What is the Dartmouth SYNERGY/Celdara Medical High-Potential Entrepreneurs’ Fellowship?

To be a graduate student is to be a professional multi-tasker. Between managing work demands and maintaining good mental health, it can be tricky if not impossible to find time to explore or gain experience in industry. The Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies has a great way for you do to just that, with minor disruption to your work or your sanity.

The Dartmouth Synergy-Celdara Medical High-Potential Entrepreneurs' Fellowship (DS-CHEF), a yearlong fellowship in collaboration with Celdara Medical in Lebanon, New Hampshire, allows students to explore biotechnology while gaining a variety of industry skills. Fellows spend one day a week at Celdara, which allows for a real progression of insight and knowledge to develop.

Heidi Chapman, a 2017-18 Fellow, says she would recommend the program to those interested in biotech industry because it provides real hands-on experience in the field. "The experiential learning opportunity that the fellowship provides allows you to really examine if biotech, entrepreneurship, or the business side of science is right for you,” she says. The most valuable outcome of the fellowship for me was solidifying my desire to pursue the business side of science and biotechnology,” she adds, noting that this real-world experience is also a great addition to her C.V.

The DS-CHEF fellowship is designed to expose the fellows to a range of entrepreneurial skills, so a typical day might include work on market research to determine the optimal release time of a product, or examining research rigor and ensuring intellectual property rights are in place. “In addition to the work experience there were CHEF workshops every 6 weeks which provided more focused discussions of topics including: financing, business development, and intellectual property,” noted Chapman.

While the skills that can be gained through the fellowship are clearly valuable, some students may be worried about taking on additional work. Chapman acknowledges that the time commitment might not work for everyone, but for her, she says it was “a great experience, so it was worth it to me to put in the extra time.” Discuss with your advisor whether this would be a suitable opportunity to pursue, and come along to the informational lunch on July 12 to learn more. Sign up here.