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Industrial PhD students and their projects

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


International Conference on Project MANagement 2016


Elsevier B.V.



In the usual case a PhD student is enrolled and supervised at an academic faculty, in Sweden also most often employed at a department of the university. The whole doctoral education takes part in one single environment. There is an opportunity to enroll “classes” of industrial PhD students in industrial graduate schools. The PhD student is in these cases most often employed by an industry. Each PhD student has at least one academic supervisor, but also an industrial mentor. Sometimes the industrial mentor also holds a PhD and can formally also be an industrial co-supervisor. Even if the funding of the PhD student is a research project, the doctoral work is often not performed as a project. There are often severe delays of the dissertation. The public defense often happens a year after the funding has ended. This represents a large cost for the university or for the industry. The progression of the student lies outside the control of the university management and also the funding industry. We have conducted a case study to explore the organizing of PhD work with the purpose to describe whether project methodology could support industrial PhD students in their progression towards a PhD.


author = {Angelina Sundstr{\"o}m and Gunnar Widforss and Malin Rosqvist and Anette Hallin},
title = {Industrial PhD students and their projects},
pages = {739--746},
month = {October},
year = {2016},
booktitle = {International Conference on Project MANagement 2016},
publisher = {Elsevier B.V.},
url = {}