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Are you a scientist, engineer, mathematician or medic who is thinking about implementing your research by translating it into commercial innovation, now or in the future - be it in a start-up or an industry collaboration? Success in these environments is significantly enhanced by gaining an understanding of key entrepreneurial competencies. This course introduces the concepts, practicalities, and mindset needed to be successful in developing your idea into a reality that makes a difference in the world.

A group of young entrepreneurs discussing around a table © Shutterstock

COURSE details 

The course is open to postgraduates, postdocs, and academics/PI.  It is led by Dr Alan Roth, a successful academic scientist and entrepreneur with experience of executive leadership, industrial research and development, and finance, who is a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at Oxford.

The course starts in Week 1 of Michaelmas term, taking place every Thursday (2 - 4.15 pm) and includes lectures, practical coursework, and readings.  For those who complete this course and wish to further develop their entrepreneurial skills there is the option to join advanced courses in Hilary and Trinity terms. Application information is available on the course programme .  


Participants will gain a thorough and practical introduction to the key topics in science-led entrepreneurship:

  • Evaluation of creativity and feasibility of science-based innovation
  • Opportunity and risk evaluation
  • Routes to commercialisation and market entry
  • Entrepreneurial innovation strategy
  • Team building and organisational structure
  • Operational success in an emerging venture
  • Entrepreneurial finance and funding mechanisms for start-up/project launch

By taking the course students and academics will additionally have the opportunity to better analyse their own preferences for professional progression and take informed next steps towards start-ups/commercialisation - within academia or industry - if they have the inclination.


An important component of this course is the opportunity to learn in a multidisciplinary environment, gaining insights from different disciplines and building a network of contacts at various stages in their careers.  Past participants from DPhil to Faculty members come from a range of disciplines including Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering Science, Materials, Medical Sciences, and Physics. These testimonials represent that breadth of background:

  • "It has been a very exciting process. I have learned a lot during the course."  
  • "The classes are always engaging, and I have really enjoyed this term’s mix of materials." 
  • "I cannot recommend the course highly enough. I found confidence in developing business relevant skills and enjoyed meeting peers across divisions and from different disciplines."
  • "Fundamental concepts of being an entrepreneur, the barriers to being successful and how to overcome them." 
  • "A wide ranging introduction to entrepreneurship. Dr Roth made the points between science and business very clear." 
  • "It was a real pleasure attending this unique and valuable course."
  • "Tailored to the interface of R&D and commerce, providing the necessary tools for a science-based start-up."


 Information about the next scheduled course, and how to apply for a place, is on our course programme page.