Executive Breakout



Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (30 ECTS)

A FREE additional qualification for PhD students in Trinity College Dublin

Flexible, transferrable skills-based learning aimed at enhancing research competence and employability




The Innovation Academy is an exciting intellectual space that promotes creativity and innovative thinking in postgraduate students. Our cohort is drawn from a community of PhD researchers across many disciplines, in areas of societal, cultural and economic relevance.

What we offer:

Postgraduate Certificate for PhD candidates | Springboard programme for employment skills training | Executive Breakout programme for professional development

Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Academic Programme
Student Graduating

Take a Class

Innovation Projects
mangonel challenge

Alumni Testimonials

About Us

Communication Skills
Whiteboard student presentation

The Innovation Academy adds an interdisciplinary dimension to students’ experience by placing them in multidisciplinary teams to work on various creative design and funding challenges. We also promote engagement across academic and industry boundaries as a means of knowledge exchange through multidisciplinary innovation projects.

Experience creativity and innovation, project management, leadership and research communication

We offer an intensive programme of workshops, seminars, design thinking challenges and innovative team projects. Students work in a fun and transformative learning environment that is designed around the practical and transferable skills necessary for successful research and employment. 



Communication Skills

post itwhiteboardduckvending machine

Make a 3-Minute Movie

As part of the Opportunity Generation & Recognition module, all students produce a 3-minute video on their research which they have scripted, shot and edited themselves. Students use these videos to connect with other researchers, pitch for funding, enter competitions or to finally explain to their parents what they do all day!

During the module, students are given access to technical equipment and software and workshop their scripts with specialists in academic journalism. Students are especially encouraged to consider how their research is relevant to society and receive guidance in translating complex phraseology into accessible terms.


Featured student videos from our YouTube channel:

Eimhin Walsh (History): Contextualising Change
Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi (Neuroscience): Modelling the Brain
Sarah Edwards (Neuroscience): The role of II-23 in Autoimmunity
Cobi Van Tonder (Music): Towards a Fractal Music
Joanne Mac Mahon (Civil Engineering): Continuous Flow Solar Disinfection of Water
Pietro Zucca (Astrophysics): Solar Physics and Space Weather
David Corish (Physics): Cellular Response to Nanoscale Titanium
Martin Holmes (Bioengineering): Improving Inhaler User Technique


Innovation Projects

What's an Innovation Project?

An Innovation Project is a mini-challenge set by an organisation to our students, who have two weeks to come up with a potential solution. The organisations are drawn from social, cultural, non-profit and corporate sectors in Ireland.

Our project partners are drawn from the university ecosystem including alumni, incubation centres and spin-out companies. Projects are also sourced from the wider Innovation Academy network of government agencies, charities and multinationals in Ireland.

Be a project partner!

The Innovation Academy always seeks partnership with organisations to develop innovative group projects for its programme.  An innovation project is a micro-challenge set by an organisation that builds on the diverse skills of an interdisciplinary team of PhD researchers, who are participating on the Innovation Academy programme.  

Organisations may face a market opportunity or a technological challenge, which would benefit from innovative thinking, new techniques and perspectives. The Academy staff works with companies from social, cultural, non-profit and corporate sectors in Ireland, to shape the project and make it suitable for delivery over the course of our intensive program.  Organisations provide a mentor to the group and facilitate access to key stakeholders.  In return, our students apply their complementary skills and training to think of new ways to tackle old problems.

Final project presentations are made in front of contributors, agencies and industry mentors at a plenary session in Trinity College Dublin. 

Some of Our Project Partners

Blueface, Citi, Covidien, Coilte, Community Garden Network, BNP, Dell, Design Partners, Dochas, Dublin City Council, EcoVillage, Entreprise Ireland, ESB, Google, GS1, HP, IBM, IDA, Irish Rail, LauraLynn, National Library of Ireland, NCAD, Novartis, Monster Truck Gallery, Pieta House, Realex, SAP, Scouting Ireland, Special Olympics, Siemens, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Tallaght Hospital, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Rough Magic Theatre, Waterways Ireland


What Our Students Say...

"The Academy has made me more confident in presenting my research and I have entered competitions that I probably wouldn't have otherwise."

"I think I have gained invaluable skills in scientific communication. I think I'm also a more capable experimental designer, and the Academy has helped me be more creative in solving problems that I encounter (weekly!) in my research."

"It has allowed me to formulate ideas in a more coherent way which has greatly helped with my PhD. I would hope that after finishing my PhD, the greatly improved ability to work in a team and problem solving skills that we learned will help when applying for a job."

"Presentation skills, team work, getting the most out of opportunities, collaboration with other universities, understanding the need to be involved in other areas of the job such as finance and copyright - and knowing who to contact regarding these - confidence in areas outside my immediate field has definitely greatly increased when dealing with new angles of my project planning."


Register Online for a Class







Creative Thinking & Innovation 


Note: this module is a pre-requisite

  • Work in multi-disciplinary teams

  • Innovation projects and real-life solutions

Opportunity Generation


  • Communicate your research

  • Make a 3-minute video

Protecting Your Intellectual Property


  • IP for postgraduate researchers

  • Trademarks, copyright, know-how

Planning Your New Venture

REGISTER ONLINE - note possible alternative dates

  • Entrepreneurial project management

  • Funding, market research, risk

Creative Capital


  • Key skills needed to fund a start-up

  • Practical application of financial tools

Leadership Development


  • Effective team leadership & collaboration

  • Strategic leadership for organisations



3 Foster Place
College Green
Dublin 2

Ph: +353 (0)1 896 4831 / 4367 / 4366

Email: innovation.academy@tcd.ie