Industrial PhD: All areas (private sector)

Industrial PhD projects create commercial benefits for companies, strengthen universities’ relationships with the industry and allow students to see their research applied in real life.

Who?

Collaboration between a private company, a university and an Industrial PhD student.

What?

Co-financing the company’s expenses for the student’s salary and travel activities as well as the university’s expenses for the project.

How much?

Up to DKK 17,000 per month to the Industrial PhD student’s salary. Up to DKK 100,000 for the company’s expenses for the student’s travel activities and participation in courses. Fix amount of DKK 360,000 (incl. overhead) for the university.

Industrial PhD
Who can apply?
Open section, Who can apply?
  • Companies that have a geographical department in Denmark and have the finances and facilities to run the project.
     
  • Universities that are officially approved to undertake PhD programs, as well as being able to attach a supervisor to the project.
     
  • Candidates who have completed their master's degree with at least 10 in the thesis and either have at least 8.2 on average for bachelor and candidate combined or 9.5 for the candidate alone.

See the current guidelines for more on grade requirements and the possibility of exemption.

What can I apply for?
Open section, What can I apply for?

A business Ph.D. is a research project between a university, a company and a PhD student .

The fund invests in projects that fall into one of three themes:

  • Ambitious and lasting green research initiatives
  • Life science, health, welfare technology and clinical research
  • Technology and innovation that can develop production and secure jobs in Denmark

You can read much more about the three themes in the current guidelines.

How much money can I apply for?
Open section, How much money can I apply for?
  • The company's grant is DKK 712,000 (of which DKK 612,000 is a contribution to salary and DKK 100,000 is a contribution to travel activities.
  • The university's grant is DKK 360,000 (incl. overhead).
What can the money finance?
Open section, What can the money finance?

University grant can be used at:

  • Supervision of the Industrial PhD student.
     
  • Facilities at the university, including equipment, materials, apparatus (procurement and / or use) as well as external services necessary to complete the university part of the project.
     
  • Participation in relevant PhD courses at the host university.
     
  • Assessment of the PhD dissertation.
     
  • Dissemination of results, including printing of the dissertation.

The company grant can be used at:

  • salary for the business PhD student
     
  • travel activities, this includes one roundtrip to the destination per. exchange/conference, visa, travel insurance, accommodation and university fees. Diet, daily/local transport, books, etc. are not covered. 

The company must pay all other expenses for the project, including equipment, materials and data collection. This also includes personal equipment for the Industrial PhD, such as laptop, cell phone, etc.

The grant to the company may not exceed 50% of the cost of the project.

Salary for business PhD students
An Industrial PhD student must have at least the same total salary (salary + pension) as an ordinary university-employed PhD student. The AC agreement regulates the salaries of PhD students who are classified according to §4 and §8 of the agreement.

See current salary seniority at DM's website

The salary seniority is increased by the period during which the student has been engaged in work conditioned by the education. If you go straight from the master's to the PhD program, you therefore start at salary step 4. 

The collective wage is a minimum wage. As an Industrial PhD graduate, you have the opportunity to negotiate a higher salary. On the whole, you should consider your employment as an Industrial PhD like any other in terms of negotiating terms of employment. This means that you can also negotiate matters such as vacation and maternity terms. The employment must, as a minimum, be on general terms and conditions. 

Please note that an actual employment contract must have been entered into, which frees the Business PhD student from all tasks other than the project and the education during the project. In addition, you must be aware that non-compete clauses or the like in the employment contract must not limit the candidate's opportunity to obtain employment elsewhere. Likewise, the employment contract must not contain training clauses or the like that oblige the candidate to reimburse the company's expenses for the training upon termination of the training or upon change of job after a completed project such as Industrial PhD. 

Innovation Fund Denmark recommends that you seek advice from a trade union or an HR office regarding. wage conditions and the above rates should be considered as indicative.

How long does the project have to take?
Open section, How long does the project have to take?

A business Ph.D. project takes 3 years.

I have a project idea. How do I find the right partners?
Open section, I have a project idea. How do I find the right partners?

If you are a business or graduate, the path typically goes through universities. Here are the subject matter experts who have connections to relevant companies and can point to good graduates among the students and PhD students.

To find the right university researcher, we recommend that you go to the PhD school for the subject area. Each university has PhD schools in different subject areas. The PhD schools are the administrative focal point for the university's PhD programs and will be able to help point out a subject-relevant university researcher.

List of Danish universities (dkuni.dk)

You can also contact your local Business Hub, which possibly can put you together with partners in the field.

For graduates, industry associations will also be able to refer you to relevant companies. Also keep an eye out for science dating events at universities where students and businesses can meet.

Candidates can also make direct contact with relevant companies. Our experience is that you get the most out of the contact with a company if you have a proposal for a specific project where the commercial value for the company is clear, and that you are also open to the company wanting to be involved in shape the project so that it becomes relevant to them.

Application
How do I apply?
Open section, How do I apply?

The Business Advisor must create the application.

The application must be created and submitted via the electronic application system: www.e-grant.dk.

You must register as a user of the system with either a username and password or with NemID before you can create an application.

You create a new application by finding the correct call under "Search Options" and pressing "Start your application".

Note that the list of search options is sorted alphabetically, and that the names of all calls from Innovation Fund Denmark start with "IF".

You must write your application in either Danish or English.

You can find a guide to e-grant on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research

Application deadlines are set on an ongoing basis. Stay informed about new calls on Innovation Fund Denmark's website.

What must the application contain?
Open section, What must the application contain?

In an application to Innovation Fund Denmark, you must describe the Industrial PhD project and the persons and organizations participating in the project.

An account of how the project contributes to the chosen theme is part of the application. You must select a theme on the first page of the application form, once this has been selected, you have 1,000 characters to argue why the project falls within the selected category.

The application must contain a project description of high professional quality, which explains the research project and the project participants. The template for project description contains a guide to what the content of the individual sections should be and can be found at www.erhvervsforsker.dk . A company and a university can apply without a specific Industrial PhD candidate.

CV for project participants - what should we pay attention to?
There are no templates for project participants' resumes. Please ensure that the CVs contain all the information necessary to assess the project participants' qualifications in relation to the criteria defined in the guidelines. Remember that you can apply without a candidate.

  • Supervisors' CVs may not exceed 2 pages each.
  • There is no page limit for the candidate's CV.
  • Cv for resp. company supervisor and co-supervisor (s) must provide information about the training.
  • CV for university supervisor and possibly University Adviser (s) must include a list of selected publications as well as ORCID.
Documents
When will we receive a response to our application?
Open section, When will we receive a response to our application?

We strive to maintain a processing time of 2 months from the application deadline until the applicant receives a decision on the application.

In some cases, it may take longer.

How do I get a response to my application?
Open section, How do I get a response to my application?

Responses to applications are sent out via e-grant.

What are typical errors and omissions in applications?
Open section, What are typical errors and omissions in applications?

Unsatisfactory description of the project's business significance.
This section can advantageously be substantiated with specific figures and / or specific application scenarios, which make it clear why the project has a clear business significance for the company. 

Unsatisfactory description of an exit strategy
An exit strategy is a plan for how the candidate continues the project, for example in another company, if the company turns out not to be able to support the project until the end of the education). In most cases, it is not considered sufficient, simply to establish that the company has a strong or stable economy. On the other hand, the exit strategy - as far as possible - must be supported by specific agreements, eg an expression of interest from another company. Read about the item "Exit strategy" in the section on the company in the template for the project description.

Unnecessary competencies
When you develop a project that is professionally broad and / or interdisciplinary, you must also be aware that the project participants cover all necessary competencies. Remember that it is an opportunity to associate with third parties.

The project does not match the call
Before submitting an application, you should make sure that you apply during a round that suits your project. Ie. You must be aware of whether you are submitting the application to one of our "regular" rounds targeted at private companies, or our annual round of targeted public organizations.

Read about our definition of "private company" vs. "Public organization" in the guidelines, and contact us via erhvervsforsker@innofond.dk, if you are in doubt about which call is right for you.

The project does not fit into one of the politically determined themes
Your project idea should fit one of the politically defined themes of the Industrial Researcher programs.
Read more about the themes in the guidelines.

Not all project participants have been involved in preparing the application
We recommend that the entire team (company mentor / supervisor, university mentor / supervisor and, if applicable, graduate) be involved in preparing the application.

It is important from the very beginning to discuss and agree on what the project is specifically about. It is important that the university supervisor / mentor is involved in the application, as it is a special discipline to write research applications - there are many special things to keep track of: State-of-the-art, literature references, method descriptions. It is equally important that the company helps to formulate the section on the business significance of the project (see above).

We also strongly recommend that you enter into actual collaboration agreements on e.g. IPR and Publishing

We have been refused in the past. What are we going to do differently this time?
Open section, We have been refused in the past. What are we going to do differently this time?

When re-applying, you must pay attention to addressing all rejection reasons (ie points of criticism) that appear in the rejection letter from your last application. In the e-grant application form, you must state that you have previously been rejected and what changes you have made.

If necessary, you can apply for clarification of the grounds for refusal. The request is sent to erhvervsforsker@innofond.dk.

The request must clearly state which condition (s) / refusal is desired to be elaborated, and please formulate up to a total of three specific questions to the committee. Remember to state the case number in the e-mail. Note that the Fund can only state how the justification is to be understood and not how it is answered. The Foundation also cannot advise on how to improve the application.

The processing time for a request for elaboration is approx. one month and in some cases longer.

Assessment of application
How does the assessment process take place?
Open section, How does the assessment process take place?

All applications are evaluated by the Business Research Committee, which submits applications for decision to the Fund. It is the Fund that makes the final decision.

Who judges the application?
Open section, Who judges the application?

The Industrial Researcher Committee assesses the applications.

The committee consists of 24-28 members, representing both respected researchers and senior figures from the Danish private business community. The committee makes recommendations on the applications, in the end it is Innovation Fund Denmark that makes the decision.

Members of the Industrial Research Committee.

 

 

How is the application assessed?
Open section, How is the application assessed?

The application is evaluated on four criteria:

  1. Relevance and contribution to the chosen theme . A project can only be approved if it falls within one of the three themes.
     
  2. Research Quality . The project must generally be at PhD level and realistically be able to be completed within the project period.
     
  3. Research significance and impact . The project must have a clear business significance and effect for the Danish part of the company.
     
  4. Project implementation . The application must reflect that the project is well organized and that the parties are competent and relevant.

Read more about the rating criteria in the guidelines.

Start-up of project
What happens after my application is approved?
Open section, What happens after my application is approved?

Once the project has been approved, you will be notified of this in the e-grant. After this, the company must submit signed commitments and the university must submit signed commitments and enrollment certificates.

When can the project start?
Open section, When can the project start?

The project can start at the earliest from the day the commitment is given. If you receive a conditional commitment, it is only when the final commitment has been given that the project can start.

The project must start no later than six months after the award of the commitment.

How is the project started and when will the grant be paid out?
Open section, How is the project started and when will the grant be paid out?

Before grants can be paid, the Fund must receive and approve: 

  • Enrollment certificate from the PhD school with start and end date and signature.
     
  • Signed commitment from company and university - the parties can choose to sign in one and the same document or submit two signed documents.

All documents are submitted via the respective tasks in E-grant. 

Start date is set for the date of enrollment in the PhD school.

Both the university / research institution and the company receive 85% of the grant in advance. 

Read about payment of the remaining 15% under "Accounting and payment of remaining grants - what should we be aware of?"

My project got a conditional approval - what now?
Open section, My project got a conditional approval - what now?

In case of conditional approval, you have six months to fulfill the condition / conditions. Answers to the condition are submitted in e-grant. The answer must not exceed two A4 pages per condition, if this is exceeded, the Fund may reject the answer. It must be made clear what is being answered and the answer must be submitted in one single document. The treatment time is approx. two months and in some cases longer. 

Regarding the fulfillment of the condition that an Industrial PhD candidate must be found for the project, the answer must include:

  • Candidate's CV
  • Grade calculation form
  • Diplomas for both bachelor and master
  • Relative location for foreign education
During the project
Industrial PhD course (compulsory)
Open section, Industrial PhD course (compulsory)

Industrial PhD students must attend the Fund's compulsory Industrial PhD course.

The course amounts to 5 ECTS credits and participation in the course is part of the student's working hours.

The student is invited to the course during the first year of the program.

Kick-off event for new Industrial PhD projects (compulsory)
Open section, Kick-off event for new Industrial PhD projects (compulsory)

All new Industrial PhD projects must participate in a joint kick-off event.

From each project must participate:

  • The Industrial PhD Student
  • The main supervisor in the company
  • The University Supervisor

Co-supervisors do not participate.

All projects participate with a poster.

The program includes various activities that equip for good collaboration and provide insight into others' good ideas for collaboration and project content.

You will be notified of the time and programme of the kick-off event via your e-grant case.

How do we ensure a good project process?
Open section, How do we ensure a good project process?

Meetings
It is important during the course that you meet regularly and discuss the development of the project. We recommend that you hold physical meetings at least once every three months, and preferably more often, where everyone participates.

We strongly recommend that at the start of the project, you agree on who is responsible for convening meetings. Unless otherwise agreed, the business advisor / mentor is expected to take the initiative.

Steering Group
You can establish a steering group with several professionals from the company and the university and hold a steering group meeting once every six months.

Newsletter
It can also be recommended that the student writes a short newsletter approx. every other week, where the development of the project is explained.

Above all, all project partners must mentally understand the situation of others and be prepared to make changes to the project if it is in everyone's best interests.

IPR and Publishing
We also strongly recommend that you enter into actual collaboration agreements on, for example, IPR and publishing.

Maternity leave and leave from the project - what should we be aware of?
Open section, Maternity leave and leave from the project - what should we be aware of?

Industrial PhD and Industrial Postdoc candidates can apply for leave in connection with, for example, maternity and illness.

No subsidy is granted during leave, nor during maternity and sick leave. The end date of the grant period is postponed by the leave period and the grant is granted during the extended period.

Note: The fund must approve a request for leave before the leave can begin. The Fund does not approve requests for leave retroactively. The request is sent via e-grant (section "Requests for change").

A leave request must include:

  • Justification for leave Start and end date for leave period.
     
  • New end date for the project (project end date is postponed during the leave period).
     
  • Signatures of the company (eg supervisor), research institution / university (eg supervisor) and candidate.

If you do not know the exact dates, please provide tentative dates. As soon as you know the exact dates, inform them to the Fund (via e-grant), after which the period is adjusted and the final end date for the project is determined.

Part-time work on the project - what should we be aware of?
Open section, Part-time work on the project - what should we be aware of?

Industrial PhD candidates can apply for part-time at e.g. illness, but you can not apply for part-time on the grounds that the candidate must do other work next to it. Industrial PhD jobs are basically full-time positions.

Note: The fund must approve the request part-time before the part-time can start. The Fund does not approve part-time requests retroactively. The request is sent via e-grant (section Requests for Change).

A part-time request must include:

  • Justification for part-time
  • Start and end date for part-time period.
  • Part-time rate.
  • New project end date (project end date postponed part-time).
  • Signatures of the company (eg supervisor), research institution / university (eg supervisor) and candidate.

The part-time rate is what percentage of the part-time work is full-time. Eg. a part-time rate of 50% means that the candidate works half as much as a full-time job during the period in question.

 

What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?
Open section, What happens if I can't keep up with the plan?

The end date of the grant period is binding, and can only be adjusted due to approved leave or part-time (see "Maternity and leave from the project - what should we be aware of?" and "Part-time work on the project - what should we be aware of?") but not due to other reasons / delays.

Please note that the Fund's grants may not be used after the end date of the grant period. If the project is delayed, the parties may continue the project at their own expense.

Please note that the deadlines for submitting accounts and auditors' statements are not shifted.

The same rules apply to the payment of the remaining 15% of the grant as to projects without delay.

Especially regarding. PhD certificate
If the delay in the project results in a delay in the PhD program, you must inform the Fund of the delay and state the expected date for defense of the PhD dissertation. This is done via a message from your grant case in e-grant. The foundation can then extend the deadline for submitting the PhD certificate.

Note, however, that the Fund may decide that the last 15% of the university grant will lapse if the PhD certificate is not submitted within five years of the start of the grant period (leave and part-time are taken into account).

My Industrial PhD project needs to be transferred to a new company - what do I need to do?
Open section, My Industrial PhD project needs to be transferred to a new company - what do I need to do?

If an Industrial PhD project cannot be continued in the company that has received the grant, the Fund must be notified immediately via an e-grant message. The project is then paused, and a new company must be found within six months and a change request sent via e-grant.

The request must include:

  • Justification for change of business.
     
  • The new company name, CVR number, parking number, industry code, address and number of employees converted to full-time positions.
     
  • Description of the new company's professional environment, facilities and finances.
     
  • Signature of graduate and new company - when changing company outside the group, the request must also be signed by the old company and the university.
     
  • Exact date of the shift.

For a new company supervisor, the Fund must also have information such as when changing supervisor alone, see "Changing supervisor / mentor - what should we be aware of?"

Note that the case processing time for changing the company outside the group can last several months, as the Fund must settle with the old grant recipient and receive a refund of the remaining funds which are then transferred to the new company.

Business and university cannot be changed at the same time.

The project must be transferred to a new university / a new research institution - what should I do?
Open section, The project must be transferred to a new university / a new research institution - what should I do?

An e-grant change request must be submitted, which should include: 

  • Justification for changing university.
     
  • Name and address of the new university / research institution (as well as SWIFT and IBAN numbers at a foreign university).
     
  • Signature of candidate, company (eg supervisor) and new and old university / research institution (new and old supervisor if there is a change of supervisor; or supervisor, new and old finance manager if there is no change of supervisor) .
     
  • Certificate of enrollment from the new university with date of transfer of the student and end date of the program.

For a new supervisor, we must also have information such as when changing supervisor alone, see Changing supervisor / mentor - what should we be aware of?

The new university / new research institution will receive a letter of commitment when the request for change has been approved by the Fund.

Please note, however, that the case processing time for the change can last several months, as the Fund must settle with the old grant recipient and receive a refund of the remaining funds, which are then transferred to the new grant recipient.

Note: Business and university cannot be changed at the same time.

Change of supervisor / mentor - what should we be aware of?
Open section, Change of supervisor / mentor - what should we be aware of?

In the event of a planned change of company supervisor, company supervisor or university supervisor, a request for change must be sent via e-grant.

The change request must include:

  • Justification for change.
     
  • The new supervisor / mentor's CV and contact information (incl. e-mail and telephone), cf. CV for project participants - what should we be aware of?
     
  • Signature of candidate, new supervisor, company (eg current supervisor) and university / research institution (eg current supervisor).
Change of candidate - (when) is this possible?
Open section, Change of candidate - (when) is this possible?

An Industrial PhD project is closely linked to the candidate's education.

 

The candidate can therefore only be changed if: 

  • A maximum of six months of the total grant period has been spent.
     
  • The former candidate is no longer part of the project.
     
  • The interruption of the former candidate's education is not due to a company or university's breach of obligations.
     
  • Company and university undertake at their own expense to give the new candidate the opportunity to complete the education in the standard time.

Note: Innovation Fund Denmark does not provide additional funding for the project. The company and the university must pay for the extra period without subsidy, which they have committed to having the new graduate employed in the company and enrolled in the PhD school. 

The change request is submitted via E-grant and must include: 

  • Statement of change of candidate, as well as confirmation that the above four conditions are met; End date of the old candidate and start date of the new candidate.
     
  • The new candidate's name, social security number, private e-mail, private telephone, gender and nationality.
     
  • CV for the new candidate, cf. "CV for project participants - what should we be aware of?" 
     
  • The new candidate's full diplomas for bachelor's and master's education.
     
  • Completed grade calculation form and / or year placement from a foreign educational institution about the candidate's placement on his / her year.
     
  • Signature of company (eg supervisor), university (eg supervisor) and the new candidate.
Final report and mid-term evaluation - what should we be aware of?
Open section, Final report and mid-term evaluation - what should we be aware of?

1½ years into your Business PhD project, please fill out a questionnaire as an Industrial PhD candidate. The form focuses on your collaboration practice in the project. It takes 5-10 minutes to complete the form.

You will be reminded of the assignment via e-grant and the form will only be available via a link in the e-grant assignment. 

For Industrial PhD projects, which were approved as of 2017, the company must complete a final report at the end of the project, focusing on effects, results and process.

You will be reminded of the task we e-grant. The task includes a link to a template for the report.

Accounting and payment of remaining grants - what should we be aware of?
Open section, Accounting and payment of remaining grants - what should we be aware of?

Both the university / research institution and the company receive 85% of the grant in advance. 

  • The remaining 15% to the company is paid when the Fund has received the final report (only for Industrial PhD projects approved from 2017, see Final report and mid-term evaluation - what should we be aware of?) and approved final accounts and auditor's report for company (all projects).
     
  • The remaining 15% to the university will be paid once the Fund has received the candidate's PhD certificate.
Contact
Industrial Researcher
Open section, Industrial Researcher

Tel: 61 90 50 02

Phone time: Tuesday at 9.00-12.00

Mail: erhvervsforsker@innofond.dk

OBS:

LinkedIn
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