UCL Computer Science


UCL Venturer Programme for Entrepreneurial PhDs and Postdocs 

The UCL Venturer Programme is an innovative research sponsorship opportunity designed to foster entrepreneurship in cutting-edge tech fields.

This ground-breaking initiative promotes the creation of spinouts based on your research in  AI/Machine Learning, DevX, green software engineering, cybersecurity, data science, and other digital tech, offering a founding equity stake to participants when viable spin-out opportunities arise. 

Who is it for? 

The UCL Venturer Programme is tailored for business-minded PhD and Postdoc candidates who are eager to combine their research with a focus on entrepreneurship.  

You will be motivated to create economic value by addressing research challenges with the potential for commercial returns. 

How does the programme work? 

If you have a compelling idea with commercial potential, you can pitch your concept to a panel of UCL academics and investors. 

Alternatively, industry funders collaborate with UCL Computer Science on research projects with commercial benefits, and advertise for suitable researchers to take the idea forward and turn it into a reality. 

UCL owns the IP generated during the Venturer PhD project and awards an exclusive, royalty-free license to the resulting spinout company, providing a unique opportunity for equity. 


Applications are open until 31 March for PhD candidates, but continue for Postdocs until June. 

Our Innovation Committee will match candidates with faculty-inventors, amongst our world-leading academics.  

In April 2024, the selection process takes place. Entrepreneurially motivated academics will interview prospective PhDs and Postdocs and funded offers are made with Agreement in Principle, following a funding interview with an investor. 

In October 2024, our first Venturer PhD students and Postdocs at UCL Computer Science will start, commencing with the start of the academic year. However, the actual starting time may vary depending on the project with the approval of the UCL CS Innovation Committee.  

What are the benefits for PhD and Postdocs? 

  • Tailored approach to matching investors to researchers. 
  • Supportive entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and business support. 
  • Regular meetings with funders and academic supervisors to review progress. 
  • Alignment with the UCL Centre for AI for AI-focused students. 
  • Access to networking events and co-founder support. 
  • Flexibility for sabbatical/interruption of studies or part-time options. 

How you can get involved 

Ready to embark on this transformative journey? Take the next step by completing the application form and join the ranks of Venture PhDs and Postdocs shaping the future at UCL.