Scientific Advisors/Patent Agents

The Vorys Scientific Advisor and Patent Agent (SAPA) Initiative identifies talented candidates and provides them with an introduction to and training for becoming a scientific advisor or patent agent.

Participants are typically students, preferably in advanced degree programs, who have recently graduated or are expected to graduate soon (six months to two years).

Examples of SAPA candidate degrees include:

  • Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • Textile Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Geological Engineering
  • Marine Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biology & Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Engineering


Our SAPA Career Webinar provides a brief overview of intellectual property law and patents, with focus upon SAPA careers.  After a brief introduction to the patenting process, we will discuss the roles SAPAs play within the patenting process and introduce sample prosecution activities appropriate for all technical backgrounds.


Our SAPA Career Deep-Dive Workshop provides an introduction to intellectual property (IP) as well in-depth instruction in the patent prosecution process.  More specifically, the Deep-Dive Workshop consists of three, half-day sessions covering topics including an introduction to intellectual property (IP) careers, an overview of the patenting process, parts of a patent and a brief introduction to patent law.  The Deep-Dive Workshop emphasizes some of the writing requirements and deductive reasoning skills utilized in a patent agent’s day-to-day patent practice and included prosecution case studies.  A Certificate of Completion is available to those who complete the independent project.

“The patent prosecution process was well explained.  Personally I feel more confident to explore the SAPA career path.” - Participant, January 2022 Deep-Dive Workshop


The SAPA Internship Program is a paid, six-week internship where candidates receive more involved training about patent prosecution and the opportunity to interact at social events with Vorys’ patent group.  The syllabus will include topics such as the patenting process, claim terminology and scope, novelty and obviousness requirements, 112 requirements, reading and understanding of office actions and cited art and office action response drafting.  Participants will also receive training in claim and application drafting.

“An in-depth crash course on intellectual property and the day-to-day of a patent agent, filled with fun social events, wonderful people, and meaningful hands-on experiences with real work.  The best experience that anyone with an interest in IP or the career of a SAPA could have.” - Tim Petrosius, Summer 2021 Intern

How to Apply

Applicants interested in the 2025 Vorys SAPA Internship Program should submit a cover letter, resume and transcript no later than February 23, 2025.

Click Here to Apply

Upcoming Events

Virtual Workshop: Patent Agent and Scientific Advisor Career Deep-Dive

Tom Thrash, patent agent in the Vorys Houston office, will host a 3-day, interactive workshop providing an overview of intellectual property law and the patenting process, with focus on patent agent and scientific advisor (SAPA) careers.  Participants will receive an introduction to IP careers, a brief introduction to patent law, and an overview of the patenting process.  Participation in this workshop is by application only.  Participants will garner a more in-depth understanding of the day-to-day duties and the deductive reasoning skills needed for a SAPA career.

To apply for this workshop (to be held in January 2025), please email and include your resume, cover letter, transcript, and writing sample.  The deadline to apply is December 13, 2024.

Previous Events

Webinar: Introduction to Intellectual Property Careers Without Having to Go to Law School

In this webinar from November 20, 2023, ​​​​​​Tom Thrash, patent agent in the Vorys Houston office, provided a brief overview of intellectual property law and patents, with a focus upon patent agent and scientific advisor (SAPA) careers. Viewing this on-demand webinar is a prerequisite for the Deep Dive Workshop and Internship.

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