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Postdoc Academy


Do you think entrepreneurial skills only apply to those wanting to start a venture?

Think again! All employers value individuals with innovator mindsets & skills. 


Want to explore innovation & entrepreneurship but not sure where to start?  

Cambridge has numerous opportunities for Cambridge postdocs to develop enterprise skills and explore and engage with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We also understand that stepping out from the academic environment - where you have developed in-depth research expertise - into a new, unfamiliar environment can be daunting.

The Postdoc Academy is a leading partner within the Postdocs to Innovators (p2i) consortium. This international partnership between institutes of higher education and global companies was created in recognition of the increasing need to enhance postdoctoral researchers' entrepreneurial mindset and a key set of skills they can use to pursue careers that will be personally and professionally meaningful both within and outside of academia.

Below are upcoming opportunities for postdocs to explore and discover more about the entrepreneurial mind- and skillsets, as well as further information about the ecosystem, stakeholders and programmes that support researchers in building their confidence to discuss their business ideas with the various stakeholders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


p2i Online courses:

Develop your entrepreneurial mindset and enterprise skills – seizing opportunities and seeing them through.

p2i Network has 2 new FREE online courses for postdoctoral researchers from the University of Cambridge and partner Institutes who want to learn to innovate and/or to pursue venture creation. Find out more about the courses and how to apply here:

“Through providing inspiration and the required tools, this course has given me the confidence to consider an entrepreneurial career outside academia”

“The course is good for academics that don’t have knowledge about entrepreneurship - it is all in one place and structured, it takes you through step by step”

“The talking head videos provide context - real researchers that have made the step to entrepreneurship - this provides relatable inspiration”

“My mindset has changed – I have noticed opportunities that were around but that I wasn’t open to before participating in the course”


p2i online: Empowering Researchers to Innovate

Ideal for postdocs from any discipline who are:

  • open to learning to think entrepreneurially in academia, in industry and in a start-up;
  • curious about entrepreneurship
  • ready to develop entrepreneurial skills & confidence
  • keen to develop their networks 

This course is for you whether you want to learn how to start a venture, build your professional network, familiarise yourself with the language, concepts and processes used in the entrepreneurial world, or explore different career paths. You will learn alongside likeminded postdocs from across Europe and will hear from a range of researchers who have started a venture.

The course aims to build your confidence to discuss your business idea with the various stakeholders of your entrepreneurial ecosystem. Even if you realise that you’re not ready yet or do not want to set up your own venture, you will have gained valuable experience and learned how to apply the mindset and skills to pursue your career ambitions in or outside academia. Further info and the content of this course here:


Postdocs venture: From Science to business

Most suitable for science and technology entrepreneurs who are

  • ready to take scientific insights or deep tech forward into a business
  • looking for a structured framework and step by step guidance to develop business models for their ideas.

Information about this course here:

Find out more about the courses and how to apply here:


Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC)

EPOC is a club founded by postdocs with support from the Postdoc Academy, Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Judge Business School. They run regular events and initiatives to create awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities and foster a multidisciplinary network of entrepreneurial postdocs within the University. Together with Cambridge Enterprise, they also hold an annual Postdoc Business Plan Competition.

Former speakers have included: GV (formerly Google Ventures), BP, IndieBio, AstraZeneca, and local crowdfunding organisations.

Why not join the Entrepreneurial Postdoc society Cambridge (EPOC), either by attending events or joining as a committee member. Committee members have gained networks and skills that have helped them with their next step in their career, whether this is working as an employee or starting a venture


Ecosystem and stakeholders

The University Enterprise Network – A website is for researchers at the University of Cambridge who are interested in enterprise and innovation. It provides links to the different ways you can get involved in a range of activities at Cambridge, such as learning new skills, attending networking events, getting a job or internship a start-up, starting your own business, or getting the results of your research applied in industry. It also contains the origins and growth of the Cambridge ecosystem. Check out the “who does what” section


Of particular note for postdocs:

Cambridge Enterprise – in addition to their support for academics wishing to commercialise their research, they also hold events and training specifically aimed at postdocs, and, together with EPOC, an annual Postdoc Business Plan Competition.

Cambridge Judge Business School – in addition to their free Enterprise Tuesdays talks which are popular with postdocs, they often offer free or discounted places via the Postdoc Academy for postdocs on their entrepreneurial programmes.


Cambridge Events and Support Programmes Related to Starting a Venture


Many of the Colleges and departments have enterprise competitions, awards, and/or funding, including:

and many more –see “who does what?" page on the UEN website.


Tweets from the Postdoc Academy

Latest news

Stephen Hawking Fellowships 2020 - apply by 7 September

29 July 2020

The fellowships will provide up to 4 years’ funding for postdoctoral fellows with a strong passion for curiosity driven science that seek to challenge current assumptions, advance scientific knowledge and inspire the public through their discoveries.

Global Future Councils Fellowship - apply by 14 August

22 July 2020

The World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils are seeking to appoint a number of postdoctoral fellows.

Schmidt Science Fellowship - 2021 call now open

16 July 2020

Final Year PhD students in STEMM disciplines are invited to self-nominate for the 2021 Schmidt Science Fellows programme.