Responsible Innovation Fellowship

For each of its three years, this project recruits a cohort of 9-12 doctoral students, postdocs, and law students to work in small interdisciplinary teams of 3-4 spanning the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and law. 

In the first half of each year, following introductory sessions on interdisciplinarity, fellows will undergo training in Technology Ethics, Responsible Innovation (RI), and the IDEA Center’s Commercialization Engine process, including material drawn from the ESTEEM Graduate Program. As you work through the Responsible Innovation literature from your unique disciplinary perspective, you will also critique and contribute new ideas and insights to this emerging area, eventually arriving at your own working approach to RI. 

In the second half of each year, you will be connected to a real-world commercialization project through Notre Dame's technology transfer and incubation hub, the IDEA Center. 

You will then apply your insights into Responsible Innovation as an analyst on an actual innovation project. Your consulting will provide a valuable service to that project while also serving as a practical test of your ideas. In the final phase of each year, you will write up your recommendations for the innovation project, and, optionally, your overall findings from this experience for possible publication. 

Why responsible innovation?

Goals of the RIF Program

  1. Foster interdisciplinary dialog on major ethical issues related to technology
  2. Train researchers in the basic elements of Responsible Innovation
  3. Develop – and test – new ideas on Responsible Innovation
  4. Help guide local innovation projects 

Schedule overview:

Fall term:

  • Sessions on interdisciplinarity
  • Study of Technology Ethics
  • Critical analysis of Responsible Innovation
  • Training in Commercialization Engine

Spring term:

  • Connect to an innovation project via the IDEA Center
  • Conduct research and analysis on its ethical and social dimensions
  • Analyze its technical and commercial potential

 Summer term:

  • Generate final recommendations report 
  • Refine and write up findings for possible publication


Application Information

For questions, contact Mark Bourgeois,


Funding for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation under award number SES-1926280.