Frequently Asked Questions

Q: At what point in my career am I eligible to apply?

A: We welcome applications from individuals at any career stage, including advanced pre-doctoral, post-docs, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Typically, Catalyst Fellows are comparatively early in their career, but if you are wondering, just ask.

Q: Will I be working on my own project?

A: The group of Catalyst Fellows will, as a group, investigate medical needs and consider which to pursue, at which point various solutions will be considered. In general multiple fellows will pursue each idea, and each fellow will be involved in investigating several needs. At the conclusion of Catalyst Phase 1, the group of Catalyst Fellows will have developed a portfolio of validated project opportunities. The projects will not necessarily be in an area that you have been working in until this point, though is it highly likely there will be elements of the project that overlap your interests and expertise.

Q: Does this program provide stipend or research support?

A: The program provides financial support at a level equivalent to 20% post-doctoral salary for 6 months. The mechanism of payment will be determined on a case-by-case basis with each Fellow. We expect an equivalent of at least 20% effort by Fellows during Phase 1.

Q: Is the 20% effort set as a specific day each week?

A: There will be one weekly 2 hour session where the group will get together with faculty to discuss the ideas together. Everyone is expected to be at those meetings in person. (The time for those meetings has not yet been set.) The remaining time flexible, depending on the group and project requirements.

Q: Is the objective of this program to generate IP or launch entrepreneurial ventures?

A: No, you will critically examine and document how the projects, if successful, will have impact (societal, economic, etc) in the “real world.” While in some cases that impact will arise through entrepreneurial ventures, others may have impact in other ways, such as advances in knowledge, policy developments, new clinical paradigms, or new research initiatives. We do not anticipate new IP generation during Phase 1, when the Fellows develop a portfolio of validated project opportunities. Projects that proceed to Phase 2 when the solution ideas are reduced to practice, there is often new IP generated. This IP is managed by existing institutional structures and there is considerable precedent for managing IP when inventors come from multiple institutions.

Q: Can we pursue the projects after Phase 1: validation of project opportunities?

A: Follow-on funding will be pursued for those projects that are found to be viable and promising. In particular, our partners are committed to seriously considering funding of projects that emerge from Catalyst Phase 1. Opportunities to continue working on the project with 20% effort or higher will be determined on an individual basis. This is also the point at which additional individuals (PIs, students, etc.) are recruited to execute the project.