1st PhD Winter School in Innovation and Entrepreneurship January 22-26, 2024

We are pleased to announce our PhD Winter School.
BFH Business School is welcoming applications for PhD students in Innovation and Entrepreneurship for sustainable development.

22.01.2024 until 26.01.2024 – Business School, Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern

The call for students from Europe is still open. We sincerely thank all those who applied and spread the information. 

In recognition of the global community's collective responsibility for sustainable development, we cordially invite passionate and forward-thinking PhD students from Africa and Europe specializing in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship to participate in this transformative Winter School.

This exceptional opportunity will provide a platform for emerging scholars to address the complex challenges of sustainable development and explore innovative solutions. We are happy to welcome a maximum of 15 PhD students from Africa together with 15 PhD students from Europe, creating an enriching and diverse intellectual environment.

You will have the opportunity to interact with editors from major journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Business Research and Journal of Business Venturing.

Engage in stimulating discussions, and expand your horizons in a collaborative environment. Let's forge a better future for our planet together and create positive change.


  • Start date 22.01.2024
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  • End date 26.01.2024
  • Place Business School, Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern
  • Application deadline October 30, 2023
  • Status open for application for European PhD students until October 30th

What is it about

This intensive program is designed to provide doctoral students in the fields of entrepreneurship and management of innovation with a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and network within a dynamic and supportive academic environment.

The winter school brings together PhD students and senior researchers from Africa and Europe to exchange ideas and gain new insights on relevant topics in innovation and entrepreneurship research. It focuses on research that addresses sustainable development and society's Grand Challenges. 
The overarching objective is to contribute to answering the following questions: 

  • How can innovation and entrepreneurship help in fostering sustainable development and mitigate society's Grand Challenges? 
  • How can collaborative research lead to new and better insights? 
  • How can researchers maximize their positive impact? 

The week-long event includes keynote speeches from senior researchers and expert practitioners, opportunities for participants to present and discuss their research, and a chance to network and find collaborators across continents. There will also be workshops on publishing (meet the editors) and reviewing, short courses on innovative methodologies, and a study trip to an innovation park. 

Key program highlights

Cutting-edge Research:

Explore the latest trends, theories, and methods in innovation and entrepreneurship research, and gain insights into research topics that have the potential to address Grand Challenges such as social entrepreneurship, affordable and inclusive innovation, and more.

Interactive Workshops:

Participate in methods workshops focused on innovative qualitative and quantitative methods to further develop your methodological skills. Acquire essential skills and techniques necessary for advancing your research career. 

Peer Collaboration:

Interact with fellow PhD students from diverse backgrounds to foster a rich and vibrant intellectual community. Benefit from peer feedback, brainstorming sessions, and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration.  

Expert Mentorship:

Receive personalized guidance and mentorship from accomplished faculty members throughout the week. Gain valuable insights from their experiences and enhance your research trajectory and career prospects. 

Networking Opportunities:

Interact with leading scholars, entrepreneurs, and industry experts through panel discussions, guest lectures, and networking events. Build lasting connections within the entrepreneurship research community. 

Application process

While the call for applications for African PhD students has passed, students from Europe are welcome to apply by October 30th.

  • a brief letter of motivation (maximum 500 words). In the letter, please outline your research interests, your motivations for attending the winter school, and how you believe it will contribute to your academic and professional growth 
  • a curriculum vitae 
  • a 7-page description of your doctoral research. This extended abstract should identify the link to the Agenda 2063 / Sustainable Development Goals / Grand Challenges, the empirical context, the central research question, and the theoretical basis for the research, introduce the most important references and describe the methodology for data generation and analysis. 

Successful candidates will be notified by November 5th.

Financial support: 

  • the PhD students from Europe are responsible for financing their own stay.
  • participation fees for the Winter School are covered for all PhD students.  

We encourage all PhD students with a keen interest in innovation and entrepreneurship research to take advantage of this exceptional opportunity. Join us for an intellectually stimulating and rewarding winter experience that will undoubtedly accelerate your journey towards becoming a leading scholar in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.