Faculty and trainee perceptions of NSF I-Corps technology commercialization training


At universities, interest is increasing in expanding entrepreneurship education opportunities for both engineering faculty and students, with the goals of improving the professional skills of students and accelerating research commercialization by faculty. However, questions remain about the effective design of entrepreneurship education initiatives for both of these two audiences. Comparing the experiences of trainees (including primarily graduate students and postdoctoral researchers) and faculty in entrepreneurship training will better allow for meeting the distinct needs of these two communities. In this analysis, structural equation modeling was used to examine differences between trainee and faculty perceptions of usefulness, instructional climate, and workload in the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) entrepreneurship training program. Data were drawn from the publicly available VentureWell I-Corps dataset, including precourse, postcourse, and longitudinal follow-up survey responses from 722 faculty and 781 trainee participants. Results show that trainees perceived the training program as more useful to their careers than did faculty, although no differences in perceived usefulness to one’s research program were found. Trainees also perceived instructional climate more negatively and experienced a greater workload.




Epstein, A., Huang-Saad, A., & Duval-Couetil, N. (2021). Faculty and trainee perceptions of NSF I-Corps technology commercialization training. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 49(1), 97-105. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMR.2020.3036280.




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