Head of Programme - The Venture Science Doctorate

Deep Science Ventures

London, England, United Kingdom Remote

Full time


Jan 22

The Venture Science Doctorate (VSD) is the world’s first venture creation focused PhD program.

You will be responsible for shepherding and shaping the experience of our inaugural cohort of doctoral candidates as they work in labs across the world to solve problems in Climate and Health. You will have at least one direct report supporting you to manage the cohort, with a speciality in Climate.

You will not be alone. You will be part of a tight knit founding team, including Claire Thorne, the former Director of Innovation at the University of Surrey, Dominic Falcao, one of the founders of Deep Science Ventures and Thane Campbell, who has been responsible for building the programme to where it is today. You will be embedded in the wider DSV team and be able to draw on the relevant expertise of our dedicated sector and platform teams: more than 25 people specialised in science commercialisation in the fields of Therapeutics, Climate, Computation and Agriculture.

Key Responsibilities

  • Recruiting cohort - by the time you join, recruitment will be well on its way. We already have >150 people registered for the programme, but you will be part of the team responsible for selecting the first set of PhD candidates to actually participate
  • Developing curriculum - the curriculum is outlined and parts are in development, with content creators shortlisted and in conversation, and the Head of Programme will be responsible for taking this work forward
  • Expanding lab network - we have an international network of world-leading, entrepreneurial labs and professors signed up to host our candidates, and the Head of Programme will be responsible for further developing this network

About the Venture Science Doctorate (VSD)

We are setting out to materially alter and broaden the definition of “scientist”.

The VSD, run by Deep Science Ventures, is the world’s first 3 year, fully-accredited PhD run in labs at the world’s best universities. Focused exclusively on solving global challenges in health and climate through science as the basis for new science companies. This is an opportunity to radically impact the postgraduate STEM landscape.

The VSD is backed by:

  • Schmidt Futures - the pioneering global philanthropic facility for science founded by the former CEO of Google - Eric Schmidt
  • InnovateUK - the UK’s primary government innovation agency
  • The global technology organisation VDE, The Mayo Clinic, The University of Edinburgh and the Henry Royce Institute - a national network of leading labs from across the UK, which include Imperial College, Oxford University and the University of Manchester among many others.

You can read more about the programme itself on the dedicated VSD site, here.


About You

You’ll have a background in:

  • Experience overseeing and mentoring a team, ideally of researchers or students, with a strong focus on the personal development and training of that team
  • Experience in technology transfer and commercialization, including knowledge of intellectual property laws and regulations, and experience in spinning off companies or licensing technology to existing companies
  • You may have developed or run a programme with some training elements, including creation of content and curriculum
  • Experience in technology road-mapping or research programme development or research management
  • Strong networking skills, including the ability to effectively connect students and researchers with industry partners, investors, and other stakeholders
  • Strong understanding of the product development process and the ability to identify and evaluate potential commercial opportunities for research outputs

As for previous roles, this is a unique position, but you may have experience as a founder/CEO of a technical startup, a Teaching Fellow or course leader at an unconventional programme broadly in a relevant space, the Head of Innovation or Entrepreneurship in a Research Institution, or you might have created and/or run programmes for science companies or for scientists focused on venture creation.


More than anything we’re looking for people who get a huge kick out of growing and developing their team, who can act as an empathetic and constant source of inspiration for our inaugural PhD candidates. More than any PhD programme, we’re building a genuine community, one in which no PhD ever feels alone or that their work is in any way pointless or hopeless, where PhD candidates feel that growing into a leader and making a genuine impact are the primary reasons for being there. You must see yourself thriving in this kind of work.


  • Industry beating equity-incentivisation and a competitive salary;
  • The chance to co-found a global postgraduate programme and work with us to secure millions in funding to scale this to thousands of candidates;
  • The opportunity to be instrumental in training a cohort of the brightest, most highly motivated young scientists in the world;
  • Space to develop deep expertise in the key developmental areas for science entrepreneurship, such as resilience, empathy, persuasion and creativity
  • Option to work either in Central London from high spec offices, or remotely from anywhere in the world with allowances for office equipment, co-working and travel to London;
  • Opportunity to spend time in person with the team regularly with quarterly off-sites;
  • Tailored personal and leadership development plan;
  • Opportunity to co-found and lead ‘spin-off’ business units of DSV;
  • Access to some of the most entrepreneurial Professors and innovative research labs in the world aswell as leaders in the “science of science” field.

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Deep Science Ventures

We're creating a future in which both humans and the planet thrive. We combine available scientific knowledge and founder-type scientists into high-im...