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Industrial PhD

What is an Industrial PhD?

An Industrial PhD is a three-year vocational programme in which a research project and a PhD degree programme are combined in a collaboration between a company, a business PhD student and the university. The business PhD student is employed by a company in Denmark while simultaneously being enrolled at a university. Students divide their time between the company and the university and spend all their working hours on the project and degree.

To the researchers

How to get started?

You can read more about the Industrial PhD programme here:

Innovationsfonden:https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/programmes/industrial-researcher

GSTS: http://talent.au.dk/fileadmin/talent.au.dk/SciTech/Erhvervs_ph.d/AU-folder_Erhvervsforsker_-_eng_version.pdf and https://tech.au.dk/en/collaboration/collaboration-with-undergraduates-and-phd-students/phd-collaboration-and-industrial-phd/

You can contact a company working within your area of interest and ask whether they would consider employing an Industrial PhD.

You can contact a potential Industrial PhD candidate.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rikke J. Ljungmann at GSTS: https://tech.au.dk/en/collaboration/collaboration-with-undergraduates-and-phd-students/phd-collaboration-and-industrial-phd/

How do I find a company?

You have various options. You may, for example:

  • Use your network and already existing company contacts.
  • Contact some of your former students working in companies relevant for collaboration through an Industrial PhD.
  • Contact a company directly.

How do I find a student?

You have various options. You may, for example:

  • Use your network to search for a potential Industrial PhD student.
  • Contact some of your former students working in companies relevant for collaboration through an Industrial PhD.
  • Contact some of your current Master's thesis students.
  • If you have already agreed with a company on applying to Innovation Fund Denmark, you can advertise for an Industrial PhD candidate through ‘Calls on Specific projects’ at GSTS. Contact GSTS about this.

Guide to the application process

The company must apply to Innovation Fund Denmark through the E-grant. Read more in Innovation Fund Denmark’s guidelines - both about how to apply and how the application is assessed: https://innovationsfonden.dk/sites/default/files/2019-10/guidelines-for-industrial-phd-2019-10-10_0.pdf

The Industrial PhD student must apply to the GSTS for admission as an Industrial PhD: http://talent.au.dk/phd/scienceandtechnology/application-guide/

Application deadlines at Innovation Fund Denmark: Every year Innovation Fund Denmark regularly announces the application deadlines for the following year.  See more here: https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/programmes/industrial-researcher

Application deadlines at GSTS: There are four fixed application deadlines per year: 1 February, 1 May, 1 August and 1 November.

Before the company can submit an application to Innovation Fund Denmark, the Industrial PhD student must have forwarded an application to GSTS and been granted a conditional approval. It is therefore important to be aware of the various deadlines, so that the application process can be optimally coordinated.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rikke J. Ljungmann at GSTS: https://tech.au.dk/en/collaboration/collaboration-with-undergraduates-and-phd-students/phd-collaboration-and-industrial-phd/

Leaflet about Industrial PhD

For general information about the Industrial PhD programmer at AU, read more here: http://scitech.au.dk/en/collaboration/business-collaboration/collaboration-with-undergraduates-and-phd-students/phd-collaboration-and-industrial-phd/

What are the grant amounts?

Innovation Fund Denmark finances part of the company's expenses for the Industrial PhD student’s salary and travels and covers the university’s project costs.

Presently (October 2019), Innovation Fund Denmark will finance up to DKK 17,000 per month of the Industrial PhD student’s salary for three years. The company will have DKK 100,000 at its disposal for the Industrial PhD student’s:

  • Travels (and project-relevant national and international conferences and stays abroad).
  • Participation in PhD courses that give ECTS credits and are not offered at the host university.

At the same time, Innovation Fund Denmark provides DKK 360,000 to the university, of which some will be distributed as overheads to the department and as a contribution to GSTS (e.g. for payment of expenses in connection with the defence, the qualifying examination and generic PhD courses). Read more about the distribution of the grant to the university here: http://phd.au.dk/fileadmin/grads.au.dk/ST/Quick_guides/erhvervs_ph.d/Quick_Guide_to_the_Industrial_PhD_-_supervisors_-_final_vers10_-_eng.pdf

For the last updated grant amounts, see Innovation Fund Denmark's guidelines: https://innovationsfonden.dk/sites/default/files/2019-10/guidelines-for-industrial-phd-2019-10-10_0.pdf

Contact at Aarhus University:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rikke J. Ljungmann at GSTS: https://tech.au.dk/en/collaboration/collaboration-with-undergraduates-and-phd-students/phd-collaboration-and-industrial-phd/

Rules and guidelines: Innovation Fund Denmark

You can find more information at Innovation Fund Denmark’s website: https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/programmes/industrial-researcher

To the company

How do I find a suitable candidate to join an industrial research project?

There are several different ways to find a candidate.

Here are some examples:

  • A person already employed by the company.
  • Through the department’s network; for example, the university supervisor may know a potential candidate.
  • Industrial project.
  • Advertise for candidates in Innovation Fund Denmark’s LinkedIn group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3828085/profile

How do I get in contact with the university?

You have various options:

How do I find a supervisor?

You have various options:

Guide to the application process

The company must apply to Innovation Fund Denmark through the E-grant. Read more in Innovation Fund Denmark’s guidelines - both about how to apply and how the application is assessed: https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/guidelines-industrial-phd

The Industrial PhD student must apply to the GSTS for admission as an Industrial PhD: https://phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/application-guide/

Application deadlines at Innovation Fund Denmark: Every year Innovation Fund Denmark regularly announces the application deadlines for the following year.  See more here: https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/programmes/industrial-researcher

https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/programmes/industrial-researcherApplication deadlines at GSTS: There are four fixed application deadlines per year: 1 February, 1 May, 1 August and 1 November.

Before the company can submit an application to Innovation Fund Denmark, the Industrial PhD student must have forwarded an application to GSTS and been granted a conditional approval. It is therefore important to be aware of the various deadlines, so that the application process can be optimally coordinated.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rikke J. Ljungmann at GSTS: https://tech.au.dk/en/collaboration/collaboration-with-undergraduates-and-phd-students/phd-collaboration-and-industrial-phd/

What is the size of an Industrial PhD grant?

Innovation Fund Denmark finances part of the company's expenses for the Industrial PhD student’s salary and travels and covers the university’s project costs.

Presently (October 2019), Innovation Fund Denmark will finance up to DKK 17,000 per month of the Industrial PhD student’s salary for three years.  The company will have DKK 100,000 at its disposal for the Industrial PhD student’s

  • Travels (and project-relevant national and international conferences and stays abroad).
  • Participation in PhD courses that give ECTS credits and are not offered at the host university.

For the last updated grant amounts, see Innovation Fund Denmark's guidelines: https://innovationsfonden.dk/sites/default/files/2019-10/guidelines-for-industrial-phd-2019-10-10_0.pdf

Rules and guidelines: Innovation Fund Denmark

You can find more information at Innovation Fund Denmark’s website: https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/guidelines-industrial-phd

For Students:

Can I take an Industrial PhD?

Innovation Fund Denmark has various criteria for Industrial PhD admissions, including grade point average and grade for the Master’s thesis/final project. For details, see: https://innovationsfonden.dk/da/programmer/erhvervsforsker#accordion2955

GSTS (the Graduate School of Technical Sciences) has various criteria for PhD admissions, and these also apply to Industrial PhDs. You can read more at the GSTS website: https://phd.tech.au.dk/for-applicants/

How do I get started?

You can read more about the Industrial PhD programme here:

Innovation Fund Denmark: https://innovationsfonden.dk/da/programmer/erhvervsforsker#accordion2955

GSTS: https://phd.tech.au.dk/programmes/

You can contact a potential supervisor in the department, e.g. your former thesis supervisor, a supervisor working in a particular research area or a supervisor who has previously supervised Industrial PhD students, and inquire as to whether he/she is interested in supervising an Industrial PhD student. Link to the department’s homepage: cas.au.dk/  

You can contact a company working within your area of interest and ask whether they would consider employing an Industrial PhD student.

Who can be my supervisor?

An Industrial PhD student has at least three supervisors. A supervisor at the university, who must be tenured at minimum as an associate professor or senior researcher, and a supervisor and co-supervisor in the company. Additional supervisors can be affiliated with the project if it makes scientific sense to do so. The supervisor at the university is the principal supervisor and is formally responsible for the project.

How do I find a supervisor?

You can contact a potential supervisor at the department, for instance:

  • Your thesis supervisor
  • A supervisor who works in a specific research area that you find interesting or
  • A supervisor who you know has previously supervised Industrial PhD students

and ask whether he/she would be interested in supervising an Industrial PhD.

How do I find a company?

You have various options:

  • A potential supervisor may have contacts to interested companies
  • You may contact a company yourself

Guide to the application process

The company must apply to Innovation Fund Denmark, and you must apply to GSTS for admission as an Industrial PhD: http://talent.au.dk/phd/scienceandtechnology/application-guide/

Application deadlines for Innovation Fund Denmark: Innovation Fund Denmark regularly announces the application deadlines for the following year. Read more here: https://innovationsfonden.dk/en/programmes/industrial-researcher 

Application deadlines for GSTS: There are four fixed application deadlines per year:  1 February, 1 May, 1 August and 1 November.

Before the company can submit an application to Innovation Fund Denmark, the Industrial PhD student must have sent an application to GSTS and been granted conditional approval. It is therefore important to be aware of the various deadlines, so that the application process can be coordinated optimally.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rikke J. Ljungmann at GSTS: https://phd.tech.au.dk/programmes/

Briefly about the contract process

Once the Industrial PhD project has been approved, GSTS assists in meeting the formal requirements. Furthermore, a contract between AU and the company must be prepared, and here AU’s Technology Transfer Office may be of assistance. GSTS will inform you of this.

Rules and Guidelines

Together with the Industrial postdoc, the Industrial PhD constitutes Innovation Fund Denmark’s industrial research programme and contributes to meeting Innovation Fund Denmark’s goal of creating growth and employment in Denmark.

Read more about the rules and regulations for the industrial research programme here:
https://innovationsfonden.dk/da/programmer/erhvervsforsker#accordion2955