The RNA Fellows Program is a joint effort between the departments of Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute. RNA Fellows participate in a special training program consisting of a required 2-semester sequence of the RNA Flagship course (Physical/Chemical Principles and RNA Biology), as well as monthly RNA student colloquia. RNA Fellows receive additional financial support for the year. With Additional support from the National Institutes of Health (NiH), 3 additional fellowships will be awarded for the 2019-2020 cycle, totaling 6 research assistantships and 3 enhanced departmental TA lines. All fellows will receive an enhanced stipend totaling $27,000 for the 2018-19 academic cycle. RNA Fellows will be asked to choose 1 of 2 tracks:
Entrepreneurship: Students taking the entrepreneurship track will receive training as part of a Blackstone cohort. This training will occur through individual and team-based coaching via the Blackstone Launchpad at the School of Business at UAlbany, which provides mentorship, business software and on line courses designed to get start-up companies up and running, as well as a network of experts and student teammates to launch a company (https://www.launchpadalbany.com). In addition, students in the entrepreneurship track will participate in a Blackstone Launchpad Business plan competition followed by participating in the $500,000 New York Business Competition, the nation’s largest statewide collegiate business plan competition that awards money to the winners to start their company. Blackstone training and competition participation will be supplemented with science-specific workshops taught by our entrepreneurs in residence and RNA scientists who have already patented technology and started new companies.
Science Communications: In the communication track students can focus on written and oral scientific communication, through intensive seminars given by journalists, fiction writers, and science writers, among others, through the acclaimed New York State (NYS) Writers Institute. RNA Fellows who choose this track will attend science themed events, interact with the speakers and report on the events in our social media portals. In addition to formal writing training, students participating in this program will be required to submit a project to the Non-Fiction Writing workshop for evaluation or to work with the RNA Institute administration to communicate RNA science to the University via newsletters, social media and STEM events.