THRIVE Institute

THRIVE Institute and the Tilburg University Impact Team present:

The PhD Valorisation Program

Are you a PhD candidate and aspiring to make a positive impact on society? The PhD Valorisation Program is set up for motivated promovendi who want to translate their research into impactful solutions for society. THRIVE Institute in collaboration with Tilburg University Impact Team offers you a 6-month course in which you will learn step-by-step how to apply your PhD research in practice, to create maximum societal value.

Why the Valorisation Program?

Many PhD candidates want to make an impact, hence the reason for pursuing a PhD. This leads to academic progress, but don’t you sometimes wonder: what could I create from this research and knowledge to make a real world impact? As an expert in your field, you already have the knowledge to create innovations that benefit society.

In any field of expertise, and also when you are working in a niche. The PhD Valorisation Program focuses on exactly that. We use the potential of your research, and help you create a service, tool, method, business or something else that will make a positive impact on society.

PhD Valorisation Program

The PhD Valorisation Program is an action focused program where experienced trainers help you to apply your PhD research in practice, and to create maximum societal value. We do this step by step. We work through a ‘learning by doing’-approach. In each session we focus on a different aspect of valorisation, and work with you on to monetize it. After the session your homework is to develop your individual project.

In the meantime, your coach is available for support. For example: a key component of valorisation is collecting feedback from potential users on your idea. Your homework would be to find three people that give feedback on your idea. This way, you will learn what it means to put your impact into practice in real time. We go from thinking about impact, to doing impact.

What do you gain and learn

We primarily focus on:

1) Learning additional skills that help you to make your impact ambitions become reality;

2) Creating your own impact proposition through which you can maximize your positive impact on society with your PhD research; and

3) Building your network with relevant actors that help you put your ideas into practice. 

1) Learn additional skills

As a PhD candidate, you are very talented when it comes to elaborate writing, swiftly finding relevant information, and creating new knowledge. However, there are also some valorisation-skills that could be developed further, think of writing convincingly (instead of elaborately and academically), presenting yourself, creating clear solutions, selling your ideas to others, making actual sales, concept development, and more. The Valorisation Program focuses on adding skills to your existing skill set that will boost your ability to realize your ambitions. These skills will also help you in your professional career, inside or outside academia.

2) Create your own impact proposition

We are creating a research-driven ‘impact proposition’ for a tangible service, product, toolkit, company, blog, or any other ‘product’ that fits your ambition. We help you to make your big and abstract impact wishes, into concrete products with which you can storm the world. We are going to make it as clear as we can, because clarity is important when trying to find partners and collaborators, or when you want to get your popular science article published.

3) Build a relevant network

Having a relevant network is important for making a positive impact. In almost every case you need people that help you land your impact proposition. We help you to build a relevant network around your ambition. Think of people that can give feedback on your idea from an expert perspective, set up collaborations with interesting companies, or find potential clients. It all depends on your idea and belief. We focus on identifying the right people, getting in contact, and telling your convincing story.


The program reaches over a period of almost six months, with six sessions per three weeks at Tilburg University. These are six learning/work sessions with a class of maximum 15 participants. In between, we ask you to do homework to optimize your learning experience and put learnt lessons into practice. Next to the work sessions, you get two personal coaching sessions to zoom in on your personal challenges and ambitions. Also, you receive one hour of feedback on one of your developed products. We celebrate the end of the program with a finale: let’s present what we have realized!


We have six workshops, where we focus on different steps of translating your research into impact. Every workshop is from 13.30 - 17.00h at Tilburg University.

1. Welcome to the world of valorisation |

Learn what valorisation entails and start thinking about your own impact proposition and purpose. Define your impact ambition and think about what you would like to create derived from your research. Skills development starts here!

2. Formulate your personal impact proposition |

Identify the most promising valorisation opportunities through different methods. We also focus on creating your impact proposition. From here on, you can get feedback from peers.


3. The bumpy ride of going outside: finding others |

Identify the most promising valorisation opportunities through different methods. We also focus on creating your impact proposition. From here on, you can get feedback from peers.


4. The bumpy ride of going outside pt. 2: convincing others |

We dive into improving our convincing writing and communication skills. How are you going to explain your ideas to others? You are going to invest in building relations and getting people on your side to realize your impact ambitions. 


5. Business - through research - for society proposal |

Based on the progress you have made, we focus on translating potential collaborations, business ideas, or other opportunities, into concrete action. We write collaboration proposals, make to do lists, build websites, make flyers, and more!

6. ‘Something-you-can-show’ |

In the final workshop before the finale, we want you to finish the ‘something-you-can-show’. We are going to make it real, depending on your ambition. Also, we are reflecting on your personal valorisation process and personal development. And we are making our final plan for your steps forward.

7. Finale |

We are celebrating the end of the program by putting you in the spotlight. The whole group is going to present their final pitch and successes.

Personal coaching sessions

You receive two online personal coaching sessions with THRIVE-coaches. In these one-on-one sessions we discuss and work on your challenges and ambitions. 


Along the way, you will meet and work with several THRIVE-coaches, experienced in the field of valorisation, (social) innovation, (social) entrepreneurship, and concept development. They have a track record in working and setting up collaborations with companies such as Coca Cola European Partners, the municipality of Rotterdam, RVO, KPN and more. 

Previous results

The program is heavily action and result oriented. In former programs we delivered to the following impact results: action programs, new jobs (e.g. at the European Commission), collaborations with key players, startup businesses, publishing popular science articles (at Donders Wonders, Generatie Rookvrij, NRC and Trouw), presentations at (international) congresses, websites, events with over 60 attendees, and more!

Who can join

We apply three key selection criteria for participants in the Valorisation Program:

1) You have a motivation to make societal impact

2) You want to get to concrete results through the program; and

3) You are in the starting phase of valorisation. We can help you best if you are in the starting phase with your ambition, meaning that you are still looking for the best way to do so.

Applicants that are too advanced in their valorisation process (when they have already undertaken the steps that we will take during the program), are not eligible for the program, but can be referred to other programs/departments that can help them further.


  • The program is free and made possible by the Tilburg University Impact Program

  • You have to be present at six out of seven events (6 sessions & 1 final meeting)

  • Workload of 8-10 hours per month


To apply, please send your CV and motivation to

You will be contacted by the THRIVE program manager that will schedule a call to get to know you better. We follow a first-come-first-serve principle, and have a maximum of 15 participants. If you are eligible for the program, we will get back to you within a few days to let you know if you have been accepted. If the class is full, we will close applications.

More information

If you have any questions about the program, please contact

What is THRIVE?

THRIVE Institute is the knowledge institute for the purpose economy: an economy in which not only economic growth, but the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment is the aim. Driven by the belief that knowledge is the key ingredient for innovation with impact, we offer learning and innovation programs for researchers that revolve around learning in practice with relevant stakeholders.

THRIVE PhD Academy

Within the THRIVE PhD Academy more than 200 PhD researchers and postdocs have been trained to apply their knowledge and skills to help solve societal issues. The goal of the academy is to prepare young researchers for impactful careers whether they stay in academia or not. The academy offers a variety of programs that focus both on PhDs’ strengths and weaknesses. The programs develop often lacking skills and mindsets, such as entrepreneurship, project management (with real deadlines), teamwork, and stakeholder management, and combine these with PhD’s superpowers in analytical thinking and absorbing complex information fast. The THRIVE PhD Academy was founded for and by PhD researchers and is continuously being optimized with feedback from alumni from industry, government and academia.