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PhD Innovation Program

Dartmouth's PhD Innovation Program addresses the nation's vital need for engineers with both technical and entrepreneurial expertise and is the nation’s first engineering PhD Innovation Program.

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As a student in this highly selective program, you will complete all the regular PhD requirements along with additional studies that prepare you for the opportunity to build an enterprise based on technical innovation.

"The program provides the opportunity to take risks, possibly fail, and ultimately learn from the experience in a structured environment." —excerpt from 2012 ASEE Northeast Section Conference, Reviewed Paper (PDF)

Since 2000, Thayer School PhD candidates have filed over 100 patent applications.

Acceptance into the PhD Innovation Program comes with up to 5 years of full financial support. The first 2 years you will be supported as a graduate research assistant by your dissertation research advisor. Following satisfactory performance, you will receive up to 3 years of unrestricted program funding to allow you to follow your ideas independent of your advisor’s funded research program and to build the skill necessary to build an enterprise — such as a start-up company, a new division of an established company, or a government or non-profit enterprise. See Requirements for the PhD Innovation Program for more details.

The Program also offers the option of a surgical training track for students wanting to focus on innovations that improve the safety and outcomes of surgical procedures.

From the Director

Hear from program director Eric Fossum, Professor of Engineering, Associate Provost of Dartmouth's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, Queen Elizabeth Prize Laureate, and inventor of the CMOS active pixel image sensor used in almost all cell-phone cameras:

Information Webinar

We occasionally host an informational webinar for students interested in learning more about the Program. Please email us if you would like to be notified about upcoming sessions.

You can also view a recently recorded webinar.

Program Comparison

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Meet Our Students

Browse the PhD Innovation Program video playlist or see our student testimonials page...