The designation of RTI Fellow is the highest scientific honor and responsibility RTI bestows on its staff. Chosen for their potential as well as their accomplishments, Fellows are distinguished scientists striving to build a better global future by conducting high-impact research, mentoring the next generation of scientific leaders, and fostering the culture of inclusive and innovative science at RTI. To qualify for the RTI Fellow Program, candidates must have demonstrated a record of substantial scientific achievement and leadership.
The Fellow Program offers its members the distinction of being recognized as a scientific leader and promotes continued excellence by providing sufficient time and financial support to:
- Identify and pursue research projects in their areas of expertise
- Pursue opportunities for enhancing personal and institutional scientific stature through publications, patents, technical presentations, seminars, and other professional activities
- Advise on and advocate for science at RTI.
Staff who progress through the Fellow program are expected to expand their scientific stature with an eye toward building cross-disciplinary partnerships, representing RTI in the public arena, and making an impact on RTI and society.
A Culture of Inclusive and Innovative Science
An important role of Fellows is to advise senior management on emerging issues related to their areas of technical and scientific expertise that affect our research programs. For example, the Fellow Program developed a formal process for assessing the state of science, allowing us to make informed decisions about how to advance our scientific capabilities to better meet the needs within a targeted area of research.
The Fellows also lead RTI’s intramural Build program, which provides seed funding to support the development and pursuit of scientifically meritorious ideas that do not neatly fit into existing internal funding opportunities. Build relies on Fellows to help identify, catalyze and support new interactions and collaborations that leverage cross-institute expertise. These are challenges that require multiple scientific disciplines, such as:
- improving adolescent girls and young women’s livelihoods in Kenya
- modeling potential intervention to boost plastic recycling
- reducing the occurrence of and improving care for noncommunicable diseases in developing countries
- understanding and addressing the health and environmental problems created by the advent of e-cigarettes.
The Fellow Program’s Seminar Series and Distinguished Lecture Series provide additional opportunities to expand our technical understanding, explore emerging areas of research, and encourage new partnerships. The Seminar Series serves as a forum for knowledge sharing within RTI, with the goal of fostering our culture of collaboration. The Distinguished Lecture Series invites noted experts to visit RTI and lead discussions that intersect with our mission to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.