The Industry Placement Program is an attempt to create a program that gives PhD candidates experience outside the university by a placement in industry. The main purpose is to make the student better prepared for the life after the PhD. This is a pilot programme that focus on PhD students with a background in nanotechnology.
It is a well known issue all over the world that universities educate more PhD students than could possibly get a job within academia. It is therefore important that PhD students are prepared for employment in the world outside academia as well. This challenge is the purpose of the Industry Placement Program. The idea is that PhD students have a placement in industry for a number of moths months during their PhD to get experience from the “outside world”. There are clear advantages in this for the student, university and industry, specifically:
- An experience in industry often gives the student new perspectives and develops their working methods which make them a better researcher.
- The university get students back that can teach other researchers new experience from industry, which is good for the faculty.
- For industry, it not only a question of enlisting “new blood” and new techniques, it is also a good way to get closer contact with academia.
The idea of the project Industry Placement Program is twofold, it is both to study and learn from existing similar programs and to set up a self-sustainained PhD program. This means that companies pay the salary of the PhD student during the placement. This project is a pilot program for PhD students within nanotechnology only, but the structure may be applicable to other disciplines as well. Hopefully, the first placements will start in September-October 2015.
LU Open helps coordinate the project and develop the infrastructure. So far, LU Open have coordinated 360 analysis, studies of student needs and, and contact with industry to organise placements as well as work with administrative aspects of the project.