What is Tech Transfer?
The Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) defines technology transfer as “the handing off of intellectual property rights from the university to the for-profit sector for purposes of commercialization.” Simply, the Tech Transfer field’s objective is to move expertise or technology from one organization to another. For more information about this field read this article from the Innovation Policy Platform and watch this video from the Associate of University Technology Managers (AUTM).
Technology Transfer professionals are important for translating a discovery into a product and/or service. Learn more about this here. They also engage with a large number of stakeholders. Open the document below to get an idea regarding the number and type of organizations that UCSF's Office of Technology Management (OTM) interacts with both international and externally.
Considering a job in Tech Transfer? Here’s 7 Reasons why you should. For more information about postdocs who have been able to break into the Tech Transfer field through internships at their University, check out this article. UCSF also has internships available for those interested in Tech Transfer.
How to transition into a Tech Transfer position
Many Technology Transfer positions both in the US and abroad are at research Universities. Lucas Laursen discusses this field and making the transition to Tech Transfer in an article titled “Transferring Skills to Tech Transfer.” For advice on “Breaking into Technology Transfer,” read an article from Helen Latham. For more information, check out the PhD career guide and consider how to choose a career path in Technology Transfer.
Read about Angela Loihl’s transition from bench research to Tech Transfer.
What are some job titles in Tech Transfer?
- Assistant Technology Manager
- Associate Director of Corporate and Strategic Partnerships
- Chief Financial Officer
- Director of Licensing
- Director of New Ventures
- Entrepreneurial Investment Manager
- Intellectual Property Manager
- Licensing Assistant/Associate/Manager/Specialist
- Research Support Manager
- Technology Licensing Director
- Technology Manager
- Technology Transfer Associate
- Technology Transfer Liaison
- The best way to get experience in Tech Transfer is to do an internship
- Take a Technology Transfer training course through PraxisUnico
- Take additional courses such as UC Berkeley Extension's Marketing or Technical Writing classes
- Really serious? Consider an MBA or law degree
*Note that these are just examples and deadlines occur throughout the year. Plan ahead.
Examples of organizations who hire PhDs
- Nearly every research University
- Some examples: Rockefeller University, Cal Poly, UCSF, Ohio State University, California Institute of Technology
- Universities in Germany, UK, and Norway
- Biotech Companies such as Pfizer and Genentech
- Non-profits such as LABioMed
Find your community
- Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM)
- Licensing Executives Society (LES)
- Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals (ASTP)
- Association for University Research and Industry Links (AURIL)
- California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)
- Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Is the Tech Transfer field a good fit for you?
Good question! Find out by completing the AAAS's My Individual Development Plan Assessment Tool, which OCPD co-created. Answer three assessments and it will calculate and compare your skills/interests/values responses to key factors for 60 different career paths within 20 different career categories that are options for you as a scientist (including consulting!). Click on the image to the left to see a sample report.
Ready to start your job search?
Take a look at some sample job descriptions.
Internship opportunity examples.
**these are meant to serve only as examples. Actual job listing may be closed.
Resources for your online job search.
Want more help? Talk to a career counselor