Entrepreneurial Fellows

Updated: April 9, 2021
Applications are now being accepted for the CBC Entrepreneurial Fellows (EF) Award program. Applications for the EFs program will be accepted on a rolling basis until the positions are filled. To submit your application, scroll down to the Application Submission section.

The CBC Entrepreneurial Fellows (EF) Award program identifies and supports the professional development of academic researchers who are keen to develop the skills and experiences needed to move translational projects from a university lab toward commercialization and potentially into a Chicago-based biotech start-up. The program exposes Fellows to a breadth of real-world experiences across the CBC institutions in the Chicago biomedical community.

Program Summary:

CBC Entrepreneurial Fellows will be recent PhD or MD/PhD recipients or will have recently completed an initial post doc in the biomedical sciences with a strong interest and passion for driving innovative and transformational biomedical research from the university toward clinical and ultimately commercial applications. The Fellow will have an active and central role in the development, refinement and implementation of CBC funded awards focused on translational research, including Accelerator Award, Director’s Fund and Catalyst Award projects. The Fellow will have a “home” CBC institution but will support research programs at NU, UIC and UChicago in accelerating the translation of university-based biomedical discoveries that have therapeutic and commercial potential. Fellows will work in collaboration with the CBC Executive Director, Scientific Directors and staff, and partners in NU Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Office of Technology Management (OTM), UChicago Polsky Center, members of the EF Advisory Board and multiple translational focused organizations in the greater Chicago biomedical community. The Fellow will assist in the development and refinement of proposals from university faculty and assist in the collection and assessment of data supporting the unmet medical need and commercial opportunity of the proposed therapeutic or diagnostic. The Fellow will work closely with the initiating university laboratory to develop a work plan which advances the science toward pre-clinical proof-of-concept while assessing and addressing drug discovery/development risks.

The Fellows will participate in CBC-sponsored events such as CBCAN (CBC Accelerator Network) by providing updates on projects they are involved in, CBC scientific symposia and workshops, and CBC Award review sessions. Fellows from all three CBC universities will actively engage with each other to share learnings and experiences, and to explore opportunities for synergistic collaborations in areas of common interest.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Work with CBC university investigators in preparing proposals with translational potential to CBC Award programs and other funding organizations.
  • Work with faculty members on projects in Technology Transfer portfolios at INVO, OTM and Polsky Center with translational potential. Fellows will be exposed to all aspects of drug discovery and early development including development of robust project plans, timelines, project budgets and resource allocations, generate project mitigation plans, competitive landscapes analysis, clinical strategies and submitting a new drug application to the FDA.
  • Coordinate intellectual property review of projects with Tech Transfer staff and Office of Sponsored Research to generate reports on patent status and potential encumbrances.
  • Work with project team members to ensure the project plan incorporates all necessary regulatory requirements for documentation for drug safety, toxicology and manufacturing of clinical candidates.
  • Cultivate a drug discovery culture at the CBC universities and beyond by participating actively in CBC-sponsored events, symposia, workshops and review panels.


  • Recent PhD or MD/PhD recipient or recently completed an initial post doc in the biomedical sciences (biology, molecular biology, biophysics, chemistry, chemical biology or related fields) with a strong interest and passion for driving innovative and transformational biomedical research from the university lab toward clinical and ultimately commercial applications.
  • A broad interest in translational research, with a primary focus on development of therapeutics or associated diagnostics and biomarkers.
  • Prior exposure to contemporary drug discovery/development is desirable, but a profound interest in furthering this exposure is essential.
  • Strong verbal and written communication, along with outstanding analytical skills are critical.
  • Detail oriented with strong organization and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and on a self-directed basis, but also as a high-functioning member of a team.

Description of appointment:

  • Highly competitive salary with fringe benefits.
  • Funds are available for travel associated with program responsibilities.
  • Office space will be provided and shared with additional EFs.
  • Appointments are for 12 months but are renewable for an additional 12 months by mutual agreement.

Application and materials required for submission:

  • Cover Letter which should include your graduation date or anticipated graduation date as well as availability to begin Fellowship.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Summary of previous research accomplishments (2-page limit).
  • Statement of interest describing what you wish to obtain from the CBC EF program and how it relates to your career goals (500 words or less).
  • Names, titles and contact information of three references to provide letters of recommendation.

All materials listed above must be assembled into a single PDF document in the order listed. Name the PDF file with your last and first name (e.g. Smith_John.pdf). Formatting of all documents should be in 11-point font, single spaced, 0.5-inch margins, and standard letter size (8.5” x 11”). Embedded figures are acceptable.

Application Submission:

Completed applications must be submitted online using the link below:

▸ CBC Entrepreneurial Fellows Application Submission Form

Questions about the webform should be directed to ckitch1@uic.edu

Questions about the CBC EF program or application process, should be directed to Karen Snapp at ksnapp@northwestern.edu or Rick Morimoto at r-morimoto@northwestern.edu.

Updated: April 9, 2021
If you have questions, please contact:

Richard Morimoto Interim CBC Executive Director,
CBC Scientific Director for NU
Karen Snapp CBC Senior Associate Director ksnapp@northwestern.edu
Luisa DiPietro CBC Scientific Director for UIC ldipiet@uic.edu
Lucy Godley CBC Scientific Director for UChicago lgodley@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu

See more:

▸ Entrepreneurial Fellows RFA
▸ Funded Entrepreneurial Fellows