Office of Technology Development Internship Program

Technology Transfer Overview

The Office of Technology Development (OTD) supports the achievement of UNC's mission by facilitating the process by which new discoveries lead to useful products benefiting society, attracting industry research collaboration, and stimulating local and regional economic development. OTD accomplishes these objectives by leveraging UNC intellectual property to find private sector partners to license, or form startup companies to develop, UNC technology.

OTD typically handles approximtely 125 novel technologies yearly, generating over 50 patent filings, 30 license agreements and 3-5 startup companies.  The importance UNC places on intellectual property management is reflected in a recent study by an independent analyst group measuring the impact of patents issued to major universities, which found that UNC's portfolio was amongst the top fifteen nationwide - and number one in strength of its life science patents.

OTD Internship Overview

The OTD internship program is an eight month position for graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows who wish to learn more about intellectual property and technology commercialization. The internship runs during the academic year, from August to May, and requires a commitment of approximately 8-12 hours per week. Interns will participate in a formal training series covering the basics of technology transfer, conduct market assessments and direct marketing efforts for select technologies, and gain exposure to ongoing negotiations between OTD and industry partners.

OTD Training Series

Beginning in September, OTD offers a monthly series of internal training sessions for interns, new OTD employees and visiting technology transfer professionals.  These sessions, which last from two to three hours, cover essential topics in the technology transfer profession:  Technology Transfer and Public Policy, Intellectual Property Basics, Patent License Anatomy, Negotiating License Terms, Startup Company Basics, Confidentiality and Material Transfer Agreements, and Sponsored Research Agreements.

OTD Market Analyses

One of the critical roles of OTD is to perform market assessments of promising UNC technology.  OTD interns will compile analyses of the market and competitive landscapes pertinent to key OTD technologies.  These in-depth reviews help OTD and UNC researchers analyze the commercial potential of UNC inventions.  These reviews are also used by OTD to prioritize technologies for corporate partners.

Ongoing Negotiations

A second key role of OTD is to negotiate license agreements between UNC and our industry partners.  A license agreement is a vehicle by which UNC allows a commercial third party to practice under patent rights, to use tangible property, or to practice under copyrights owned by UNC.  In return, UNC is generally compensated through a mixture of upfront and downstream financial payments, in addition to other non-financial consideration.  The majority of OTD's activities are performed with the eventual goal of transferring UNC technology to the commercial sector via a license agreement.  OTD interns will be invited to participate in key license agreement negotiation sessions, gaining valuable exposure to these complicated transactions.

OTD Internship Requirements

Potential OTD interns must satisfy the following requirements:


For More Information

Currently, OTD accepts three to four interns per year, with internships beginning in August.  To apply for an internship, or to inquire further about the program, please contact:

Peter Liao
Office of Technology Development
Peter_Liao@unc.edu
OTD Website

Application Process

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to the contact listed above.