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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: apply by 25 September 2020

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:


p2i Online Enterprise Fair: apply by 21 October

Are you curious how being entrepreneurial fits with an academic career, or an industry career? Do you have one or more ideas that could solve a big problem or global challenge but not sure how to start? Are you interested in exploring entrepreneurship or ready to venture out as an entrepreneur?

If any or all of these apply to you, then, the p2i Enterprise Fair is the event for you.

The Enterprise Fair is a mixture of inspirational talks, practical activities and networking. Experts and entrepreneurial researchers will share inspiring stories and first-hand experience of what it means to be enterprising and of bringing exciting ideas to life in academia, industry or through starting ventures. 

Join postdocs from across Europe working both in Industry and Academia, connect to CEOs, innovation experts and industry leaders to extend your academic and professional networks.

Event starts November 3, 2020 at 3pm UK time, and ends Thursday, November 5, 1pm UK time.

Apply early and by 21 October 2020, noon UK time. Successful applicants will be notified by 23 October 2020. 

This programme is exclusively open to postdocs and early career employees from p2i partner organisations. Places are free, sponsored by the p2i Network and available through application only.

To apply please complete the online application form.


Online Biotech and Healthcare Venture Creation Weekend: 30 October - 1 November

Kickstart your entrepreneurial career and start developing your venture. It’s a chance to create, test and validate your biotech or healthcare venture idea.

The Biotech and Healthcare Venture Creation Weekend starts at 18:00 on Friday 30 October and ends at 19:00 on Sunday 1 November.

Postdoc places are sponsored by the p2i Network.

Find more info and secure your place now.


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.


Latest news

The Proactive Postdoc

18 January 2021

Our new podcast series showcases former Cambridge postdocs to shed light on how they maximised their time to learn and develop while working in the University.

Remembering Professor Chris Abell FRS FMedSci (1957-2020)

28 October 2020

A tribute to Professor Chris Abell, a kind and compassionate man who went out of his way to champion the postdoc community.

Postdoc Appreciation Week 2020 Round-up

25 September 2020

Highlights from the celebrations for Postdoc Appreciation Week 2020 at Cambridge.

Tweets from the Postdoc Academy