Industrial Doctoral Students

Of Chalmers’ approximately 1,000 graduate students, there are about 160 industrial doctoral students.

What is an industrial doctoral student?

Chalmers defines an industrial doctoral student as a doctoral student who is employed by a company (or corresponding organisation) and pursuing graduate study at Chalmers, corresponding to at least half time during the working year, is included within the framework of the post. The doctoral student normally receives the whole of his/her salary from the company.

This category of industrial doctoral student also includes doctoral students where there is a formalised co-operation agreement and where Chalmers entirely or partly finance the salary. The doctoral student is entirely or partly on leave from his/her employment at the company (or corresponding organisation). The research assignment is part of a co-financed research project between Chalmers and the company.

The industrial doctoral student should have his/her main supervisor at Chalmers. An assistant supervisor is often appointed at the company.

How does this education work?

Graduate study leads to a licentiate degree and/or a doctorate. Graduate study at Chalmers is carried on in the form of graduate schools. All graduate students have to belong to a graduate school at Chalmers. Each graduate school corresponds to a graduate subject and has a name identical with the subject. At each graduate school there is a programme syllabus which describes the entry qualifications required, the specialisations within the graduate school, the courses that are included in the programme and so on. Programme syllabuses are to be found on the websites under each graduate school.

Apart from courses, a research project, which will lead to a licentiate dissertation or doctoral thesis, is included in the programme. The research project is often carried out in a research group and two or more researchers (supervisor group) are responsible for supervision. A main supervisor is included in the supervisor group; he/she is responsible for the planning of the programme, the quality of the thesis and so on.

For industrial doctoral students the research project is chosen in consultation with the student’s company. The research is conducted in close co-operation with the company. For example, experimental work can be carried out entirely or partly at the company, where an assistant supervisor is nominated.

How long does it take?

The total length of study for a licentiate degree is two years, while it is four years for a doctoral degree. Of this time, the doctoral student should devote at least half his/her time to his/her research project. Doctoral students for a doctorate at Chalmers normally teach on the MSc Engineering or Architecture course corresponding to 20% of their working time, and this leads to a total study time for the doctor’s degree of five years. For industrial doctoral students the teaching time can be replaced by work at the company and teaching qualifications of a different kind.

Who pays for the education?

The usual situation for Chalmers industrial doctoral students is that their company pays their salary. What is more, the company usually pays for part of the cost of materials, instruments, supervision and so on by agreement between the company and Chalmers.

Subsidy for the industrial graduate project

Every year the Swedish Research Council provides support for the industrial graduate project. The aim is to arouse interest in the business world and industry for scientific, innovative research.

What should you bear in mind?

Chalmers and the company should always sign an agreement about the conditions for the collaboration. Apart from finance, this agreement should include any arrangements relating to the publication of scientific work, the right to results of commercial value and so on.

Who do you approach?

Interested companies should approach one of the Chalmers’ departments to discuss research projects, and how the programme should be planned for any of their employees. There are often opportunities for individual adjustments so that the programme can be conducted in a flexible manner.

See the list of departments at Chalmers.

Published: Thu 14 Oct 2010. Modified: Fri 19 Apr 2013