GRAD INNOVATOR FELLOWSHIP
- $70K fellowship: 1 year salary, tuition, travel, research and conference expenses (supported by IIFH)
- Timeline: Summer/Fall 2020 to Spring/Summer 2021 (flexible start date, remote as required)
- Eligibility: UC Davis post-doctoral fellows, or PhD students in their last 1-2 years of study
- Experiential Learning with Venture Capital Group: During the first quarter of the fellowship, the fellow will work with the host to evaluate startups in the food system and identify investable ventures, kicking off with an onsite residency (up to $10K travel, accommodation and conference allowance provided). During the second quarter upon return to Davis, the fellow will engage in regular virtual and in-person meetings with the venture capital host.
- Developing and De-risking Innovative Concept: Using the knowledge gained in the first phase of the program, fellows will have an additional two quarters to conduct critical studies for de-risking a potential technology, product or process they want to develop.
- DUE Friday, May 15, 2020 – OR UNTIL FILLED.
The program provides winning Innovator Fellows up to $70K in funding for salary, tuition, travel and research expenses over four quarters. This immersive food-tech-entrepreneurship opportunity will be offered multiple times yearly, with flexible start dates.
During the first quarter, the fellow will work with the host to evaluate startups in the food system and identify investable ventures, kicking off with an onsite residency. During the second quarter upon return to Davis, the fellow will engage in regular virtual and in-person meetings with the venture host. Using the knowledge gained in the first phase of the program, fellows will have an additional two quarters to conduct critical studies for de-risking a potential technology, product or process they want to develop.
Learn directly from venture capital groups how to move ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace! Through a unique partnership between academia and entrepreneurs, the Innovation Institute for Food & Health (IIFH) joins with host investor groups to support UC Davis POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS and PhD STUDENTS in developing hands-on entrepreneurial experience in food, agriculture and health innovation.
Innovator Fellows will learn how investors evaluate startups and how to conduct critical experiments, studies or prototyping to get their own innovations to market. Host venture capital groups are mission-aligned with the IIFH vision of food system transformation to safer, more sustainable, and secure nutrition for all.
The selection committee considers applications in accordance with the following criteria:
- Graduate students or postdoctoral fellows with demonstrated interest in solving global food challenges
- Demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship and advancing an innovative research or business concept
- Commercial potential of concept for development
- Relevance to hosting venture group
- Strength of support from faculty supervisor
Please apply separately to either or both opportunities. Preference is given to UC Davis postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who have a strong interest in food, agriculture or health innovation. Interested candidates must complete the Innovator Fellowship application:
- Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
- Letter of interest detailing current PhD research, why the program is of interest to you, and how your career goals align therewith (max. 2 pages, PDF)
- Letter of support from supervising professor of research project (max. 1 page, PDF)
Latest Innovator Fellows
Meet our Latest Innovator Fellows
The IIFH Grad Innovator Fellowship provides candidates with the opportunity to tackle real-world challenges using their technical expertise to explore successful venture capital investment in research, breakthroughs and startups. This spring, Paul Kasemsap and Xingzhu Wu will join FoodShot Global and The March Fund respectively to gain first-hand experience on what it takes to succeed, then apply that knowledge to develop and de-risk their own potential innovations in protein sustainability, and nutritional supplements. Learn more…