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Postdoc Academy


As a postdoc, you are an innovator in training and you already share behaviours with entrepreneurs.

Developing your entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities enables you to spot opportunities and have the capacity to act on these with confidence.

Whether that’s in relation to gaining independence and pursuing an academic career, a commercial opportunity, policy intervention, or other means of bringing your research out into the wider world to have an impact.

Professor Chris Young, Head of the School of Arts and Humanities, has spoken about the importance for all researchers to develop these skills:


Find out more about the resources available to postdocs in Cambridge to help you develop your entrepreneurial thinking and skills, build your confidence to explore different avenues of impact, and connect with a wealth of entrepreneurial experience and knowledge:


Postdocs to Innovators Network

The Postdoc Academy is a leading partner within Postdocs to Innovators (p2i) - an international partnership between institutes of higher education and global companies.

p2i's aim is to enhance postdocs' entrepreneurial mindset and a key set of skills, which they can use to pursue careers that will be personally and professionally meaningful both within and outside of academia.


The p2i programme is open to postdocs from all of the partner organisations to engage in a range of activities matched to their interests and needs, including:

  • postdoc societies
  • entrepreneurship events
  • business plan competitions
  • mentoring
  • residential training programmes
  • online education courses.


Participants are connected with other researchers, industrial contacts, investors, entrepreneurs, and academics with experience in starts-ups.

Online Training Courses

p2i Online: Empowering Researchers to Innovate

Postdocs to Innovators (p2i) offers this online course which is free to postdocs from the University of Cambridge and partner institutes who want to learn more about how to seize opportunities and see them through.

The course is ideal for postdocs from any discipline who are:

  • open to learning to think entrepreneurially
  • curious about entrepreneurship
  • ready to develop entrepreneurial skills and confidence
  • keen to develop their networks.

Find out more about the course and how to apply.



Video Tutorials: partnering with pharma companies

Are you looking to partner your promising science or assets? Interested in collaborating with AstraZeneca but not sure where to start?

Through a series of video tutorials, AstraZeneca’s business development team are sharing their expertise in identifying, negotiating and sustaining collaborations that create benefit for patients and a win-win outcome for both partners.

They will also reveal their top tips for how you can successfully pitch your science or assets to AstraZeneca.

You can find all of these tutorials and resources here.

And from the researchers' side - hear how collaboration with AstraZeneca has benefitted academics at the University of Glasgow GLAZgo Discovery Centre and the Medical Research Council.

Venture Creation Programmes

Venture creation events and programmes provide aspiring entrepreneurs with an exciting opportunity to develop, test and pitch business ideas.

They usually involve working in teams across a set time period (anything from an academic term, to an intense few days), and often involve mentoring and advice from experts and investors.

Here are some that are well suited to postdocs, and often come with a limited number of free places sponsored by p2i:

Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge Society

Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) is a society founded by postdocs with support from the Postdoc Academy, Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Judge Business School.

They host events and initiatives to create awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities and foster a multidisciplinary network of entrepreneurial postdocs within the University.

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

Cambridge's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

The University Enterprise Network is 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, such as learning new skills, attending networking events, getting a job or internship at a start-up, starting your own business, or getting the results of your research applied in industry.

The “who does what” section is a good place to start exploring.


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 an annual Postdoc Business Plan Competition.

Cambridge Judge Business School – in addition to their Enterprise Tuesdays talks which are popular with postdocs, there are sponsored places available on their entrepreneurial programmes (various funders, including the p2i network, sponsor postdocs).