autumn 2022
BED-8004 Academic entrepreneurship - preparing PhD students for an entrepreneurial career - 2 ECTS

Application deadline

Application code: 9301

PhD students at UiT apply for a seat by registering for classes in StudentWeb before 1 September. The registration starts in the middle of May.

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb before 1 June with the application code 9301. For applicants who are granted a seat, a study right will be created, and these applicants apply for a seat by registering for classes in StudentWeb before 1 September.

The study right gives the applicant admission to register to other open PhD courses or apply for a seat to PhD courses where entry is limited.

Type of course


Admission requirements

Prerequisites: None.

This course is aimed at PhD students and researchers (including PostDocs) from all research areas from social sciences and humanities to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The course is generally 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 this with both your supervisor and your faculty.

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

  • PhD students at UiT
  • Participants in the Associate Professor programme at UiT (must hold a Master´s degree)
  • Registered PhD students from other universities
  • Applicants documenting that they have a Norwegian Master´s degree (or equivalent)

The course will be cancelled if less than 10 participants.

Contact Ingjerd Gauslaa Nilsen ( at the BFE-faculty if you have troubles or questions regarding registration to the course. 

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

HEL-8045-NO Innovation and public science communication 1 stp
HEL-8045-EN Innovation and public science communication 1 stp
BED-8004 Academic entrepreneurship - preparing PhD students for an entrepreneurial career 2 stp

Course content

This course on innovation and entrepreneurship supports doctoral candidates across all disciplines to develop an enterprising mindset and understand how innovation works. Entrepreneurship, teamwork and networking are elements that are increasingly important for PhD candidates that want to succeed in and outside of academia and especially for those that see a potential for commercialization in their research work.

The training curriculum follows the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework laid out by the JRC in 2016, which defines entrepreneurship as a “transversal competence, which can be applied to all spheres of life, from personal development, to actively participating in society, [...] and to starting up ventures (cultural, social or commercial)”. Using a challenge-based problem-solving approach, course participants will expand their disciplinary comfort zone and develop their creativity by trying to solve challenges given to them at the beginning of the course. Participants will work in small and diverse groups over one week and go together through an entrepreneurial journey to solve these challenges by developing a (virtual) venture. The journey starts with a creative brainstorming session to identify solutions to the problem and ends with a pitch that will be evaluated by an expert panel.

Innovation is a concept closely related to entrepreneurship and Norwegian universities have a strong interest in contributing to regional innovation. Course participants will learn how innovation works and what its main facets and realizations are. Norinnova will showcase local ventures, present how UiT supports spin-off creation by PhD students, and inform about financing opportunities in Norway and in Europe.

Objectives of the course


  • Knowledge about innovation and its relation to entrepreneurship
  • Knowledge about the hypothesis driven start-up approach
  • Fundamental concepts of financial accounting
  • Knowledge of how to start university based spin-offs and access to funding opportunities


Course participants will acquire skills in three competencies areas that constitute the foundations of entrepreneurship:

 Ideas and Opportunities

  • Action
  • Spotting opportunities
  • Creativity
  • Vision
  • Valuing ideas
  • Ethical and sustainable thinking



  • Self-awareness and self-efficacy
  • Motivation and perseverance
  • Mobilising resources
  • Financial and economic literacy
  • Mobilising others



  • Taking the initiative
  • Planning & management
  • Coping with uncertainty, ambiguity, and risk
  • Working with others
  • Learning through experience


General competence

  • Develop of an enterprising mind-set, which that will allow the participants to create value in any domain and possible value chain (private, public, and third sectors, as well as in any combination of them)
  • Can assess the need for, initiate and practice innovation inside and outside of academia
  • Can manage interdisciplinary projects and develop innovative ideas and projects

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

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


5th - 9th of December 2022


Examination: Date: Weighting: Duration: Grade scale:
Assignment 13.12.2022 13:00 (Hand in) 1/2 Passed / Not Passed
Oral exam 1/2 30 Minutes Passed / Not Passed

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Pre-coursework Approved – not approved
Participation - in all parts of the course Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

  • Submission of a short essay (max 1 A4 page) where we want you to answer general questions about your research backgrounds, your motivation & expectations for the course and previous experience on entrepreneurship (if you have any). More information will be announced on Canvas.
  • Minimum 80% course participation.


More info about the assignment

Short report of the venture idea evaluated by the same expert panel.

More info about the oral exam


  • Oral exam/ final pitch at the last day of the course that is evaluated by an expert panel
  • The exam will be assessed as either pass or fail. There will be no continuation exam.

Re-sit examination

There will be no continuation exam.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 2
  • Course code: BED-8004
  • Earlier years and semesters for this topic