Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in doctoral education

ESOF2022 online session: July 15th, 8:00 – 9:15 CEST

Speakers: Fiorella Altruda, Max Brigonzi, Miklós Györffi, Birgitte Wraae

Moderator: Teresa Fernandez Zafra (EuroScience Governing Board member, Convenor of Science Innovation Working Group)


The academic job market has gradually become more competitive for PhD graduates and the opportunities for attaining a tenure track position are limited. A large number of PhD graduates exit academia and develop their professional careers in an industry setting. It is argued that such transition could be facilitated by fostering an entrepreneurial mindset during doctoral education.

The entrepreneurial mindset is a way of thinking that encourages the ability to take initiative, be more adaptable, find creative solutions to overcome challenges and be more comfortable with taking risks. This mindset is useful well beyond basic business ventures, and can also be beneficial to PhD graduates who pursue careers either in academia or in commercial industry.

Developing entrepreneurial training that integrates both academic and industrial perspectives has the potential to significantly impact the complete innovation ecosystem. However, at many institutions,entrepreneurial education is often looked at simply from the point of view of academia.

The proposed session will be a panel discussion that aims to bring together the perspectives of experts from several academic and industry sectors to explore how to promote the development of the entrepreneurial mindset as part of doctoral education. The discussion will explore topics such as: the role that entrepreneurial training has in the context of career development, the advantages and disadvantages of existing programs, which features are most valuable from an industry point of view, and how to make such programs easily available and more attractive to PhD students. 

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