis and can help guide the trajectory of your technology's research & development. Teams will need to keep log of interviews completed, including name, title, organization, and key learnings. Every team is unique and your instructor will work with you to tailor your Customer Discovery.

Feedback from NIH Scientists who have gone through AIM:

  • ”AIM was great. All NIH scientists should go through this program
  • “We gained valuable information for how to move our tech toward clinical trials and commercialization
  • “[It was] invaluable to have our Tech Transfer Manager on our team”
  • "AIM really helped to focus in on the most important aspects to consider for the next phases of planning


  1. Applicants must be members of one of these NIH Institutes/Centers (IC) or organizations: 
    • Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR)
    • 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)

Application Details

To apply, download and complete the AIM Application Form and submit via email ( no later than the Application Deadline

Application Deadline

Tuesday, August 1, 2023


Thursday, June 1, 2023