Venture Science Doctorate

Reinventing the PhD, to put venture at the heart of research. Applications for the 2024 are now closed. Register your interest in the 2025 cohort by submitting an early application.

Immerse yourself into the background of the Venture Science Doctorate. Watch our Mini Documentary here!

In health, climate, agriculture and computation, today’s challenges require speed, scale and skills like never before. PhD programs shape the deeptech workforce that solve humanity’s problems, but they’re not optimised for these challenges; they don’t attract driven, commercially-minded visionaries or under-represented groups.

The Venture Science Doctorate (VSD) is an alternative. Join a 3-year, fully-funded, sector-agnostic PhD program, running our proven innovation model. It’s provided by Deep Science Ventures College at Woolf, a Global Higher Education Institution. Within ten years we will have scaled to train 1,000 science entrepreneurs per year.

VSD candidates directly target the most important questions in their sector, learning to design their own research projects from first-principles and launching companies based on this research, to deliver impact, not just knowledge. On top of this, they meet and work with some of the world’s most forward-thinking supervisors, in an entrepreneurial environment made up of like-minded peers, partners, and investors.

Hone intellectual freedom, grow entrepreneurial networks and create ventures to solve the world’s hardest problems.

Thank you!

Prospectus Download

To download the Venture Science Doctorate prospectus, please complete the form below.


Tackling the world’s hardest problems requires a new type of talent

Solutions to the world’s greatest problems are going to come from scientific research and science commercialisation, created by hyper-mobile venture scientists, who are capable of simultaneously navigating both worlds.

To make the most of this opportunity, we need to solve the bottleneck of science talent. The UK alone requires an additional 150,000 researchers by 2030. To accelerate discovery and tackle these challenges, the UK needs to:

  • Build a healthy science, tech and entrepreneurial talent pipeline;

  • Improve research career satisfaction to drive high retention;

  • Drive cultural change on campus;

  • Embed research in the venture-creation ecosystem; 

  • Diversify our scientific and creative understanding of technology.

A program for commercially-minded, scientific visionaries

The Venture Science Doctorate (VSD) is a 3-year, fully-funded, sector-agnostic PhD program, running using the same proven innovation model that underpins Deep Science Ventures itself. The PhD is provided by Deep Science Ventures College at Woolf, a Global Higher Education Institution. The program is truly inclusive, we believe in the strength of
diversity and want to source and attract people into the worlds of research and venture-creation that would not otherwise do so.

The aim of year 1 is for candidates to familiarize themselves with a given industry, mapping the landscape, to identify areas of opportunity for high-impact venture creation. In a process we call Scoping, candidates will identify the optimal solution to a given problem and, alongside accredited courses such as experimental design, perform lab work to develop their hypotheses and contact partner research groups for further experimentation.

Year 2 is focused on invention, and further developing the initial hypotheses, working within leading research groups to prove the technology against the original hypothesis and validate it through technoeconomic analysis.

The goal for year 3 is venture creation, building further on the research from the previous two years, to develop a scalable technology, capable of  product market fit. If necessary, candidates may join multiple different research groups to do this. Having validated the technology, candidates will work with experienced venture partners to build a complementary team and a rock-solid investment case, before engaging with some of the 400+ investors that DSV co-invests alongside. 

Upon graduating, all the intellectual property is transferred into the new venture, which the candidate continues to lead as a cofounder. For more details on the program, please download the prospectus using the submission form above.

Global Partners & Leading Collaborators

We’ve partnered with leading institutions, who are supporting across research and venture creation. Collaborating institutions include the National Physical Laboratory, the James Hutton Institute, Imperial College, the University of Edinburgh, University College London, Goldsmiths, University of London, Cornell University and the Mayo Clinic.

If you would like to join us as a Partner, please contact us using this form.

Our entrepreneurial ecosystem

Even a global pandemic can be dissected and solved with a concerted research effort. Today, too few people are prepared to apply scientific research, build technological solutions and scale through regulatory environments. These are the Venture Scientists we all need, and we can all become through deep tech entrepreneurship. Systematically envision where we must be in Climate or Health in the next 5 years and bring that future forward. 


High impact ventures need strong scientific and commercial mentors. The world’s most entrepreneurial Research Supervisors are gathering around Venture Scientists to shoulder the uncertainty of inventing in the “adjacent possible” and see technologies born in their labs tackle Climate, Health and Food Security crises. Founding Supervisors, from DSV,  are co-mentoring Venture Scientists to provide commercial guidance on their critical path to market.

Research Partners

From individual laboratories to universities to national research assets
These research communities are forming bolder collaborations to bring the world answers the most important questions in their fields. Decentralised research programs will enable pioneering research at the interfaces between disciplines, this means reconfiguring partnerships as technologies emerge.

Industry partners

Your industry is evolving and the companies that lead this change will benefit the most. Join us to access a sustainable talent pipeline of future leaders for your research teams, who can anticipate disruptive trends. Exchange insights with field-leading researchers and policy makers to see the next generation of innovators transform insights into impact.

Funding Partners

We face unprecedented challenges in Health, Climate, Education Equity, Building Novel Innovation Models and Technological Leadership. VSD is the first PhD program to tackle all five of these major concerns for impact-centric funders. With our systematic, multi-year approach candidates become expert solvers of critical challenges. Thousands of Venture Scientists will inspire millions more by creating sector-scale impact, thanks to our long-term partners.


Promoting STEM diversity through deep tech with government, industry and academic stakeholders is complex. Leaders of transformational change at the highest levels of their sector are strategically guiding and publicly championing VSD to do the same. From Learning Experience Design to High Performance Culture to Shaping Corporate Strategy across hundreds of science companies - we host crucial dialogues with perceptive and humble luminaries.

Our founding partners


Thomas Kalil

CEO, Renaissance Philanthropy

Renaissance Philanthropy’s mission is to fuel a 21st century renaissance by increasing the ambition of philanthropists, scientists, and innovators.

Very few  graduate students secure tenure track jobs. I believe strongly that research universities need to do a better job of preparing graduates for broader career opportunities. This is particularly important because the world has problems, research universities have departments, and there is often an imperfect mapping between the two. Solutions to our global challenges often require combinatorial innovation - it’s what The Venture Science Doctorate trains, and why young scientists at many universities could benefit from this program.

Lina Arbeláez

Anglo American

A global company leading the transition to carbon neutral mining and attacking emissions at scope 1, 2 and 3 for the commodities they produce, Anglo are decarbonizing supply chains across the world. Decarbonization must scale dramatically in the next 10 years to meet international climate targets needs

At Anglo American, we are committed to creating, accelerating and investing in climate positive startups as part of our purpose to re-imagine mining to improve people’s lives. In this we are looking not only at how we decarbonise our own operations, but also at how we can reduce the Scope 3 emissions of our broader value chain. Having previously supported climate tech ventures like Mission Zero and Supercritical, we look forward to the innovation breakthroughs that the Venture Science Doctorate seeks to crystalise for a low carbon future.

William Bonvillian

Senior Director for Special Projects, MIT

“A new set of skill sets is going to be required to make industrial innovation policy projects work—not simply R&D skills, but also tech commercialization skills. Simply placing traditionally trained scientists into leadership positions will not work well for these projects. Industrial innovation policy will need to learn lessons from ARPA project directors and from engineering project management, for example. We will need change agents who can help resolve both scientific and commercial challenges through a portfolio approach. The Venture Science Doctorate aims to integrate the new skill sets that will be required. I believe an applied science PhD that adopts aspects of the ARPA model could be key to training ‘Venture Scientists’ to meet both climate and health technology goals.”

Joshua Broggi

Woolf University

Higher education is transforming as demand drowns supply. The demand for higher education is an estimated +25k students per day over the next decade. Woolf University is the first collegiate university that allows organizations to join as Member Colleges

VSD will be the first PhD program to make venture creation and inclusivity its dual-mission. We're proud to co-create a career path for "Venture Scientists" shifting the definition of "scientist" to include people eager to build the market-ready technologies the world needs. VSD is mission-aligned with Woolf as we seek to increase access to high quality research and job creation while responsibly scaling access to higher education.

Prof. Rafael Carazo Salas

University of Bristol and Founder of CellVoyant

Professor and Chair of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bristol and a Turing Institute Fellow. Trained in physics, mathematics and cell biology, he’s worked with Sir Paul Nurse in London and the Rockefeller University in New York, held PI positions at ETH Zurich and the University of Cambridge and founded CellVoyant an AI-first biotechnology company creating novel stem cell-based therapies for chronic diseases.

Academic science is the only discipline which still trains students to populate its most improbable and potentially least useful outcome. Law departments train students to populate law firms all across the globe, not university departments. Engineering departments populate engineering firms or companies or industries of all types, not university departments. Academic science needs a 180 degree revamp and I think the VSD gets us there!

Sam Arbesman

Silicon Flatirons Centre, University of Colorado Boulder

Propelling the future of law, policy and entrepreneurship in the digital age. Through initiatives, events publications and student programs they catalyze critical conversations and train the next generation of leaders.

While many researchers eventually move into the startup world, the Venture Science Doctorate intentionally trains for startup from the very start. It does this holistically, teaching research within the context of a venture—and even how to articulate the broader vision of your work. I think the Venture Science Doctorate is an incredibly exciting experiment and has the potential to unleash a whole new group of venture scientists into the world.

Phil De Luna

Chief Carbon Scientist and Head of Engineering at Deep Sky

Formerly the youngest-ever Director at the National Research Council of Canada where he built and led a $57M collaborative research program on Canada-made net zero technologies. On television and online, he is a public champion of Climate Resilience, dedicated to finding, co-funding and developing the most impactful technologies to decarbonize our economy.

In today’s publish-or-perish incentive structure, training gets overlooked, especially training in venture building or industrial research. Many of the world’s most challenging problems require scientific solutions, which we are not training scientists to take forward. The Venture Science Doctorate takes an agile and comprehensive approach - connected to streamlined multinational research programs, for more technological solutions, not just citations.

Priya Guha, MBE

Venture Partner, Merian Ventures

At Merian Ventures, Priya supports investment in women-led innovation. A champion of US and UK venture creation, Priya advises startups in both ecosystems. She is a Non-executive Director at Digital Catapult UK and has held many roles in diplomacy, most recently as British Consul General to San Francisco and previously in India and Spain. She is on the Althea Foundation Board, Global Tech Advocates Advisory Board and the Royal Academy of Engineering International Committee.

“The Venture Science Doctorate is a great initiative to support different types of PhDs, which will equip students with the skills and funding to commercialise and scale their research whilst pursuing their academic studies. Society needs this.’’


About Deep Science Ventures

Deep Science Ventures (DSV) is creating a future where humanity and the planet thrive, combining available scientific knowledge and founder-type scientists into high-impact ventures. Deep Science Ventures operates in 4 sectors: Agriculture, Climate, Computation and Pharmaceuticals, tackling the challenges defining those areas by taking a first-principles approach and partnering with leading institutions.