Rise-Up program

Tech Transfer Fellows

What is Tech Transfer?

RISE-UP Technology Transfer program aims to transforms ideas into potential startups through the formal and appropriate licensing of URI-produced technology. Through the program, trained fellows work to ensure that URI innovations developed by students, researchers and faculty are identified, protected and easily available for licensing.

TT Fellows Responsibilities

  • Scientific, market, prior art, and patent research and analysis related to URI-related IP/inventions
  • Assess patent potential and viability of new inventions arising from URI research
  • Determine technology readiness for licensing and market value propositions for early-stage inventions and where appropriate encourage translation in response to market opportunity
  • Identify potential URI student and faculty inventors (and/or teams) for prospective inventions (based on URI IP)
  • Categorize inventions into application-specific or industry segments
  • Prepare technology marketing abstracts and other marketing materials for inventions
  • Create and implement marketing strategies and tactics to generate interest in licensing university inventions
  • Identity and engage prospects to generate licensing interest in university inventions
  • Develop and manage long-term relationships with targeted companies and their executives within business development, research and development, and licensing units
  • Collaborate with faculty researchers, centers, departments, and the technology commercialization team to leverage and promote University research/entrepreneurship expertise and technology in order to maximize the licensing potential of University discoveries and innovations
  • Prepare slide decks for monthly invention review meetings with URI Intellectual Property Committee (IPC)

Eligibility & Qualifications

  • You must be a current URI graduate student or postdoctoral fellow (contact us to discuss possible exceptions). Appointment to the URI-URIRF TT Fellows Program is intended to be concurrent with full-time status as a URI graduate student or postdoctoral fellow for the full duration of the Fellows Program.
  • You must have permission from your thesis adviser to participate in the URI-URIRF TT Fellows Program if you are a graduate student.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or have CPT/OPT clearance with your visa to participate in the Program. You are responsible for any necessary CPT/OPT requirements.
  • You must be able to commit ten (10) hours per week, and expected ideally to stay in the Fellows Program for at least twelve (12) months.

Selection Criteria

  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Scientific/technical background and academic performance
  • An entrepreneurial enthusiasm and willingness to work independently and take on new challenges
  • Interest in technology transfer and/or prior experience (if any) in business or commercial environments
  • Commitment and availability for up to ten (10) hours per week for a minimum of 1 year
  • Professionalism, ethical conduct at all times, and adherence to deadlines
  • Work authorization to allow this type of appointment


Upon hiring, fellows will attend a virtual RISE-UP TT Fellows Program orientation and training session followed by at least a one-year intended commitment to the program. Hours vary, but projects are designed to be completed in no more than ten hours on a weekly basis, can be done remotely, and can be completed anytime within the deadline window (typically one week). Fellows are expected to have access to a computer and will be provided access to databases and other resources to complete their assignments. Fellows are expected to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the University of Rhode Island and maintain absolute confidentiality. Pay will range depending on background and experience.

Who Should Apply?

We are looking for students and candidates from all STEM backgrounds.

If you are interested in learning more about patents and Tech Transfer, please contact fathi.abdelsalam@uri.edu

Fathi Abdelsalam
Executive Director for Intellectual Property and Economic Development at URI

Program Lead

A former technology-company founder, Abdelsalam explored IP from a commercial angle, formulating strategies and overseeing the patent application process. His role as an advisor to governments and development organizations has given him a global view of IP’s role in innovation and economic development. He’s also advised startups on IP management and monetization best practices.

His professional journey also includes serving as adjunct faculty at the Wayne State University School of Business, managing director at Lean Rocket Lab, and entrepreneur-in-residence at various venture capital firms, such as Starta VC and Techstars. Abdelsalam’s education includes a master’s in administration from Cornell University and dual B.S. degrees in industrial engineering and economics from Florida State University.

Meet Our Team

Erik Brine

Director of Defense R&D Initiatives & Operations

Peter Rumsey

Program Executive

Ancita Sherel

Program Manager

Joe Loberti


Linda Larsen

Operations Manager