Qualification Postgraduate Level 9 Certificate (30 ECTS)
Delivery This blended programme offers a mix of online and in-person class time. In-person sessions will be held at Tangent, Trinity College Dublin.
Duration The programme comprises four modules, and takes place over the course of Semester 2 (23 January to 23 June 2023).
Timetable Each module will offer a mix of online classes, generally on a Tuesday and Thursday 6-8pm, and longer in-person sessions at the start and end of a module e.g. Saturday 10am-4pm and Friday 6pm-9pm. There will be short breaks between modules.
Course Fees Trinity PhD students: limited number of free places available.

Trinity research staff: limited number of free places available on demonstration of eligibility for HCI funding (see eligibility criteria below).

Non-TCD applicants: limited number of part-funded places available on demonstration of eligibility for HCI funding (see eligibility criteria below). Alternatively, a programme fee of €2400 (EU) or €4800 (non-EU) applies.
Course Dates Course begins 23 January 2023
Course ends 23 June 2023
Closing Date Deadline for applications: Friday, 6th January 2023
Course Content Module 1: Creative Thinking (10 ECTS)
Module 2: Innovation Pathways for Researchers (10 ECTS)
Module 3: Opportunity Generation and Recognition (5 ECTS)
Module 4: Leadership (5 ECTS)
Contact Programme Manager Dr Maeve O'Dwyer: pgtangentcourses@tcd.ie
Student Recruitment Officer Jane Flanagan: pgtangentcourses@tcd.ie


How can researchers improve their creative thinking and entrepreneurship skills? In an increasingly competitive research landscape, innovation is critical.

This programme is designed for PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and early career research staff from all disciplines who wish to explore how innovation can work for them. The course is at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and comprises 2 x 10 ECTS modules and 2 x 5 ECTS modules. The course will help you acquire the skills, tools and frameworks required to make innovation and entrepreneurship work for you and enhance your research journey. It begins with fostering innovation and entrepreneurship skills in multi-disciplinary research teams, and over the duration of the programme, students will begin to apply their learning in their own context. Whether you want to commercialise your research, improve your communication skills, or learn more about creative problem-solving, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn as part of a cohort of researchers from all disciplines and career stages.

Note: Masters by Research and applicants with the aspiration to engage in a research position will also be considered- please get in touch to discuss your circumstances.

Hear From Recent Graduates

Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

View on Tangent TV

Course Information

Module One: Creative Thinking (10 Credits)
This module opens up new ways of thinking creatively and offers the opportunity to learn and apply frameworks and tools to help you reconsider the way you approach your work. For example, understanding the different ways in which you can develop and evolve ideas through teamwork. Teams will be interdisciplinary where possible, to allow you to break through subject-specific parameters in your thinking and learn to communicate your ideas effectively

Module Two: Innovation Pathways for Researchers (10 Credits) This module will help you to identify how you want to employ or embed innovation and entrepreneurship in your research. The module content will focus on personal narratives of innovation and entrepreneurship and will include guest speakers from a variety of career pathways and entrepreneurship routes. Tools related to divergent and convergent thinking and emotional resilience will be explored.

Module Three: Opportunity Generation and Recognition (5 credits) In this module, you will focus on ways in which entrepreneurship can be of value, not just to those who wish to start a business based on their research, but to all researchers in a variety of ways. The focus will be on learning entrepreneurial skills which allow you to recognise, generate and articulate opportunities to achieve your goals. You will also learn how to communicate effectively with others for a specific purpose appropriate to your goals (i.e. funding pitch, public engagement with research, request for stakeholder/participant engagement, etc.)

Module Four: Leadership (5 credits) Whether as a Principal Investigator or Entrepreneur, leadership skills are essential to achieving your goals and communicating effectively with others. Many careers now involve working as part of multi-disciplinary teams, and not everyone will approach leadership or leadership roles in the same way. Over the course of this module, you explore different leadership styles to help you identify the frameworks and tools which best suit you.

Watch our video to find out why students on the 21-22 cohort of this programme would recommend it. Click here to view a reflective LinkedIn post from alumnus Unni.

23 January - 23 June 2023, blended online and in-person at Tangent, Trinity's Ideas Workspace

1. Applicants should hold a level 8 Honours degree (min 2:1)

2. CV

3. Statement of Interest (min 2:1)

4. Two Reference Statements

Applicants should hold a level 8 Honours degree, minimum 2.1 (or equivalent) in any discipline from a recognised third-level institution. Applicants who do not fit these criteria will be assessed on an individual basis in line with Trinity Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

As part of the admissions process, applicants will be required to submit their CV and a 1-page personal statement outlining their motivation to undertake the programme. All applicants should provide two academic references confirming their eligibility and suitability for the programme.

Applicants who are currently enrolled as PhD students at TCD should ensure that one of their references is completed by their doctoral supervisor or Director of Postgraduate Studies as appropriate, confirming their approval of you undertaking this 30 ECTS programme during your studies. Applications from TCD-registered research students will be subject to approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies. This programme is also open to Masters by Research students and aspirational researchers.

Eligible applicants not admitted to the course will be placed on a waiting list. Students must have regular access to a computer with a good internet connection. The computer should have both a microphone and a camera.

Trinity registered research students will not incur a fee for participation on this course.

Trinity research staff are welcome to apply. Funding is subject to meeting HCI funding eligibility requirements (outlined below).

External (non-Trinity) applicants should complete a separate application link- please get in touch directly. A course fee will apply.

All applicants must self-declare and/or provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate the following:

1. You are living full-time in the Republic of Ireland

2. You meet the nationality/visa requirement:

- You hold EU/EEA/UK/Swiss nationality and can demonstrate residency in EU/EEA/UK/Switzerland for 3 of the five years preceding the start date of the programme


- You have an alternative method of demonstrating the right to work/live/study in EU/EEA/UK/Switzerland and residency in EU/EEA/UK/Switzerland for 3 of the five years preceding the start date of the programme

You hold EU/EEA/UK/Swiss nationality and can demonstrate residency in EU/EEA/UK/Switzerland for 3 of the five years preceding the start date of the programme

Alternative methods of demonstrating the right to work/live/study include:

1. You have Stamp 4/Stamp 4 EU FAM, Stamp 5, or Stamp 6 on your Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card. This includes those residents here on Stamp 4 on the basis of:

- having permission to remain in Ireland as a family member of an EU citizen or;

- having official Refugee/Subsidiary Protection status in Ireland /being here on the basis of refugee family reunification or;

- having been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999) or;

- having permission to remain following the Minister’s decision not to make a deportation order.

- have lived in either the EU, the EEA, the UK, or Switzerland for at least 3 out of the last 5 years

Any period the Department of Justice can count towards Citizenship can count towards residency (except stamps 2 & 2 a). If you have Refugee/Subsidiary Protection status in Ireland, residency is counted from the date you applied for International Protection.

International Protection Act

In line with the HEA approach to eligibility for Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1, this eligibility for this programme (funded via HCI Pillar 3) will be expanded for the 2022/2023 academic year to also include qualified persons. The term “qualified person” refers to someone who has been granted protection in Ireland under Section 60 of the International Protection Act 2015 in accordance with the EU Temporary Protection Directive 2001/55/EC. In applying under the International Protection Act only the letter that the Dept. of Justice issues to those granted Temporary Protection in Ireland will provide documentary proof.

In line with the European Council Decision of 4 March, the Irish Government is applying the rights afforded under the International Protection Act, 2015 to the following qualified persons in Ireland.

- Ukrainian nationals residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;

- (b) Third Country Nationals who were granted permanent residency rights in Ukraine before 24 February 2022;

- Stateless persons, and nationals of third countries other than Ukraine, who benefited from international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022; and,

- Family members of the persons referred to in (a) and (b).

The programme is led and facilitated by Dr Maeve O'Dwyer and incorporates a host of contributors and guest speakers from both academia and industry.