NEW MnDRIVE Fellowship in Neuromodulation - Discoveries through Industry Partnerships

May 25, 2017
The deadline for this funding opportunity has passed.

University of Minnesota  MnDRIVE Fellowship in Neuormoduation - Discoveries through Industry Partnerships

Graduate ● Postdoctoral ● Resident/Clinical/Innovation Fellows

2017-2018 Fellowship Program

Award duration and amount:  one year, up to $70,000 for stipend, benefits (and tuition in the case of student trainees)
Fellowships to start in the summer (after July 1) or fall of 201

Deadline to apply is May 25, 2017

Recipients will be notified by early to mid-June, 2017


 Innovation through Collaboration

The University of Minnesota announces its first Industry-focused trainee fellowship program in Neuromodulation for 2017-2018:  Discoveries through Industry Partnerships award. Awards are funded by the Brain Conditions core area of the MnDRIVE (Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy) initiative. Fellowships will be awarded to an outstanding individual trainee or trainee team that has a translational and neuromodulation-focused research topic with high commercial potential and a strong collaboration with an industry partner. This funding is intended to equip trainees with unique  ‘seed’ and foster University-industry collaborations that seek to deliver neuromodulation discoveries and innovations with high commercial potential. 

Neurmodulation is an emerging transdisciplinary field focused on treating neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders with technological interventions at an appropriate neural interface that provides a therapeutic response and is non-destructive, reversible, and adjustable. Neuromodulation research integrates basic science, engineering, and clinical disciplines to yield new insights into brain function and develop therapeutic innovations that include electrical, magnetic, optogenetic, and ultrasound technologies. Bringing such innovations to patients leverages different researcher skill sets and partnerships that are essential to accomplish the “Bench to Bedside” goal. 

Academic-industry partnerships have been essential building blocks for the commercial medical device and drug therapies industry. Many such innovations are very historic between the University of Minnesota and what is now the surrounding Medical Alley health technology industry ( As traditional funding climates change, the ability to foster strong relations between the University and Industry partners becomes more important to the future of medical research and innovation. Trainees able to identify translational research questions and successfully partner with industry will be uniquely prepared to advance neuromodulation therapies for brain conditions. This fellowship is intended provide trainees with a valuable opportunity to develop their career and skills,  and strengthen industry investment in the expertise and resources the University and MnDRIVE have to offer in bringing neuromodulation therapies to patients in need. 


MnDRIVE is a landmark partnership between the University and the state of Minnesota. Discoveries and treatments for brain conditions, a MnDRIVE core area of research and partnership, addresses complex and debilitating brain-related disorders by leveraging university and state investments in medicine and engineering and extending our vibrant partnerships with medical device industries in Minnesota. For more information about the MnDRIVE core area of Discoveries and treatments for brain conditions, go to: For more information on MnDRIVE please visit: 


We seek outstanding trainees* (masters/PhD students, Postdoctoral fellows, Medical Residents, Clinical Fellows, Medical Device Innovation fellows) or trainee teams who will work collaboratively with an industry partner on a neuromodulation-related project with high commercial potential.  Selection will be based on the strength of the applicant’s academic records and work history, relevance of the proposed research to neuromodulation, evidence of past productivity in research or industry, alignment of the training experience with the goals of the MnDRIVE initiative, project quality, commercialization potential, and strength of the industry partnership.

* Trainees must be affiliated with the University of Minnesota and mentored by a University of Minnesota faculty during the award period.

The University of Minnesota is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. 

There are three parts to the application, all must be completed no later than May 25, 2017.

Part 1.  Online fellowship application form.   Applicant should complete the online fellowship application form no later than May 25, 2017.  The application calls for the following required information:   

  • Applicant name and contact information (telephone, email, current and permanent address) Applicant academic training history (schools attended, dates of attendance, degrees earned, post doc experiences, majors, and GPAs
  • Applicant CV (in PDF format) that includes previous education, honors/awards, research experience, publications, conference abstract titles, and IP (e.g., disclosures/patents) (upload .PDF or MSWORD file, limit = 2 pages).  
  • Contact information of University of Minnesota faculty mentor (this is the faculty mentor under whom the applicant will work should s/he receive a fellowship award) - name, phone, email, position, department. Names and contact information of the two individuals who will write LETTERS of SUPPORT on behalf of the applicant.
  • PROJECT TITLE (limit = 350 characters with spaces).  
  • STATEMENT of PROJECT SIGNIFICANCE.  Please provide a general statement of the PROJECT'S SIGNIFICANCE - 1 to 3 sentences (limit = 500 characters with spaces) in language appropriate for the general public, for example:     Dr. Smith's patient-centered research will lead to improved treatment for the critical motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.     
  • STATEMENT of the potential of the fellowship experience and deliverables to contribute to the health and quality of life of the citizens of MINNESOTA and/or the economic vitality of the state - 1 to 3 sentences (limit 500 characters with spaces).  Use language that is appropriate for the general public.
  • TRAINING EXPERIENCE NARRATIVE (upload file, limit = 1.5 pages, no smaller than 11 pt font).  Upload a TRAINING EXPERIENCE NARRATIVE (in MSWORD or PDF format)  that includes a succinct description of the research project, describes the applicant's role in the project, tells how the research will advance the field of neuromodulation, tells how it aligns with MnDRIVE goals, and explains how obtaining this fellowship will benefit your career aspirations. Applicants who were previously awarded a MnDRIVE Fellowship should also include a brief summary of the progress and success to date on their MnDRIVE fellowship.
  • OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for TRAINING EXPERIENCE NARRATIVE. The applicant may submit the following OPTIONAL information:   ​ One image containing up to two graphs or diagrams to support the TRAINING EXPERIENCE NARRATIVE (upload file) and one page of bibliographic references (upload file).
  • TIMELINE with KEY MILESTONES and DELIVERABLE(S):  Upload a TRAINING EXPERIENCE TIMELINE with KEY MILESTONES in the award period, and, in 1 or 2 sentences, clearly state the TRAINING EXPERIENCE DELIVERABLE(S) expected at the end of the award period (limit = 1/2 page, no smaller than 11 pt font).   
  • INDUSTRY PARTNER:  Identify the industry partner and clearly describe the nature of the collaboration on the project, the collaborator's role and expected specific contributions to the project (limit = 1000 characters with spaces).
  • COMMERCIALIZATION POTENTIAL:   Discuss the commercial potential for the project, and include evidence that supports the assertion the project has high commercial potential (limit = 2000 characters with spaces).
  • PATHWAY to COMMERCIALIZATION:  Describe how the project deliverables fit into a pathway to commercialization for a patient therapy (limit = 2000 characters with spaces).
  • TEAM DESCRIPTION:  Applicants who are part of a TEAM of two or more people who will share in the financial award of the fellowship will be required to upload an additional document that 1) describes the rationale for why more than one person will share the fellowship, 2) identifies the other team members who will share in the fellowship award and 3) describes the roles and contributions of each team member will make to the project/deliverables, and 4) indicates the proportion of effort each person on the team will contribute during the award period. (Limit - 3/4 page, font no smaller than 11 pt). 

Part 2.  LETTERS OF SUPPORT from two professional references.  Applicant should arrange for a LETTERS OF SUPPORT  to be submitted by each of two references who can comment on the applicant’s qualifications to contribute to the project (each letter should be no longer than 2 pages).  One letter should come from the industry partner, and the other from a professional reference who is not the academic mentor.  Letter writers should submit letters by email to no later than May 25, 2017.   

Part 3.  LETTER OF CONFIRMATION from U of M faculty mentor. The U of M faculty mentor should send a LETTER OF CONFIRMATION that identifies the applicant, states the project title and confirms that he or she will mentor the applicant during the award period should the applicant receive a fellowship (Letter of Confirmation should be no longer than 1/2 page).  U of M faculty mentor should submit letter by email to no later than May 25, 2017.  


Dori Henderson, PhD | Program Manager, MnDRIVE Brain Conditions
Department of Neuroscience | University of Minnesota \6-145 Jackson Hall | Minneapolis, MN 55455|
 612.626.2321 | Email: