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The Mistletoe Research Fellowship is a program that is unique in its scope and ambition to connect early-career academics to entrepreneurs for the benefit of both parties, the university partner, and the public good. 


At the Momental Foundation we see our university partners as true collaborators in this endeavor and actively seek their input as we design and implement program policies. Note that fellowship awards cannot be used

for overhead rates, fringe benefits, or infrastructure fees. 

We believe the Mistletoe Research Fellowship can provide the following benefits to university partners:


  • A low-risk and structured opportunity for Research Fellows to apply their knowledge and PhD training to new domains and interdiscplinary problems, as well as developing a further understanding of R&D processes and technology implementation. 

  • For academic scientists who work within a narrow niche or field of expertise, our MRF Startup Collaboration program creates a chance to "stretch" and problem-solve outside of their domain.  The funding offered by our Unfettered Research Grant provides a complementary training opportunity and a rare choice. Research Fellows might opt to explore their niche to its fullest extent, without concern over justification to funders. Or they may decide to depart entirely from their typical research arena and experiment with new paths.


  • Our MRF Startup Collaboration gives all participants a truly interdisciplinary and interinstitutional team experience, which helps them develop critical skills in collaboration, communication and project mangement.


  • Fellowship participants are exposed to new networks, including startups within their assigned Area of Collaboration, nonprofit organizations via their community mentors, and the resources of the larger Mistletoe, Inc venture community. These networks may improve future career and grant opportunities both inside and outside of academia.


  • In the event that the startup files a patent based on the results of their Mistletoe Research Fellowsip collaboration, Research Fellows may listed on a patent application in accordance with their contribution to conception of an inventive idea.  Note that all participating startups bring their own proprietary intellectual property to the program and entrust 


  • The program may lead to future partnerships, awards, or collaborations between the university and startups, the Mistletoe venture community, or community partners.


  • Partner universities are part of small and select cohort of chosen partners. The opportunity to apply to work with startups and receive a 10k research grant is something they can advertise to prospective students/postdocs. 

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