The Innovation Academy at Trinity College Dublin
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Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (30 ECTS)

A FREE additional qualification for PhD students. Flexible, transferrable skills-based learning aimed at enhancing research competence and employability.
Academic Programme
Alumni Testimonials
About Us
Innovation Projects
Student Videos
Take a Class

PG Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship (30 ECTS)

The Innovation Academy is an exciting intellectual space that nurtures creativity and innovative thinking in postgraduate students.

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. 

For a complete overview of the programme visit our website


Our programme is FREE to research students in Trinity College Dublin

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.

It’s a mix that is conducive to creativity and innovation, and develops transferable skills such as project management, leadership and research communication.

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.


Some of Our Project Partners


Citi, Covidien, Coilte, Community Garden Network, BNP, Dell, Dublin City Council, EcoVillage, Entreprise Ireland, ESB, Google, HP, IBM, IDA, Irish Rail, National Library of Ireland, NCAD, Novartis, Monster Truck Gallery, SAP, Special Olympics, Siemens, Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Rough Magic Theatre, Waterways Ireland

Learn more about innovation projects here

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 self-promotion and 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."

Meet the Student Ambassadors!


Some Success Stories...

Students from the Innovation Academy have used the skills acquired with us to compete at national and international level. Whether through start-ups, video communication, public outreach, innovative conferences or employment, our students gain the skills and experience needed for social, economic and cultural impact.  

Student Videos

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 or just to impress their friends!

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.


Highlights from our YouTube  channel
Arts / Humanities 
Eimhin Walsh: Contextualising Change
Cobi Van Tonder: Towards a Fractal Music

Health Sciences
Ayokunmi Ajetunmobi: Modelling the Brain
Sarah Edwards: The role of II-23 in Autoimmunity

David Corish: Cellular Response to Nanoscale Titanium
Pietro Zucca: Solar Physics and Space Weather

PhD Modules in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Postgraduate Certificate programme

The Innovation Academy programme has a flexible structure, allowing students to work toward the award of a Postgraduate Certificate across several years. Modules are offered throughout the academic year in partnership with UCD and Queen's University Belfast. 

Students take part in workshops, seminars, practical challenges, design thinking and innovation projects. There is an intensive, experiential programme with the aim of introducing students to creative thinking within teams and the basic concepts of innovation.

Download the 2014/15 schedule (pdf)


Register Online for a Class
Work in multi-disciplinary teams
Innovation projects and real-life solutions
Note: this module is a pre-requisite
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
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

About Us

Mission Statement

Our mission is to develop a new kind of PhD graduate, with a thorough understanding of how innovation can convert knowledge into products, services and policies for economic, social and cultural benefit.

Innovation In Its Broadest Sense

Our programmes are delivered by academic staff drawn from diverse disciplines, who are active in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as senior advisors and practitioners in public and private sector organisations in Ireland and internationally. There is an emphasis on workshops and problem-based learning within multidisciplinary teams.

At the Academy, innovation is taken in its broadest sense, encompassing the creative arts, social entrepreneurship, engineering, technology and business.

Copyright © 2014, Innovation Academy @ TCD, All rights reserved.

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