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Industry-employed doctoral students

Industry-employed doctoral students represent an important opportunity for the exchange of knowledge with individuals and organisations outside of the academic world.

What is an industry-employed doctoral student?

An industry-employed doctoral student is a person employed by an external organisation or company and who is registered at KTH as adoctoral student at a study rate of at least 50 % of full-time. In general, industry-employed doctoral students are financed by a salary from their employer, but they may also receive other external funding. The target degree for industry-employed doctoral students can be either a licentiate or doctorate.

Industry-employed doctoral students are subject to the same rules and steering documents concerning study-related questions as all other doctoral students at KTH, with regard to, for example, eligibility, admission, study plan, thesis defence and qualification. Other conditions shall be governed by the agreement between KTH and the doctoral student’s employer. In the event of the admission of an industry-employed doctoral student, it is not necessary for the position to have been advertised.

Agreement between KTH and employers

An agreement shall be drawn up between the KTH school and the main employer of the industry-employed doctoral student in order to regulate issues relating to, for example, working approach, guidance, levels of remuneration, intellectual property, etc. It is KTH’s (the supervisor’s) responsibility to draw up the agreement with the employer. The agreement is signed by the dean, the employer and the student. KTH provides a template agreement that can be obtained from the legal department . If the template is followed without any adjustments, the agreement may be signed by the dean and the company. If any adjustments are made to the template agreement, it must be sent to the legal department for review before it is signed.

KTH is normally compensated for costs – a bench-fee – for, for example, a workplace, infrastructure and supervision, generally between SEK 150,000 and 300,000 per year). The cost depends on the type of research, need for equipment, etc. and is governed by the agreement between the parties.

The agreement between KTH and the employer constitutes the financial basis for the admission of the industry-employed doctoral student.

Special conditions for industry-employed doctoral students

An industry-employed doctoral student shall – just as all other doctoral students – have two supervisors, one of whom is the student’s main supervisor. The main supervisor must be tied to KTH. There should also be a supervisor and manager at the student’s main employer who is formally tied to the work and projects of the industry-employed doctoral student. The recommendation is to create a steering group for the student and his/her work, including representatives of both the studies and the research; KTH and the main employer. The steering group should have regular meetings where the study plan, project follow-up and challenges are discussed. It is important that the student is given the time and resources needed in the academic environment.

Industry-employed doctoral students are – just as all other student groups – insured by the state’s personal injury insurance  during the time they spend on KTH’s premises and when travelling to and from KTH.

Industry-employed doctoral students are not subject to the conditions and benefits connected to employment by KTH, such as departmental duties, preventive healthcare, reimbursement for medical expenses, etc.