Berkeley LSEC - Nucleate Bio Innovation Fellowship

Berkeley LSEC – Nucleate Bio Innovation Fellowship

The Berkeley Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center – Nucleate Bio Innovation Fellowship provides current Berkeley graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in innovation landscaping and an introduction to due diligence of new technologies. During the three month engagement, the Fellows will generate a landscaping report of technologies from specific Berkeley departments and institutes in order to identify key patterns in early-stage company formation. Through the fellowship, the Fellows will contribute to the Berkeley LSEC and Nucleate mission of promoting the translation of research discoveries into products that reach the public as well as educating future entrepreneurial leaders.


  • Learn to communicate effectively across a diverse range of technologies and biological areas

  • Build the skills to identify value at early stages of technology development

  • Gain hands-on experience required to landscape and perform due diligence of new technologies

  • Demonstrate a track record that enables Fellows to be competitive for internships in biotech venture capital and other related career opportunities


The Berkeley LSEC – Nucleate Fellowship will select three Innovation Fellows for its first cohort, one for each “Target Area” identified by the Fellow. Examples of “Target Areas” include departments, faculty members, certain indications, and technologies that might be of specific interest to the Fellow, LSEC, or Nucleate Bio. Work assigned to the Fellows will be conducted independently under the mentorship of LSEC and Nucleate Bio, with a focus on defined deliverables. Fellows will receive feedback and advising throughout the term of the Fellowship. This hands-on training will comprise the major component of the Fellowship, and will be augmented by a core curriculum developed in collaboration with Berkeley LSEC and Nucleate Bio.


The inaugural session of the Fellowship will run for a period of three months, from September 13 to December 17. After completing the fellowship, the Fellows will have the opportunity to gain hands-on operational experience with Nucleate Bio Bay Area.


Innovation Fellows will dedicate up to 5 hours of work per week towards completion of the deliverables outlined below. Fellows will receive a $2000 stipend for the term of the Fellowship.

Program Components and Timeline

The Fellowship will comprise three distinct key components as outlined below. Each component is intended to be tightly integrated with existing Berkeley LSEC and Nucleate Bio infrastructure. 

Curriculum & Training: Fellows will receive training which will be directly and immediately applicable to the effective completion of their assigned deliverables.

Feedback & Advising: Fellows will receive regular feedback throughout the course of the Fellowship to ensure they stay on track with expectations. They will also receive mentorship as they gain experience in landscaping and explore venture capital as a career.

Deliverables: Fellows will be responsible for preparing a series of deliverables which are expected to be of value to the Berkeley LSEC and Nucleate Bio. Specific deliverables will will include the following:

This phase of the fellowship consists of two parts:

  1. A retroactive, systematic analysis that maps past company formation efforts in the Target Area within Berkeley, focused on identification of key patterns that enabled the more successful efforts.

  2. Present-day analysis that identifies where innovation in the Target Area is happening now, both inside and outside the Berkeley ecosystem.

These two analyses would serve as the basis for a landscaping report to be submitted to the relevant directors at LSEC and Nucleate. 

Further details:

  • Fellows will survey the competitive space relevant to their Target Area and assess academic and industry activity in the space by reviewing relevant literature (e.g. published research, industry/market research reports). 

  • One of the foci for the Fellows’ retrospective landscaping analyses will be the development of a detailed timeline of the key development milestones achieved by successful in-house companies (i.e., started at Berkeley) in the Target Area. This timeline could serve as a useful benchmark for the Fellows and the LSEC when evaluating the commercial potential of earlier-stage ventures in the Target Area, namely in the context of the Fellows’ present-day landscaping analyses.

  • For the retrospective analysis in particular, the Fellows will be encouraged to reach out and engage with relevant PIs (i.e., those that were involved with successful ventures in the Target Area) with an established track record of interacting with Berkekley’s IPIRA (technology licensing office), with two goals: 

    • Add nuance and context to the overall analysis, especially in regards to the development timeline of the venture(s) the PI was involved with, as well as to help with identification of “under-the-radar” faculty whose ongoing work may particularly benefit from a deeper interaction with the IPIRA. These conversations could also serve as the basis for a “case study” specific to a particular venture.

  • This phase of the Fellowship is anticipated to last three months. It is also possible that fellows could potentially supplement their experience by landscaping additional Target Areas, within the competitive space of the highest priority for the LSEC being selected for the next phase of the Fellowship.

  • Fellows will prepare a landscaping report summarizing their findings and suggesting relevant Berkeley labs active in the Target Area. Landscaping reports will be shared with the relevant campus resources, and a shortlist of PIs for outreach will be decided upon.

APPLICATION PROCESS (currently closed - sign up for our mailing list for information re the next session starting January 2022)

Eligibility criteria:

  • UC Berkeley or Berkeley-affiliated PhD students or postdoctoral fellows

  • PhD students must have completed qualifying exams

  • Applicants must be willing to commit up to 5 hours per week for the duration of Fall 2021 semester

Application timeline:

  • Applications due by September 5, 2021 (deadline extended!)

  • Interview invitations for selected candidates will be held Sept 7-10

  • Fellowship will commence from September 13, 2021 and run until December 17, 2021

Application material:

  • Applicants need to submit a resume and a cover letter highlighting their interest in the fellowship and background before the application deadline

  • Selected candidates will be invited for an interview  with the leadership  team.

  • Accepted Innovation Fellows must have consent from their Principal Investigator to participate in the program.