Student Research Fellowships

Through a Mack Institute Student Research Fellowship, students have an opportunity to work closely with our faculty and funded researchers on topics that are highly relevant to current challenges in innovation. Participants strengthen their strategic, decision-making, and leadership skills while gaining valuable experience.

The Mack Institute offers fellowships for both individuals and teams throughout the academic year. Students interested in participating will take part in a competitive application process and will be required to submit a resume and statement of interest.

In addition to formal fellowships, the Mack Institute refers eligible students to our funded researchers who are looking for research assistance.

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Past Fellowships

Note: these are examples of project descriptions and are not currently accepting applications.

Technology and Healthcare Consulting

Project Background

A leading international information management and digital services company aims to grow its digital services business by expanding within its existing structure and acquiring new technology, solutions, and services to enhance their portfolio of offerings and strengthen its market position as a digital services provider aligned customers’ interests. The company is looking to identify long-term innovation prospects and determine the right balance of risk and return in its innovation portfolios.

The client’s healthcare services business unit serves 21 of 32 largest US nonprofit hospital systems, 9 of 11 largest US for profit hospital systems and more than 3,000 hospitals in US in various roles. The client partners with the largest Healthcare Providers in the US to enable the digital first care engagement, improve patient & care giver experience and collapse the barriers caused by manual work, outdated paper-based processes to provide timely and effective care.

Project Objective and Deliverable

This project will focus on intelligent capture technologies to reduce manual work and improve process efficiencies using NLP, AI/ML. This requires identification of the requirements and capabilities of technologies that automate the ingestion of incoming documents of various kind (digital or Paper) into the EHR, Clinical or backend system for processing. The strategic recommendation should be able to scale to meet the business and volume requirements and reduce the processing time significantly for multiple enterprise healthcare organizations in an extremely cost-effective manner.

Uses of 5G Technology for Vehicle-to-Everything

Company Background

The company is a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company exploring the opportunities and limits of 5G technologies. It has wide-ranging interests in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connectivity. Collectively, this can be referred to by vehicle-to-everything (V2X). When V2X is enabled by cellular technology, it is called C-V2X. One of the major intended purposes of 5G cellular technology is to enable the development of even more sophisticated uses for C-V2X (e.g. augmented reality applications for vehicles).

Project Overview and Deliverables

Given that C-V2X technologies promise great benefits in terms of increased safety, efficiency, productivity, better traffic management, less pollution and more, this project focuses on new business models regarding the following:

  • Value/viability for multiple players (including automotive OEMs, mobile network operators, road operators, mobility service providers)
  • Who should pay, how, and how much for the necessary investment for C-V2C in vehicle connectivity modules, upgrades in networks and roadside infrastructure, mobile spectrum usage, and other elements of the solution stack
  • Who and how should benefit from the data produced by connected cars and their passengers?
  • What is the impact on the business models of new types of mobility (e.g. “as a service”) and vehicle ownership?
  • Which players in which roles can become dominant in the smart mobility era? Why?
  • What moats should players use (including, but not limited to platform strategies, size of ecosystem, forward and vertical integration, future proof & penetration of technology)?

Identifying Mental Health Technologies

Project Description

There is considerable interest in using low-cost technologies to study, monitor, and provide guidance related to mental health disorders (to include some childhood psychiatric illnesses) across large populations. This research fellowship project focuses on a market map and ecosystem evaluation of technology and platforms.

Predictive Analytics

Project Description

This firm is currently considering their needs in the predictive analytics space and how additional investment and investigation can add value to the business. What would be the best approach to develop predictive models that can be applied to any number of business issues for the firm? The team is looking at data (customer inception/cancellation/renewal dates, premium, sum assured, policy duration, and payment frequency) to determine cost-efficient and focused anti-churn campaigns to secure a better persistency of this firm’s portfolio.

Design Solutions for Yoga Practitioners

Company Background

The company is a multinational fabrics manufacturing and design company that supplies some of the world’s largest companies and brands. It leverages its ecosystem of design offices, apparel manufacturing plants, fabric mills, and component manufacturing facilities to provide a unique solution to its customers.

Project Description

YogaThe company is invested in the athletic-wear sector and sees an emerging opportunity specifically within the area of yoga practitioners. Using a design-thinking approach, the team has developed the conception of posture correction as a core driver of this new business. With the primary assumptions that yogis would engage with a product to improve their posture and help them track progress towards achieving their “yoga goals,” the objective is to provide an unobtrusive and simple way for users to set and achieve goals.

Digital Transformation - Internet Insurance Sales Project

Project Description

What are some best practices already used within internet insurance sales? What business model should be used to go online? What products are sold? What effect will regulating bodies have on the future of insurance sales and its transformation?

This project will look at both the US & European landscape of insurance sales and provide a set of recommendations around the digital transformation of this industry.

Telecommunications Industry in the New Digital Economy

Project Description

What are the key dynamics of the telecommunications industry that will change as digitization continues to permeate? How will networks adapt to manage and support the ever-growing number of connected devices? How can those devices use network services in the most effective and efficient ways for telecoms? What are the implications of digitization on both the enterprise and consumer level? This project seeks to address the digital telecom landscape and provide a set of strategic recommendations for engagement across a number of industry applications.

Dietician Telehealth Project

Project Description

This project was co-sponsored by the Mack Institute and the Biomedical Research and Education Foundation.

WebcamA service-offering experiment was launched by BREF in 2014 to provide a link between hospitals and professional dieticians to improve the care of patients who indicated a need for help. This experiment produced some interesting findings. For example, in spite of a potentially attractive financial return for a hospital, the number of patients referred to the service was very low. This was in spite of indications from both patients and physicians alike that they needed and wanted this kind of a service. Therefore, it was necessary to investigate the market further to gain a better understanding of what BREF should consider.

BREF is specifically looking for a study that will better define the opportunity and the needs of this market, and propose optional business models along with a proposed financial model for the dietitians and nutritionists to consider.

BREF has been working with independent and institutional dietitians and nutritionists on a variety of projects since 2011, and has identified a need in the medical market for a platform that effectively matches nutrition experts with caregivers and patients. The nutrition advice market is primarily composed of independent practitioners and small practices. Larger institutions have few dietitians on staff and rely on outside support. A platform that helps match doctor-referred patients to the nutrition specialists or registered dietitian would help deliver care that patients otherwise do not receive.

BREF is also considering developing a relationship with the Goldring Center at Tulane University to use their trained nutritionists, dietitians, and doctors. They have an advance nutrition training program, an industrial kitchen, trained chefs, and community participation that make it a unique venue. We would like the platform to be expandable and open to all referring physicians and practicing dietitians.

Nutrition Business Opportunities Project

Project Description

This project was co-sponsored by the Mack Institute and the Biomedical Research and Education Foundation.

NutritionWhat are the growth opportunities for nutrition?

BREF is investigating the nutritional needs of a number of segments of the population. Of particular interest are the rapidly growing geriatric population, cancer patients, and people facing other medical challenges.

Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, various drug therapies, and other disease treatments often report that food is either unappealing or tastes like ‘motor oil,’ a common complaint. As people age, tastes also change along with the normal aging process, and medication that is often associated with aging often leaves people nutritionally and intellectually unprepared to deal with their own physiological needs. BREF is evaluating this market to determine the opportunities for business and product innovation.

BREF has been working with scientists at a number of academic institutions to address many of the basic issues such as nutritional education of physicians and the availability of food supplements. The organization has also been instrumental in establishing a consortium to address specific medical needs. This work has raised awareness at the Foundation that more work needs to be done and that innovation is needed to accomplish its objectives.

BREF is interested in a plan for a geriatric nutrition business opportunity (one or more) that is based on answering these basic questions:

  • How large are these markets, what is their growth rate, and how could they be segmented?
  • What are the nutritional needs of these segments, as defined in the literature (reports or studies)?
  • What are the unmet needs of these populations?
  • How and who (what companies) are meeting these needs now?
  • What are the product and/or business opportunities?
  • How would these (or even a single opportunity) best be addressed?

Psychiatric Software Project

Project Description

This project was co-sponsored by the Mack Institute and the Biomedical Research and Education Foundation.

mental healthMany specialties in medicine are benefiting from real-time data capture.

In cancer treatment, for example, physicians are able to upload and share information on treatments and care (using a cloud-based data collection service on a daily basis). This enables other participating clinicians — anywhere — to learn about the efficacy of therapies in specific types of patients, improve their practice, and hopefully improve patient care. This approach will continue to improve as genetic testing becomes more common and less costly.

However, there are domains where information availability takes a longer, more traditional route to market through the medical literature. Psychiatry is one area of medicine where more data, collected more efficiently and effectively and with regular analysis, could potentially make a significant contribution to care.

Patients suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is one example of a condition where regular data collection and sharing might improve medical practice. It is estimated that about 7%-10% of the U.S. population suffers from some form of PTSD. The numbers are higher among veterans. The approach to capturing and sharing data daily has the potential of improving and potentially even saving lives through improved data sharing, understanding, and analytics. BREF is investigating the potential opportunity for business development of analytics models for the psychiatry market. Although PTSD is of primary interest, the study of opportunities is not restricted to this alone and may include others.

Of concern to BREF is the market. Although the benefits appear to be compelling, would such a model be accepted by healthcare providers? Would they participate? Would they subscribe to a service if it were offered? What are the ways in which this type of program could be launched? Are there key drivers in this market or is this just one of those ‘good ideas’?

We are looking for a student report to focus on financial data, the size of the market, costs of running a telehealth business, payment rates, competition or trends in the market, and other metrics to help us quantify the value of the project.

BREF needs answers: Is there a business development opportunity here and if so, what does that business look like? If not, are there other opportunities in this market that appear to be compelling?