Innovation & Commercialization

The challenge of the scientist and the scholar is a challenge shared with the innovator and the entrepreneur: not just imagining but in fact introducing to the world new ways of thinking, ways of understanding, and ways of doing. At times creative, at other times analytical, we are trying to impact the world in some meaningful way.

The Innovation and Commercialization core module is best suited for students in middle and advanced years of PhD training and all postdoctoral scholars, collectively called ‘trainees,’ who are interested in: independent research careers; careers in business, venture capital, or early-stage, companies; or aspiring entrepreneurs. This module is developed and offered in collaboration with the UVA Darden School of Business Batten Institute and the UVA Licensing and Ventures Group.


  • The tools of the entrepreneurial trade afford knowledge and preparation for future careers, both in academic and non-academic sectors — as a faculty PI, on a startup team, as a chief scientific officer, in venture capital, and more.

  • Introduction to and understanding of concepts, frameworks, and vocabulary, used in the business world (e.g., design thinking, customer discovery, market analysis, business models, sources of funding, intellectual property)

  • Foster a creative and innovative mindset by introducing participants to and engaging them with the challenges faced by innovators and entrepreneurs

  • Awareness of the broad set of PhD skills and knowledge that are well-suited for careers that involve innovation

  • Opportunity to meet the community of professionals and organizations in Charlottesville involved in entrepreneurship, venture capital, business development, commercialization and technology transfer.



For optimal learning experience and outcomes, we recommend participation in PhD Plus Career Design prior to this module. 

A student-centered engagement strategy for career education and professional development in Innovation & Commercialization (also applicable to all PhD Plus career training core modules). For details, please refer to program philosophy and attend PhD Plus Career Design. Click on menu links for Research, Community and Skills to determine specific engagement strategy

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Skills Series


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