Cohort 3 with Bill Aulet

Venture Associate Placements 2020

The Oxford Foundry offers Venture Associate Placements for doctoral students to work with startups on the L.E.V8 Accelerator. 

2020 Applications were open to Social Sciences, ESRC-funded and BBSRC-funded doctoral students. 


Spend 12 weeks working for high-growth-potential startups on the Oxford Foundry’s L.E.V8 accelerator. The Placements run from April - July 2020 and are specifically designed for doctoral students. The benefits of this unique opportunity include:

  • Working in a small team (typically 2-5 people), you will have a lot of responsibility and be a core part of the team. There is a lot of scope to fit the placements to suit the skills and experience you are looking for. This is very much a two-way opportunity, mutually benefiting from one-another’s skills and experience. From day one there is the opportunity to contribute to all areas of the startup including sales, business development, marketing, relationship management, data analytics, research, and operations. It’s an incredible opportunity to boost your CV through a tailored role within a supportive and nurturing community.
  • Be part of award-winning venture teams. To date, Oxford Foundry-supported ventures have raised £8m investment and won multiple awards, coverage and recognition. Ventures are predominantly founded by alumni. This is an opportunity to raise your profile and be at the cutting-edge of new innovation. Meet the cohort 3 teams
  • Make a difference. Work with teams who are solving some of the world’s biggest challenges. Oxford Foundry supported start-ups are tackling some of the most crucial challenges of our time, from environmental monitoring and reporting, to the protection of online privacy, and increasing the capacity and efficiency of healthcare services.
  • Meet and learn from expert mentors, entrepreneurs, industry experts and thought-leaders in the L.E.V8 accelerator’s global network of experts from companies including Twitter, Google, EY, Hellofresh and Saatchi & Saatchi.
  • Future-proof your career. The world of work is changing rapidly. Gain skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, an entrepreneurial mindset, building teams, leadership, emerging technologies, creativity that all employers are looking for. Be inspired, learn new skills and build networks that are useful for any career. 
  • The Oxford Foundry's programmes are fully endorsed and supported by Senior Management and Senior academics of the Divisions. 

Further details and how to apply 

  • Meet the Foundry’s startup founders (Optional) on Wednesday 29th February from 5:30-7:00pm at an informal Venture Associate Placement meet and greet networking event hosted upstairs in the Foundry. Drinks and nibbles will be provided by the Foundry. 
  • Read the venture summaries here (FOR ESRC), (FOR BBSRC). If you have any questions or would like to meet the Oxford Foundry to discuss please email The deadline for applications is 16th February 2020
  • You will be expected to commit to working for the startup full-time over the 12-week placement. Working hours are flexible and the Foundry is open 8am-10pm every day.
  • The Placements take place over 12 weeks from April-July 2020 and are based at the Oxford Foundry, 3-5 Hythe Bridge street.
  • FOR SOCIAL SCIENCES AND ESRC-FUNDED DOCTORAL STUDENTS: The ESRC provides funding for this placement scheme to students working in Social Sciences on topics which fall within the ESRC remit and for Grand Union DTP students. Doctoral students undertaking placements will suspend their status to allow time for the internship. If interested, please contact the Grand Union DTP at You will need to submit an application form (to be obtained from the GUDTP, which will require your supervisor’s signature), a CV and a cover letter. Successful candidates can apply for funding support through the Grand Union DTP placement schemes.
  • FOR BBSRC-FUNDED DOCTORAL STUDENTS: A stipend at the standard UKRI rate will be provided by the Oxford-BBSRC DTP via your host department for the duration of the 12-week internship. Once accepted, you would be required to submit the standard internship plan to the Doctoral Training Centre, which confirms your mentor and activities during the internship. When submitting your CV and supporting statement, please confirm the year of your course and that you have permission from your supervisor.

2020 Application timeline

  • Meet startup founders at a meet & greet event: 29th February 2020 from 5:30-7:00pm
  • Application deadline: 16th February 2020
  • Interviews: 28th February 2020
  • Candidates notified of outcome: 2nd March 2020
  • Placement start date: 6th April 2020
  • Placement end date: 3rd July 2020

Following the deadline, the start-ups will conduct interviews (telephone or face to face) from 28 February 2020 and outcomes are expected by 02 March 2020.