For students

PhD Max

Take your PhD to the Max!

PhD Max banner

Any current student and recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh can utilize our services, including PhD students, however we have some activity especially for PhD students only. 


PhD Max Pre-Accelerator Programme 

Interested in commercialising your PhD and taking it to the next level but don’t know where to start? Join us for our brand-new PhD programme.

PhD Max is an exciting pre-accelerator programme designed to empower the next generation of PhD students in their entrepreneurial journey.

This eight-session programme is tailored to students at the University of Edinburgh who are interested in exploring entrepreneurship and leveraging their specialised knowledge to push the boundaries of their respective fields.

Throughout the sessions, you will engage in thought-provoking discussions and interactive workshops on various topics such as startup fundamentals, ideation, intellectual property, market research, customer discovery, pitching and more. These sessions will be held on specific dates starting from January and concluding in March.

In these sessions we’ll help you explore entrepreneurship and how to commercialise your PhD:

  • Welcome social and PhD Max intro - 11th January
  • What makes a good startup? – 18th January
  • Building your idea – 25th January 
  • Intellectual property (IP) basics - 1st February
  • Market research – 8th February
  • Solution development - 15th February 
  • Pitching workshop - 29th February
  • PhD Max Pitch-off - 14th March   

All sessions are planned to run in-person, 5pm-7pm. It is expected you will attend all sessions. For all PhD students from the University of Edinburgh.

Open to PhD students from any year and discipline, PhD Max offers a unique opportunity to delve into the world of entrepreneurship and develop the skills necessary to transform innovative ideas into impactful ventures. Whether you have a concrete business idea or simply aspire to become a founder in the future, this programme will equip you with the essential tools and knowledge to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape.

To participate in PhD Max all you need is a laptop and a desire to learn and connect with like-minded individuals. By attending all the sessions, you ensure the best outcome when it comes to refining and pitching your ideas. Join PhD Max today and embark on a transformative journey that will amplify your PhD experience, nurture your entrepreneurial mindset and empower you to make a meaningful impact in the world. 

Now closed 

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Hear from a couple of PhD students and their experience of starting up

Video: EEUK PhD Case Study
Hear from the founders of student startups Ujamaa Spice and SynSence on their experience as PhD students.


Not sure where to start?

Hear from a current PhD student on how they started their entrepreneurial journey while studying their PhD. Maggie Hicks, shares her top tips for commercialising your PhD.

Read the article here 


Enterprise Education UK (EEUK) project 

In partnership with EEUK and the University of Edinburgh Business School a team from the Edinburgh Innovations students team made up of Max Chan, Dora Handrea and Christina Starko worked alongside Fumi Kitagawa from the Business School to discover if there is an opportunity to provide more enterprise and commercialization resources for PhD students. The project was submitted to EEUK on 15 August 2022. 

This project aims to map out and align curricular and extracurricular enterprise/entrepreneurship education for doctoral students. We conceptual the doctoral enterprise education as a system consisting of two distinctive forms - credit-bearing courses as part of the curriculum and extra-curricular activities and events (e.g. bespoke training, business competitions, mentoring, business advice, incubators, accelerators). This report presents an overview of the existing curricular courses and extra-curricular resources available to doctoral/PhD students at the University of Edinburgh as a case study and identifies aspirations and challenges for PhD startup processes based on survey data and individual interviews.

The report along with an accompanying case study  which can also be seen here: