Spin your scientific research out of university into a start-up!

The applications for the newly launched PhD Transition Fellowship Program are officially open!

Barriers to innovation in the context of academic and research institutions include the lack of
transferable entrepreneurship training, lack of real-world commercial experience for doctoral
level candidates and, importantly, funding to enable the transition of ideas and innovative
discoveries into commercially linked programs and ultimately new products and services.

The aim of the PhD Transition Fellowship Program is to address the innovation funding gap
between completion of the doctoral thesis and obtaining further seed funding.

Are you in your final year of thesis submission and close to the award of your doctoral degree? Then apply now to the programme to get a chance to receive a pre-seed award of up to 20.000€!

Who can apply?

Eligible applicants must be:

  • PhD students enrolled at a university or research institute from
    Baden Wurttemberg (e.g. University Heidelberg, Heidelberg University Hospital, EMBL,
    DKFZ, ZI – Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim, Max-Planck-Institute for Medical
    Research, University Hospital Mannheim and others)
  • Close to completion of their doctoral training (max. 1 year) and their research
    must be in the field of Life Science or another health-related field

How to apply?

Eligible proposals comprise:

  • a summary of the candidate’s innovative research project or discovery (0,5 – 1 page).
    Please focus on the following content: problem, solution, needs and next steps.
  • a CV (max. 2 pages)
  • the completed and signed “PhD Supervisor Confirmation Form” from the PhD

Once you have the required files, send them to Sebastian Meuer (!

What can you win?

The three winners will receive up to EUR 20,000 towards the cost of accelerated development of their idea in their first post-doctoral year. Awards will be made at three levels:

Gold: EUR 20,000

Silver: EUR 15,000


Bronze: EUR 10,000



What does the selection procedure look like?

Stage 1:
All applicants will be reviewed by a jury. The jury panel will shortlist the most promising

Stage 2:
The candidates with the best ideas will be invited to attend a pitch session on the 26.09.2022
or 27.09.2022.
Personal participation on-site (Mannheim or Heidelberg) is mandatory. The schedule and
location will be communicated to the participants in good time. The selected candidates
present their innovative propositions in front of a selection panel in form of a 10-minute
pitch followed by another 10 minutes discussion. The panel will comprise university faculty
members, university intellectual property services, Innovation in Health and other relevant
partners. Confidentiality agreements will be in place. After all candidates have presented
their innovations, the three winners will be announced.

What are the important dates?

  • Closing of the online submission for the application: 30.06.2022
  • Internal review and evaluation of the submission: till 12.08.2022 (latest)
  • Pitch day + ceremony: 26.09.2022 or 27.09.2022 (Mannheim or HD)

For further information, please read through the Call Document!

Do you have questions? Please feel free to contact:

Sebastian Meuer
+49 1577 400 4385