Venture Science Doctorate: a 3-year, fully-funded, NEW PhD program

The Venture Science Doctorate (VSD) is the world’s first venture creation focused PhD program. Historically, STEM has failed to engage and often actively excluded many people — especially based on gender, race, region, and resources. We welcome applications from anywhere in the world, into a doctoral training program for all aspiring science founders.

The programme is predominantly remote, you can be based anywhere to take part.

The Venture Science Doctorate.

Today’s Climate and Health challenges require speed, scale and skills like never before. Traditional PhD programs are not designed for these challenges, and they often exclude under-represented groups, and driven, commercially-minded visionaries. This matters because PhD programs shape tomorrow’s deeptech workforce and our capacity to solve important problems.

The Venture Science Doctorate is an alternative.

We are setting out to materially alter and broaden the definition of “scientist”.

Join the world’s first 3 year, venture-led PhD run in labs at the world’s best universities. It’s awarded by Woolf University: a globally recognized, decentralised institution widening access to higher education. Focus exclusively on solving global challenges in Health and Climate through science as the basis for new science companies.

The VSD is backed by:

  • Schmidt Futures – the pioneering global philanthropic facility for science, founded by the former CEO of Google – Eric Schmidt
  • InnovateUK – the UK’s primary government innovation agency
  • The global technology organisation VDE, The Mayo Clinic, Cornell University The University of Edinburgh and the National Physical Laboratory – a national network of leading labs from across the UK, which include Imperial College, Oxford University and the University of Manchester among many others.

What is the most important question in your sector? Learn to design your own research project from first-principles. Search the literature for global impact, not just knowledge. Meet some of the world’s most entrepreneurial supervisors. Hone intellectual freedom, grow networks and raise investment to solve the world’s hardest problems.

You can read more about the program itself and our FAQs on the dedicated VSD site, here.

Requirements

  • You’re impact-driven and have demonstrated interest in investigating or solving large-scale societal problems. This could be industrial research, hackathons or other problem-based competitions, or a project that you took beyond what was expected in class;
  • You want to build a company and lead a team that will make a huge positive impact using advanced research and technology;
  • Your sense of urgency means you’ve considered multiple ways to generate positive human and/or planetary outcomes in the next 1-5 years;
  • You’re naturally curious and can share examples of past experience learning how things work;
  • You’re determined enough to spend 1 week, during the application process, finding an optimal approach to a societal problem in your own time, using Deep Science Ventures’ scoping ideation methodology;
  • You have an undergraduate degree related to science, innovation or design-thinking, or professional research experience.

The programme is full-time, 5 days / week.

Benefits

  1. Learn how to conduct deeptech superforecasting, like Program Managers at the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the first-shapers of the internet, Siri and mRNA vaccines.
  2. Become capable of launching a sector-scale deeptech company, or more than one – like Mission Zero, Xonai, Antiverse and other founders we trained.
  3. Join a virtual community of >200 science entrepreneurs, in over 24 countries, working in and with our portfolio companies across Climate, Healthcare, Agriculture and Computation. With regular meetups in London!
  4. Travel the UK, US and EU and work with the some of the world’s most entrepreneurial Professors and industrial scientists, in some of the most advanced research environments.
  5. Get clear on what government agencies need you – the next innovators – to tell them and how to write a systematic policy proposal that can empower national innovation policy-makers to overcome commercial barriers.
  6. Meet investors and venture ecosystem builders across our network including Fifty Years, Activate, ConceptionX, Zero Carbon Capital, Stripe, Equinor and more. Learn about the global impact they are making for a human thriving and planetary wellbeing and how to communicate your ideas to work with them.
  7. Learn about the wide-array of careers open to science and technology PhD holders, by speaking to scientists and entrepreneurs working across venture creation, academia, industry and government. Gather a community of leaders across sectors to leverage the collective action Moonshot R&D requires.

Deep Science Ventures will cover the tuition and all other expenses related to programme curriculum and research activities. Additionally, each student will receive a monthly stipend of £2,500 and an annual contribution for health insurance to subsidise living costs, so that socioeconomic status is not a barrier to building high-impact science companies.

About DSV

Deep Science Ventures is creating a future in which both humans and the planet can thrive.

We use our unique venture creation process to create, invest in, and spin-out science companies. We empower entrepreneurial scientists to combine scientific expertise and models for business to synthesise high-impact ventures de novo.

We are a team of operators who have founded companies and led the translation of science at some of the most respected universities, charities, funds, and government agencies. 2/3 of the team have founded or led a company at C-suite, and 65% have a Ph.D. We are deeply involved in each company.

You will access our industry network and receive advice on follow-on fundraising strategy, including introductions to seed investors and potential customers from our global network. Furthermore, you will receive support with term sheet negotiation, grant applications to leverage further non-dilutive funding and value uplift, and access to a community of seasoned science founders in our portfolio.

We offer mentorship and guidance through weekly deep-dive work sessions, access to our opportunity insights and knowledge base, a global network of experts, a community of other science Founders working on launching their own companies, and a curated collection of resources and proprietary tools.

We offer Co-Founder(s) sourcing and assessment via our proprietary tools, advisory board sourcing, advice on technical and commercial investment milestones, co-development of technical roadmap and go-to-market strategy, investment readiness pre-launch with further focus on technical and commercial proof, and customer development support.

Learn more

Please visit our article on Why we need to reinvent the PhD to learn more about this opportunity.