What to consider in preparation for cooperative activities with students
By working together with a student, you gain access to new knowledge and expertise. We have gathered a few things here to consider in order for the working relationship to be as good as possible.
Formulate the hypothesis or situation to be explored
The written thesis/degree project should consist of issues/questions or subject areas that your company wants to highlight. Make it clear to the student what your purpose is/purposes are, and what you want the work to lead to. When a student has taken on a proposal, you and the student develop the proposal for a subject for the written thesis or degree project. The formulated hypothesis or situation (or issues/questions) to be explored must then be approved by the academic supervisor. The academic supervisor’s task is to ensure the academic stringency and breadth in the work. In order to fulfil the formal requirements, the written thesis/ degree project must have a scientific and/or scholarly character, therefore the student must follow the rules of their own subject for thesis writing.
Designate contact person at the company
The company is expected to designate a contact person who conducts an on-going regular dialogue with the student. The contact person should be accessible and have time set aside for questions and feedback. It is therefore recommended that you schedule continuous reconciliation meetings in preparation for and during the project.
The principle of public access to information and confidentiality
The written thesis/degree projects forms a part of the student’s examination and will be presented in writing and orally at a thesis seminar open to the public. Swedish institutions of higher education are public authorities subject to the principle of public access to information, which means the possibilities for the imposition trade secrets/confidentiality on the student work is limited.
If there is information that may not be made public, it will be necessary to conduct a dialogue with the academic supervisor to discuss this. If no any results may be made public at all, it may not be appropriate that the placement be carried out as a written thesis /degree project.
Things that will be useful to think through before you get started
The contact person you have designated has the responsibility to ensure that the student receives access to:
- the materials needed to write the written thesis/perform the degree project.
- interview time with employees at the company (if needed for the project).
- a workspace at the company (if needed for the project).
Once the academic supervisor has approved the placement and project, you, together with the student, should clearly define the placement and answer the following questions:
- What is to be implemented and how?
- What is the schedule for the continued work?
- What are your expectations of the student?
- What are the student’s expectations of you?
- Who will act as the company/organisation’s contact person/academic supervisor?
- What are the preconditions for carrying out the placement – how will any costs for materials, travel, printing, mailings, etc., be allocated?
- Who owns the eventual results?
- How is sensitive data to be dealt with?
- How should the final report be presented at the company/organisation?
Whether or not the student should receive any salary or other financial compensation is also a matter between you and the student. This is to be dealt with between the two parties without involvement from the University. It is customary for the company to bear any additional costs associated with the work to write the written thesis, such as collection of data, postage costs, etc. This is something that should be agreed upon together before work commences.