industrial PhD programs - iPhDs all over Europe

industrial PhD programs – iPhDs all over Europe

Here we, the iPhD team, present a first overview of PhD programmes connecting industry and academia in Europe – iPhD programmes.

iPhd programs all over Europe

iPhd programs all over Europe


In February 2009, the first Youth Conference on Careers in Life Sciences in Europe took place in Frankfurt. Young scientists from different European countries discussed with stakeholders from institutions, universities and companies addressing major obstacles on the career paths of young scientists in the Life Sciences. The event was organized by the YEBN, serving to connect and to give a voice to European Biotechnology students and PhDs. As one of the most important points of this initiative, the need to reinforce the links between the three areas academia, government and industry was concluded. Particularly to prepare young scientists not only for an academic career, but also to acquire the necessary skills needed to bring scientists into a real, competitive, private job market. PhD programs cooperating with industry were pointed out as a valuable means to achieve this goal – the so-called iPhD programs. There was an enormous demand of the participating students to invest in these special PhD programs to facilitate contact and circulation of people between industry and academia and vice versa. This conference was the kickoff of the iPhD project.

The first step in this project was the benchmarking of programs, where a formal collaboration between industry and acadmia is designated as part of iPhD programmes. In a survey we collected first-hand experiences of iPhD programmes in order to identify needs, benefits and obstacles for iPhDs.

To have a look to all the programs below:

Since 28 years CIFRE conventions (conventions industrielles de formation par la recherche) facilitate the contact between industry and academia placing PhD-students at the interface of the both, to build up a collaboration between public laboratories and a company.

The project finished with the defense of the PhD thesis after three years. The CIFRE processes are financed by the French Ministry of education and research via the ANRT.
For further information have a look at their website.

The Swedish Research Council’s programme for collaborative projects involving industry and higher education comprises two forms of grant: ID Project (Industrial PhD Student’s Project) and IFA Project Grants. ID Projects offer postgraduate education for employees in industry and business, while IFA Projects enable postdoctoral researchers to obtain qualifications for further careers in research. The programme is implemented in close collaboration between Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) and Swedish companies.
The purpose of this form of grant is to support advanced and mutual knowledge transfer between Swedish higher education institutions and companies with commercial operations. This knowledge transfer takes place through project collaboration between an individual researcher (the applicant or Researcher), a company (the Company) and a higher education institution (the HEI or host HEI). For further information have a look at their website.

The Enterprise Partnership Scheme is an innovative initiative where the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) links with private enterprise and eligible public bodies to co-fund postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships among the most promising researchers in Ireland.
The Scheme offers researchers the opportunity to gain additional beneficial experience and insight into the commercial arena while completing their research.
It provides industry with flexible and easy access to an exceptional pool of competitively selected, high calibre researchers and the opportunity to build links with relevant academic research groups.
The Scheme facilitates the establishment of new relationships and the strengthening of existing relationships between industry and academia while offering financial support to researchers at an early stage of their career development.
For further information have a look at their website.

To facilitate greater interaction with industrial partners and enhance the generation of new applied technologies, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has designed the Technology and Innovation Development Award (TIDA).
It recognises the importance of encouraging SFI funded researchers and engineers to develop new technologies independently, or through interaction with industry collaborators. Such interactions can lead to SFI funded researchers becoming more informed about industrial priorities and research needs, whilst allowing industrial collaborators to become more informed about important new science and engineering research developments in Ireland. SFI also recognise the potential opportunity to further develop technologies from SFI funded research along a more applied or commercial path. For further information have a look at their website.

CASE-studentships (‘Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering’) at the BBRSC allow students to receive high quality research training in collaboration with an industrial partner.
BBSRC is one of 7 Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK).Its mission are to promote and support, by any means, high-quality basic, strategic and applied research and related postgraduate training relating to the understanding and exploitation of biological systems and to advance knowledge and technology (including the promotion and support of the exploitation of research outcomes), and provide trained scientists and engineers, which meet the needs of users and beneficiaries (including the agriculture, bioprocessing, chemical, food, healthcare, pharmaceutical and other biotechnological related industries), thereby contributing to the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom and the quality of life. For further information have a look at their website.

Industrial CASE at the EPSRC provide funding for PhD studentships where businesses take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice. They allocate awards to companies as well as agents such as knowledge transfer networks and regional development agencies
A company allocated an award defines a research project and picks an academic partner. Once the arrangements for the project have been agreed between the company and university, they can recruit a student. For further information have a look at their website

The Graduate Cluster is  a joint initiative of three German universities: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universität Bielefeld and Technische Universität Dortmund. In the frame of the programme, which is embedded into the CLuster Industrial Biotechnology CLIB2021and co-financed by the Ministry of Innovation of North Rhine-Westphalia, overall 84 PhD positions are offered to excellent candidates in the field of Industrial Biotechnology. For further information have a look at their website.

The Ikertu partnership is organized between the Basque Government Industry and Innovation Department and the Basque Science and Technology Network. For further information have a look at their website.


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