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spring 2018

BED-8004 Academic entrepreneurship - preparing PhD students for an entrepreneurial career - 5 ECTS

Sist endret: 01.03.2019

The course is provided by

Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics


Tromsø |

Application deadline

PhD students enrolled at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb.(Deadline; 1. february)

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb.(Deadline; 1. februar)

Choose the application code 9306 and write the course code (BED-8004) in the remark field.

Type of course


Admission requirements

Prerequisites: None.


This course is aimed at PhD students and researchers (including PostDocs) from all scientific disciplines, but is open for applicants holding a Master`s degree. If you aim to include the credits from the course in your 30 mandatory PhD ECTS you should discuss it with both your supervisor and your faculty.


The course has 30 seats. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be ranked in this order:

1. PhD students at UiT

2. Participants in the Associate Professor programme at UiT (must hold a Master´s degree)

3. Registered PhD students from other universities

4. Applicants documenting that they have a Norwegian Master´s degree (or equivalent)


The course will be cancelled if less than 15 participants.


PhD students at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb. The registration for spring semester starts in the middle of December.


External applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Application code 9306.


Non-UiT PhD students must upload a document from their university stating that they are registered PhD students. This group of applicants does not have to prove English proficiency and are exempt from semester fee.


Holders of a Master´s degree must upload a Master´s Diploma with Diploma Supplement / English translation of the diploma. Applicants from listed countries must document proficiency in English. To find out if this applies to you, see the following list: Proficiency in English must be documented - list of countries


For more information on accepted English proficiency tests and scores, as well as exemptions from the English proficiency tests, please see the following document: Proficiency in english - PhD level studies

Contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen (ingjerd.nilsen@uit.no) at the BFE-faculty if you have troubles or questions regarding registration to the course. 

Course content

The learning journey of a PhD student can often be a lonely one, with students required to work towards intensive individually researched and sole authored academic projects of scholarly importance. As a consequence, entrepreneurship, team working and networking - elements that are becoming increasingly important to the wider world of work - are often neglected. Indeed, many PhD students have ideas that can potentially be commercialized; they also have talent and skills that can be used outside academia.

The term used to describe the start-up of a firm based on a research-based idea is called academic entrepreneurship, and this has become vital in helping universities fulfil their third mission: to contribute to regional innovation. The success of university-based spin-offs is dependent on talented PhD students and this course provides the necessary tools for learning about entrepreneurship and commercialization.

The course is aimed at preparing PhD students to take on an entrepreneurial role after completing their PhD. Theoretically the course contains literature from academic entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial networking and entrepreneurial teams. The students will learn about the university context's support for academic entrepreneurship, and the prerequisites required for university contribution to knowledge based regional development through university spinoffs.

Access to networks is a critical resource for academic entrepreneurs. A change of career path and exchange of information or tangible resources between actors are influenced by social relations. Finally, entrepreneurial creativity and team formation is crucial for successful commercialization of research-based ideas.

The course will include a variety of pedagogical approaches, including:

  • Lectures to provide the theoretical concepts
  • Small groups discussing theoretical articles
  • Small group working to allow students to reflect on their own experiences, roles and skills
  • Group case work - students working on literature case studies and presenting in plenary session

Objectives of the course


  • Knowledge of research on academic entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial teams and entrepreneurial networking
  • Knowledge of how to use frameworks to analyse university based spin-offs, research based ideas for commercialization, entrepreneurial networks and team roles


  • Be able to understand the university context of academic entrepreneurship
  • Recognize the value of different team roles within a research based venture
  • Be able to build a strategy relating to how to initiate, develop and maintain networks
  • Be able to recognize and understand the processes of commercialization and technology transfer.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course will use a combination of lectures; guest lectures from academic entrepreneurs, assignments in smaller groups, and presentations in plenary sessions.



In order to meet the objectives of the course, each participant will be required to write a scientific paper.

In order to pass the exam, each student will have to provide:


  • Pre-coursework - by the submission date indicated below, and according to instructions provided ahead of the course.
  • Participation - in all parts of the course.
  • Written scientific paper - by the submission date indicated below; subject will be provided during the course.


Evaluated with pass/fail. There will not be arranged a re-sit exam for this course.


Deadline for preparation: March 5, 2018 at. 23.59

Course week: 12-16. March 2018 (week 11)

Exam: May 11, 2018 at. 12:00



Ingjerd - Branno.png

Nilsen, Ingjerd Gauslaa

Rådgiver, ph.d.-utdanningen
Telefon: +4777646018 ingjerd.nilsen@uit.no


The deadline for applying to this course is extended to 20 February.

PhD students enrolled at UiT register for the course through StudentWeb

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb. Choose the application code 9302 and write the course code (BED-8004) in the remark field. You'll find a manual for SøknadsWeb here.

Remember to upload documentation of your MA-degree or documentation of your status as a PhD student. Applicants who can document their status as a PhD student are exempt to pay the semester fee.