University of Nottingham
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The application process for YES20

Apply for YES20

  • Form a team of four or five postgraduate students or postdoctoral researchers
  • Team members can be cross-disciplinary and
  • Multiple teams from the same university, faculty, school or department may apply to compete -
    there is no limit on the number
Application form


You can enter YES20 if:

  • You are a researcher without an undergraduate or postgraduate business degree
  • You have not participated in YES before
  • You are registered as a researcher at a university up until 31 December 2020

While YES is aimed at individuals who are in the early stages of their research career, for example PhD students or those working on their first or second post-doctoral research appointment, there is no age limit for those wishing to participate.

Researchers welcome from countries outside of the UK, however, they will have to cover their own travel costs.


The cost to participate in YES20 is £750 per person.

This cost includes:

  • 'Develop' programme
  • A three day workshop with:
    • two nights’ accommodation
      (Wednesday and Thursday) 
    • selected meals and travel allowance
  • Travel allowance for those selected to go forward to attend the Final at the Royal Society, London:
Please note: payments are non-refundable unless a medical certificate or similar evidence can be produced.


Please seek financial support from your own institute/university in the first instance. If financial support is not available, apply for the "unleash your ingenuity" award when submitting your individual registration form post team entry. For researchers funded by BBSRC, MRC or NERC, please read the applicable statement below:  


Seek financial support through the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in the first instance. If financial support is not available, email the YES team.

For postdoctoral researchers, all places are FREE when providing research or trading grant code.


Seek financial support through the local Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) supplement or other funds.

Use of such funds will require prior approval from the DTP lead.

Contact your academic/industrial supervisor regarding sources of funding. Universities need not seek prior approval from NERC to use Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) or Industrial Case (iCASE) funds for participation in YES20.

What next?

Step two – following submission

On receipt of the application, the team will be notified of the workshop they have been allocated within 30 working days.

If the team wishes to accept the workshop they have been allocated, each member will need to complete an individual registration form and return within 15 working days.


Step three – webinar briefing

Take part in the webinar on Thursday 6 August 2020 between 11am-12pm. Webinar details will be emailed to the team co-ordinator in mid-July.

This briefing will outline what you have to do before and during the workshop; what a hypothetical but plausible idea is; and a Q&A session.


Step four – establish an idea

Decide upon an innovative research-based idea that could work as a business and think about which areas of the business each team member will be responsible for and undertake some market research.

If you have any questions, get involved in our 'develop' programme. The online interactive sessions are designed to support you in the development of your business idea and are hosted weekly until the end of February.


Step five – attend a workshop

All team members attend one of the three day residential workshop encompassing presentations and mentoring sessions from leading figures in industry. Workshops held throughout  February and March 2021.

From each stream at the workshop, one team with the best business plan presentation will be selected to go forward to the  Final hosted at the Royal Society, London. Date to be confirmed.


Stayed informed

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Young Entrepreneurs Scheme

  • Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Nottingham University Business School
  • Jubilee Campus
  • Nottingham, NG8 1BB