© The Royal Society of Chemistry. The integration of III-V optoelectronic devices on silicon is confronted with the challenge of heat dissipation for reliable and stable operation. A thorough understanding and characterization of thermal transport is paramount for improved designs of, for example, viable III-V light sources on silicon. In this work, the thermal conductivity of heteroepitaxial laterally overgrown InP layers on silicon is experimentally investigated using microRaman thermometry. By examining InP mesa-like structures grown from trenches defined by a SiO2 mask, we found that the thermal conductivity decreases by about one third, compared to the bulk thermal conductivity of InP, with decreasing width from 400 to 250 nm. The high thermal conductivity of InP grown from 400 nm trenches was attributed to the lower defect density as the InP microcrystal becomes thicker. In this case, the thermal transport is dominated by phonon-phonon interactions as in a low defect-density monocrystalline bulk material, whereas for thinner InP layers grown from narrower trenches, the heat transfer is dominated by phonon scattering at the extended defects and InP/SiO2 interface. In addition to the nominally undoped sample, sulfur-doped (1 × 1018 cm−3) InP grown on Si was also studied. For the narrower doped InP microcrystals, the thermal conductivity decreased by a factor of two compared to the bulk value. Sources of errors in the thermal conductivity measurements are discussed. The experimental temperature rise was successfully simulated by the heat diffusion equation using the FEM.