The Entrepreneurial Post-Doctoral Program in BME

Graduates of doctoral programs in Biomedical Engineering are increasingly interested in entrepreneurship as a career path.

Duke’s Entrepreneurial Postdoctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering addresses the emerging need to equip participants with the skills needed to start technology-based companies based on their research. 

For selected applicants, the program provides one year of salary support through the first year of their new venture. In addition, it provides hands-on mentoring and coaching from a group of entrepreneurial advisors based both within Duke University as well as those engaged within the broader Duke community.

As a condition of entry into the program, candidates will agree to engage in the following activities:

  1. Entrepreneurial Advising Team - In collaboration with Dr. Roarke Horstmeyer, participants will form an informal small team for support and guidance whom they will meet with monthly.

  2. Entrepreneurship and Founders Education(EngEn) - Participants will engage in relevant short courses, including Startup Fundamentals & Strategy and Needs Finding courses. These courses are ideal training to support the transition from academic research to building a commercial product.

  3. Pitch Deck Preparation – Participants will prepare and deliver a company pitch deck and supporting materials. In-depth coaching from a variety of resources within Duke will be made available to help build a detailed business plan and pitch deck.

  4. Company Formation - With support from their Entrepreneurial Advising Team, participants will learn about the steps required to create their company.

  5. Identify and Seek Funding – With support from their Entrepreneurial Advising Team, participants will prepare to apply for suitable funding opportunities to support their company’s growth.

Resources Available

  • Salary Support: Program participants will receive the standard stipend established by the NIH for PhDs with zero years of postdoctoral experience
  • Initial funding: to support company-related expenses up to $5,000
  • Entrepreneurial Advising Team: Programparticipants will be encouraged to form an informal small group whom they can ask questions of as they begin their entrepreneurial journey
  • Mentor In Residence (MIR): The Duke Office of Licensing and Ventures employs MIRs to support the commercialization of Duke-owned IP. Participants in this program will have support from an MIR
  • Entrepreneurial resources at Duke: Program participants will have access to resources made available by a variety of entrepreneurial programs within Duke, including Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Duke Engineering Entrepreneurship, and Duke BRIDGE, among others. 
  • Access to Funding: Program participants will be supported in seeking funding and investment from relevant Duke, regional and national funding and investment groups, such as the Duke Incubation Fund, government and state (NCBC) grants and the Duke Angel Network


Applicants must be:

  1. A recent PhD graduate of the Duke BME department, or from a laboratory at Duke whose PI has a primary appointment within the BME department, with less than 2 years of research experience at the time they enter the program, or
  2. Plan to graduate with a PhD from Duke, from a lab whose PI has a primary appointment within the BME department, within the current academic year.

Application Instructions

Each application must include in a single PDF file:

  • A completed application form, consisting of responses to 13 short-format questions. Please complete this either as a Word or Google document.
  • The applicants resume or CV
  • (Optional) A short slide deck (<7 slies) that contain additional supporting information about their current or envisioned company
  • Please email all application material to:

Key dates

  • Application submission deadline: October 15, 2022
  • Announcement of awardees: November 15, 2022
  • Earlies commencement of progarm: January 11, 2023
  • Final date for commencement of program: May 15, 2023

Award information

Initial support will be for one year, with the opportunity to compete for a second year.