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PHD EDUCATION

Working with industry to create more PhDs

By offering industrial PhDs, the University of Bergen is strengthening the collaboration between the private sector and the university. In the last five years, 21 students have been enrolled in the scheme.

Anders Sleire is a PhD candidate in statistics at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Bergen (UiB). The industrial PhD is completed in collaboration with his employer Bergen Energi Markets.
COLLABORATION: Anders Sleire is a PhD candidate in statistics at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Bergen (UiB). The industrial PhD is completed in collaboration with his employer Bergen Energi Markets.
Photo:
Solfrid T. Langeland

“I highly recommend getting an industrial PhD. This way I can both contribute to a project that is important for my company and improve my own competence and degree,” says Anders Sleire.

He works as a risk analyst at Bergen Energy Markets and since this summer he has also been a PhD candidate in statistics at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Bergen (UiB).

He is the first to get an industrial PhD at the department.

Getting competence through research

Under the Industrial PhD scheme, companies may apply for support for a three-year period for an employee seeking to pursue an ordinary doctoral degree. The doctoral candidate must be employed by the company and the doctoral research project must be of clear relevance to the company’s activities.

The scheme was established by the Research Council of Norway in 2008 and the aim was to strengthen the relationship between the industry and research organisations, contribute to more research in the industry and to educate researchers with knowledge relevant for their work.

“To me the industrial PhD was the best way to further studies. I originally have a Master of Business from the Norwegian School of Economics, However, in the last few years I have studied to get a master’s degree in statistics at the University of Bergen. My employer was satisfied with my results and supported the decision to go further.”

Closer contact with the industry

“This scheme is important to us because it makes it possible to educate PhDs in collaboration with the industry. We can both gain from this connection,” says UiB’s Prorector Anne Lise Fimreite.

She points out that this is not only about transferring knowledge, but also about the mutual understanding for both the distinctive character of the University and the industry.

21 students have been enrolled as Industrial PhDs at UiB since the Research Council’s scheme went into operation.

“Industrial PhDs may also be useful for companies that temporarily need to downsize their operations. This scheme enables them to keep competent staff and at the same time increase the knowledge base of their employees,” says Fimreite.