If you are interested in exploring the commercial potential of your work, access PFDC courses and workshops to find out more. You can also join the Imperial Postdoc and Fellows Enterprise Network (IPFEN) - a network for research staff who are interested in knowing more about entrepreneurship and enterprise opportunities and activities – whether it is to support your research activity or to explore a new career path.


Imperial Enterprise for Staff

Our annual programme of courses and workshops

We offer a wide range of courses focused on enterprise. Scheduled courses can be viewed in our online calendar (above). Below are details of the related courses we offer throughout the year: 


Consultancy: How it Can Enhance Your Academic Career

  • Tutor: Rebecca Andrew - Imperial Consultants (ICON)
  • Usually scheduled: November, May
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses

Who should attend

This course, run by staff from Imperial Consultants, is for any postdoc interested in applying their knowledge to problems in industry, commerce and government. The course will introduce you to the world of academic consultancy, from acting as an expert witness to providing specialist advice. It will also introduce you to the support Imperial Consultants, a College-owned company, can offer you when consulting.

Key areas

  • What is consultancy? How can it enhance an academic career?
  • The consultancy project life cycle including case studies
  • Introducing ICON and how can we help
  • How to get started with consultancy
  • How you can promote yourself and develop your skills

What have past participants found most useful?

"I became aware of some skills that I have and might be marketable. I thought about my own contacts with industry and how to use them."

"The course was very informative about Imperial Consultants, how it works and what the benefits are for Imperial researchers when working with them."

"The breadth of useful advice and the absence of painful/embarrassing exercises" - Postdoc, Business School

"I really enjoyed every single aspect of the course. It’s very interactive, lots of interesting/unique exercises. The trainer was fantastic!" - Postdoc, Life Sciences

How Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Can Impact your Research

  • Tutor: Dr Amritha Nair & Dr Prashanthini Jeyarajan - Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation, Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: March, July
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


Lack of awareness of intellectual property (IP) can result in UK researchers missing out. Many are not commercialising their own ideas and some are failing to prevent others from unfairly exploiting their research. This course brings in experts from Imperial Innovations to help to plug this knowledge gap. It enables postdocs to work out what type of intellectual property rights they need to protect their work and how to take the necessary steps to get it.

Key areas

  • Patents - what, why, who, where, how?
  • Copyright
  • Commercialisation of inventions
  • Licensing and spin-out companies
  • Dealing with companies—bridging the academia-industry divide

What have past participants found most useful?

"Going through examples and very clear definitions of vocabulary"

"The power of patenting for commercialisation"

"How to source and more completely interpret they aspects of a patent"

"Trainer is knowledgeable and enthusiastic"

Innovation and Industry: Effective Project Implementation

  • Tutor: Caroline Broad - Independent Consultant
  • Usually scheduled: February
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


Are you working on projects in collaboration with industry? Would you like to improve your creative thinking skills and the tools to manage the projects they create?

This workshop is for you if you are looking to develop your understanding of the priorities of industry when working in a collaboration with academia, if you are looking for a move into industry (including not for profit) or you want to improve your basic project management skills. The aim is to develop project management skills in the context of industry academia collaborations (IAC).

In this workshop we explore a formal project development process from idea inception through to project implementation.  You will practice project management tools and techniques and discuss cognitive and behavioural skills needed to implement them. We will discuss current UK industry, government (BIS) and research council expectations of IAC and the existing funding opportunities. The skills learned will support your effective interactions and well-managed projects with industry.

Key areas

  • Industry expectations of academia in collaborations
  • An introduction to creative thinking and problem solving
  • Effective project planning and implementation – team, task, individual
  • Core project management tools

What have past participants found most useful?

"I liked the way the trainer made you think deeply about a few of the topics (Postdoc, Materials)"

"Combination of innovation, project management, people - great focus! (Postdoc, Public Health)"

"The application of business theory to academic research (Postdoc, Health, Social Care and Education)"

Personal Pitching: Selling Your Research and Expertise

  • Tutor: Dr Emma Williams - Independent Consultant
  • Usually scheduled: February
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled courses


It’s not good enough to be good – people need to know about it!

Using your research as a starting point, we will hone a series of short pitches (oral, written, virtual communication methods) with the aim of getting people to the stage of wanting to know more about you. This half day course will also look at networking tips to allow for pitches to happen. There will be practice and peer feedback. Participants will set up a communication (personal marketing) plan and actions to be undertaken whilst thinking of the “brand” they want to portray. Challenges will be personal but may include creating/updating academic social media, websites, blogs or outreach activities.

Key areas

  • To understand that getting your message out there is essential to career progression
  • To recognise that every time you communicate is an opportunity
  • To craft short pitches
  • To develop a personal communication plan 

We also run pop-up workshops during the year. Here are some examples of recent pop-ups focused on enterprise. Upcoming pop-ups on this topic will be advertised on this page, in the PFDC newslettertwitter and via the Postdoc Reps Network.


Maximising impact

  • Tutor: Dr Inês Perpétuo, Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: February, August
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled workshops

Your research is very important to you, but how do you make sure others look at it and understand its importance?

Can you clearly articulate the different types of impact you are making? How do you maximise your chances of really having an influence in your areas of interest?

In this session, we will look at what research impact is and why it matters and how you can create and maximise impact.

Upskilling with Hackspace

  • Tutor: Hackspace Fellows team, Imperial College London
  • Usually scheduled: July
  • Visit our online calendar to find out about scheduled workshops

This session will be an introduction to the Advanced Hackspace part of the College’s Enterprise division. This is an opportunity to understand how Hackspace can support Postdocs and Fellows.

In this session you will get to know about the resources, facilities and expertise available to support your current research or future fellowships.