pixel Career Management and Entrepreneurial Mindset course (DocEnhance) | Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

Career Management and Entrepreneurial Mindset course (DocEnhance)





Research careers are rarely a single, predetermined path. A successful career involves being prepared to deviate from previous choices and explore entirely new options, and this doesn’t always come readily. An under-exploited tool for innovation and change is entrepreneurship. It may require specific competencies and it is available to researchers at all career stages!

Success also hinges on flexibility and soft skills gained outside formal job descriptions. Training in career management should be started early and integrated as a natural part of any curriculum, regardless of career stage. 

Learning objectives

The CM&E course has the objective of providing PhD candidates with an entrepreneurial mindset that will help them navigate the job market, identify and seize opportunities, both within and outside Academia. The main learning goals are: 

  1. Career Management: provide PhD candidates with the necessary skills to successfully access the academic and non-academic job market.
  2. Entrepreneurship Mindset and Entrepreneurial Competencies

At the end of the course, PhD candidates should be able to:

– Reflect upon personal strengths, weaknesses and life goals

– Develop critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication and self-management skills

– Act upon entrepreneurial ideas and opportunities and transform them into value by mobilising resources and networks

This course was designed as an outcome of the DocEnhance Project.



Setting the stage

Below, we identify four broad topics and sections constituting the course. Some modules are only related to the entrepreneurial training and marked with "E”. “CM” and “CM&E” refer respectively to “career management” and “career management and entrepreneurship”.  

  • entrepreneurial competencies (CM&E)
    Entrepreneurial competencies are defined as the set of skills, knowledge, and attitudes that transforms purposeful ideas into value (either for others or for oneself). The JRC has identified 15 such competencies divided into 3 categories (5 per category): “Ideas and opportunities”, “resources”, and “into action”.
  • professional career management (CM)
    Career management is about taking control of one’s career to proactively ensure that it meets both professional and personal objectives. Effective career management is built on firm foundations, so it is essential to have a clear understanding of one’s own “career capital” i.e. skills, experiences and potential.
  • transferable skills (CM&E)
    Within the DocEnhance project, we have identified some transferable skills that doctoral candidates might want to develop to open up to opportunities both for career development and for starting a venture or being entrepreneurial in a work environment.
  • The academic entrepreneurship ecosystem and the importance of networks (E)
    Many universities have developed in-house resources to facilitate the growth of student ventures, mostly based on research results. Apart from the so-called “entrepreneurial universities” where these resources are quite complete, most universities offer services related to intellectual property and supporting spin-offs. Another avenue currently explored by academic ecosystems is to improve on the cross-fertilization of ideas between sectors. This offers the opportunity of creating a network of contacts between academia and the private sector that enhance innovation on both sides.


Course Organization and Assessment

2 ECTS | 56 working hours

The first part of the course is asynchronous (with a set of content in Moodle that the participants can explore at their own pace for one week)

The second part is the local training (the participants have a two days face-to face course )


  • Individual Readiness Assessment test (at the end of the asynchronous module)
  • Two Recorded Pitches
  • Business Model You exercise



PhD students of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa


2nd edition of the Career Management and Entrepreneurial Mindset course, 26th May to 3rd of June- English edition.

26th  May until 1st  June -  Asynchronous (Moodle)

2nd and 3rd June - (face to face) - 9:30 am to 5:00 pm , Campus Campolide




  • “Changing Hats: A book for academics looking beyond academia” by Daria Gritsenko
  • Networking for Nerds: Find, Access and Land Hidden Game-Changing Career Opportunities Everywhere" by Alaina G. Levine
  • "Business Model You: A One-Page Method for Reinventing Your Career" by Tim Clark, Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur
  • "THE UX OF ME: Career Optimization Through Design Thinking" by Chris Jones



  • "Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles" by Peter F. Drucker
  • "Mapping Innovation: A Playbook for Navigating a Disruptive Age" by Greg Satell



  • "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries
  • "Business Model Generation" by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
  • "The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win" by Steve Blank