Roles and Responsibilities of RTI Fellows

RTI Fellows serve a unique role at RTI, a role characterized by enhanced technical responsibilities and expanded opportunities. Each individual who enters the program is tasked with providing scientific leadership and direction, advising RTI on the state of their respective science, mentoring early-career scientists, and representing RTI nationally and internationally.

Providing Scientific Leadership and Direction

RTI Fellows conduct innovative research and development that is aligned with RTI's mission and strategy, and may pursue opportunities for leveraging intellectual capital and commercializing intellectual property. RTI Fellows are charged with helping RTI maintain strong, innovative scientific research programs and leading cross-organizational and cross-disciplinary initiatives such as RTI Grand Challenges. They are also responsible for developing and maintaining external funding as agreed upon with their management.

Advising on RTI's State of Science

RTI Fellows advise senior management on emerging issues related to their areas of scientific expertise affecting RTI's research programs. RTI views the Fellows as an invaluable, preeminent resource for scientific and technical advice throughout the organization. RTI Fellows initiate various activities to bring their knowledge and expertise to bear at RTI and within the wider scientific community. These can include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

  • Organizing scientific seminars
  • Leading and participating in inter- and intra-organizational initiatives

RTI Fellows serve on the President's Scientific Advisory Council and the Fellows Scientific Council. The Scientific Advisory Council meets periodically to advise the President on the state of science at RTI and on other matters of interest. The Fellows Scientific Council meets bi-monthly to address charges issued by the President and on scientific issues important to RTI.

Mentoring Early-Career Scientists

RTI Fellows serve as role models for colleagues, exerting influence through active mentoring and coaching and setting prominent examples for scientific integrity and achievement.

Representing RTI Nationally and Internationally

RTI Fellows represent RTI within the scientific community. They provide visionary leadership in scientific, technical, and professional societies, and serve on scientific review and advisory committees.

RTI Fellow Work Plan

In consultation with RTI senior management, each RTI Fellow develops a work plan that targets some of these key roles. For example, projects undertaken by current RTI Fellows include establishing a new mechanism for disseminating RTI's research to a wider audience, developing innovative nanotechnology and bioaerosol research programs, and applying principles used in environmental economics to improve our understanding of the markets for health care delivery.

Within this general framework, the primary responsibilities of individuals at the entry Fellow position are to enhance their resumes through scholarly publications and outside scientific activities. Senior Fellows and Distinguished Fellows focus their efforts more on cross-disciplinary activities within RTI and on representing the organization in national and international scientific arenas.

Shortly after being appointed, the Fellow meets with the EVP to discuss the objectives and finalize his or her work plan to include focuses on:

  • Providing scientific leadership and direction in a technical area for RTI
  • Advising RTI on the state of science
  • Mentoring
  • Representing RTI nationally and internationally 

Each year, the Fellow and his or her supervisor review progress toward accomplishment of work plan objectives. They also make appropriate adjustments to the work plan and to the next year’s budget.