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Industrial PhD

What is the Industrial PhD?

An Industrial PhD is a 3-year research project and PhD degree that is carried out in a collaboration involving a private or public sector company, an Industrial PhD candidate and a university. The Industrial PhD programme is a part of Innovation Fund Denmark, which is an independent fund at the Ministry of Higher Education and Science that invests in strategic research, high technology and innovation.

  • An Industrial PhD student is employed by a private or public sector company and enrolled at a university.
  • The private or public sector company applies for funding for the project from Innovation Fund Denmark, and the company employs the student, who receives a salary during the entire Industrial PhD project.
  • The student divides her/his working hours between the company and the university, and spends all of his/her working hours on the Industrial PhD project.

Why choose an Industrial PhD?

What can you get out of an Industrial PhD project?

  • As a student, you get a chance to do an application-oriented research project.
  • As a student, you build a network outside the traditional university sector and acquire a skills profile that is attractive to potential employers both inside and outside the university.
  • As a bridge-builder between company and university, you can contribute to encouraging new research collaborations.

How your company can benefit from working with an Industrial PhD

Benefits of hiring an Industrial PhD:

  • Your company gains a researcher with the competencies necessary to do high-quality research and generate results that add value to your bottom line.
  • Your company strengthens its relationship with academia and gains unique opportunities for future research collaboration and access to the latest research results.
  • The student splits her/his working time between the university and the company.

How to apply

To be considered for admission to an Industrial PhD programme, applications must be submitted to both Innovation Fund Denmark and a graduate school. The company formally applies to Innovation Fund Denmark, and the prospective Industrial PhD student formally applies to the graduate school.

For further information on rules, guidelines and the application process, see the Innovation Fund Denmark website


If you have questions about the industrial PhD scheme, please contact:

  • Faculty of Arts: Anna Louise Dolan Plaskett, email: plaskett@au.dk
  • Aarhus BSS: email: bss.hr@au.dk
  • Faculty of Health: Birgitte Rosenvind Eriksen, email: bre@au.dk
  • Faculty of Natural Sciences: Frederikke Kongsted Hansen, email: fkh@au.dk or Mie Meulengracht Christensen, email: mime@au.dk
  • Faculty of Technical Sciences: Frederikke Kongsted Hansen, email: fkh@au.dk or Mie Meulengracht Christensen, email: mime@au.dk

More information about the Industrial PhD scheme 

More information about Aarhus University