Nine Rutgers Postdocs and Ph.D. Candidates Awarded Inaugural Mistletoe Research Fellowships

Nine Rutgers postdoctoral researchers and Ph.D. candidates were recently awarded a Mistletoe Research Fellowship, a professional development program of the Mistletoe Foundation launched in 2018 to fund scientific research, provide training opportunities for early-career academics, and help early-stage startups succeed in advancing nascent technologies with humanitarian impact.

Under the program, each Mistletoe Fellow is awarded a $10,000 Unfettered Research Grant that can be applied to their own individual research activities. This unrestricted grant can be used over the course of a single academic year for almost any university-approved research-related activity, including conference travel support, purchases of equipment, and software and database licenses.

In addition to the funding support for their own research, the fellows are also expected to participate in a Mistletoe Startup Collaboration that provides structured professional development training.  In this collaboration, fellows are matched with a startup selected by the Mistletoe Foundation and participate in an extracurricular project to help the startup find solutions to specific science or technology problems and further the development of an existing product with social impact. The Mistletoe Fellows will work in small, cross-disciplinary and inter-institutional teams of four researchers and an experienced mentor from a partner organization on this project.

The Mistletoe Fellows from Rutgers University are:

  • Katarzyna Tyc - postdoc, Math
  • Hao Wang - postdoc, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Molla Hasan - postdoc, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
  • Brahm Yachnin - post-doc, Biochemistry
  • Attila Farkas - postdoc, Experimental Psychology
  • Sean McQuade – Ph.D. Candidate, Computational Biochemistry
  • Michael Brown – Ph.D. Candidate, Oceanography
  • Kholud Dardir – Ph.D. Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering/Chemistry
  • Ramendra Pal - postdoc, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering – deferred award until next academic year

Through the fellowship program, the Mistletoe Foundation also aims to create a bridge between the academic and entrepreneurship communities that may lead to further collaboration, partnerships, innovation, and employment.

Founded in 2017, the Mistletoe Foundation aims to build bridges between the academic, entrepreneurial, and civil communities to create a more human-centered and sustainable future through technology.