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N.C. Biotechnology Center Launches Industrial Fellowship Program
Date:7/1/2008

Companies invited to submit applications for positions

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has unveiled a unique fellowship program to help postdoctoral scientists from the state's research universities transition into industry R&D careers.

The NCBC Industrial Fellowship Program will retain home-grown research talent by providing work experience in North Carolina's life-science companies. It is designed to fill a gap for scientists in need of industry experience as well as for companies in need of scientific expertise.

"We know of nowhere else in the world where there is a defined pathway for life scientists seeking to transition from academia to industry," said Rob Lindberg, Ph.D., R.A.C., director of the Biotechnology Center's Business Acceleration and Technology Out-licensing Network (BATON) program.

Many called, few chosen

North Carolina's universities conferred 280 Ph.D. degrees in the life sciences in 2006. Graduates aiming for academic research careers must then complete one or more postdoctoral fellowships to compete for junior faculty positions.

North Carolina universities presently employ roughly 3,000 postdoctoral fellows. Yet only 25 to 50 percent of them will ultimately be hired for tenure-track, academic faculty positions - rarely at the university that provided the postdoctoral training.

"Not surprisingly, many freshly minted Ph.D. scientists and postdoctoral fellows are considering futures in industry," said Lindberg.

"But unlike degree programs in fields such as engineering, law or business, graduate and post-graduate scientific training programs do not typically provide exposure to the world outside of academia as a formal component of the training."

Bottleneck on the bench

There's a bottleneck, said the Biotechnology Center's Shobha Parthasarathi, Ph.D., the technology development director and fellowship
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SOURCE North Carolina Biotechnology Center
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