The UU Innovation Mentor Programme

The UU Innovation mentor programme aims to help more researchers at Uppsala University to realise their ideas and create benefits from their research in society.

Develop your idea with the support of a mentor

The programme gives you the chance to get be paired with a mentor who has experience, knowledge and a network that matches your idea and goals, and who can guide you on the path from research to innovation.

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Facts about the mentor programme

  • The programme is offered: twice a year, starting in February and September.
  • The programme runs: February to November and September to May, respectively.
  • The programme comprises: six individual meetings with your mentor. There is also a joint kick-off and wrap-up for all participants and mentors, and a workshop on how everyone can create strong networks, and why a network is so useful.
  • Who can apply: researchers and doctoral students from all disciplinary domains at Uppsala University who have an idea or research results with the potential to create value in society. You must be prepared to invest time and commitment in developing your idea together with a mentor. You need to be affiliated with the University during the programme and not present your thesis during the programme period.
  • Extra support: the mentor programme gives you extra support in the development of your idea. You will receive support from advisors at UU Innovation before, during and after the programme.

  • After the programme: you will have gained new knowledge and contacts relevant to the continued development of your idea.

  • Application period for the autumn start 2023: 1 April - 15 May, 2023.
    Application will open 1 April, 2023.
  • Contact: If you have any questions or simply want more information, please get in touch with Frida Henningson Johnson.

The benefits of a mentor

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The mentor programme gives you the opportunity to be paired with an individually matched mentor who will share their knowledge, help open doors and bring new perspectives to your idea. Mentors are active outside the academic world and have many years of experience in various roles in business and society. They volunteer pro bono to help you find ways forward for your idea.

  • Gain new perspectives on your idea, your research and how it can be used and contribute to solving current and future problems
  • Gain new knowledge by learning from the experience and expertise of others
  • Gain new contacts and a larger network outside the academic world

Meetings with your mentor

ou will drive your own development with your mentor as a support, sounding board and door opener. The programme includes six individual meetings with your mentor, which you are responsible for scheduling. The meetings focus on the challenges and issues you want to discuss in relation to your idea, so think about what you want to get out of each meeting. If necessary, UU Innovation can help with this by suggesting themes.

As support throughout the programme, you and your mentor also have a working document that helps you focus on key issues when you want to develop an idea or a research result for broader use. Based on your interest and long-term goals, you and your mentor work either with an “impact planning canvas” that focuses on the broader societal benefits of the research or with a “lean canvas” that has a clearer focus on business development.

Support from UU Innovation’s advisors in parallel

As a participant in UU Innovation’s mentor programme, you have the opportunity to get an extra boost in the development of your idea – to get a little further, a little faster – with the help of a mentor. You will also receive support from UU Innovation’s advisors, and we will of course continue to support you even after the end of the programme.

Opportunity to network with other researchers

You will also have the opportunity to meet other researchers at Uppsala University who are developing ideas and are interested in exploring ways forward to make a difference in society with their research. All participants start and end the programme together at meetings in UU Innovation's premises in Uppsala Science Park.

Perspectives on the mentor programme

"The very best thing was being able to bounce questions off someone who has a lot of experience in a field relevant to the idea I am developing. It helped me enormously to gain a much broader insight into what is needed in development work. I was hoping to commercialise my idea and there are many steps in that process that I wanted to learn, so I applied to the programme to get help with that. Today, I have started a company and am well on my way."

Liza Löf, researcher at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and founder of Readily Diagnostics AB

"I had developed a new technology, Secretion Effect Detection (SED), which I thought could be of interest to the biopharmaceutical industry and other sectors. As a researcher, I lacked the experience I needed to move forward with SED in a good way. The mentor programme was an effective and pleasant way to get help with that. For me, the UU Innovation advisors, together with my mentor, were invaluable in terms of the support they provided in turning SED into an innovation that is useful to society."

Daniel Camsund, UU alumnus who sold the rights to his technology to an international biotech company

"I wanted to share the results of my research project and realised that it requires a different approach and a new skill set that you do not learn in academia. My mentor was a perfect fit for my project. He knows what it takes to realise an idea and to develop a practical solution to an integration challenge."

Micheline van Riemsdijk, researcher at the Department of Social and Economic Geography

Application for the UU Innovation Mentor Programme

The application period opens on 1 April

The application period for autumn semester 2023 opens on 1 April. If you are interested in applying for a place in the mentor programme, please get in touch with us now! That way, we can help you get started with developing your idea, which will give you a better chance of earning a place in the programme.

UU Innovation's mentor programme is intended for anyone who:

  • Is a researcher or doctoral student at Uppsala University
  • Has an idea or research results that they want to develop towards broader use and societal benefit
  • Want an extra sounding board on how to move forward

The mentor programme is suitable whether you have already started taking steps to develop your idea or have not yet started but have an initial idea of how your research could benefit society.

Do you need help finding your idea?

Do you have the drive to use your research to benefit society but do not know where to start? Do you need help identifying exciting results and ideas in your research that may have the potential to develop into an innovation? No problem!

Start by taking our self-test. Its starting point is what you create in your research. This gives us a good basis for working with you to explore which of your results have the potential to create benefits for others, which is the basis for defining an idea for an innovation – which in turn can lay the foundation for your participation in the mentor programme.

Link to self-test

Please remember to enter your email address in the last step and we will contact you!

Contact UU Innovation

Do you have questions about the mentor programme, want to register for the programme, or perhaps discuss an idea? Get in touch with us!

Email Frida Henningson Johnson or get in touch with your potential contact person at UU Innovation directly.

Last modified: 2023-03-16