Industry-employed doctoral students

KTH has a long tradition of attracting doctoral students who are employed by companies or organisations and particularly those working for industrial companies. Having these industry-employed doctoral students is an effective way of strengthening long-term relationships with the wider community and increasing our understanding of society’s challenges.

Being an industry-employed doctoral student at KTH is also an important opportunity for individuals and organisations outside KTH to develop their expertise and exchange knowledge with those inside the academic world.

Industry-employed doctoral students can be excellent supervisors for students working on their degree projects.

Industry-employed doctoral students are normally funded by the salary they receive from their principal employer. It is also common to obtain external funding. KTH is compensated for the cost of providing a work space, infrastructure and supervision, normally in an amount between SEK 150,000 and SEK 300,000 a year.

Who becomes an industry-employed doctoral student?

An industry-employed doctoral student at KTH normally has an extended employment contract with an external employer but is enrolled as a doctoral student at one of KTH’s schools. He or she conducts research studies at KTH for at least 50 percent of a full-time position.

The rules that apply for acceptance as a doctoral student apply to industry-employed doctoral students as well. The extent and scope of research studies may vary over time, but it is preferred that doctoral students spend most of their work hours in the academic environment with other doctoral students and researchers. The target degree for industry-employed doctoral students can be either a licentiate or doctorate.

How are industry-employed doctoral students recruited?

  • The initiative for the doctoral student position can come from KTH, the individual or the employer.
  • The decision to enrol an industry-employed doctoral student is taken by the head of the relevant school based on a proposal from a professor in the field at KTH in consultation with managers at the company/organisation where the doctoral student is employed.
  • An agreement between the relevant KTH department and the doctoral student’s principal employer is drawn up to establish stipulations on work methods, supervision and intellect property rights etc.
  • Supervision and goals – An industry-employed doctoral student must be attached to a main supervisor and an assistant supervisor at KTH. The student should also have a supervisor and a manager at his/her place of employment with a formal attachment to the doctoral student’s work and projects.
  • It is recommended that a steering group be formed to guide the doctoral student and his/her work. The steering group should consist of representatives from the areas of both education and research, and from KTH and the student’s principal employer. The steering group should hold regular meetings at which the study plan, project follow-up and challenges are discussed.
  • It is important in all third-cycle education that the processes of both education and research are harmonised while the difference between them remains distinct. The goal for third-cycle education is for talented individuals to gain a licentiate or doctorate degree; the goal for a research project is the research results.

Please contact a relevant KTH school or department  for further discussion.

More about being a doctoral student at KTH