Industrial PhD

An Industrial PhD is for those looking to pair academia with practical experience. The PhD project is conducted in cooperation between you, the University and a private company (or public entity). You will be employed at the company, who pays a part of your salary, and simultaneously enrolled at the IT University.

One of the PhD options at the IT University is to become an Industrial PhD, which is conducted in cooperation between a private company, the student and the ITU. It is a great opportunity to train as a PhD student with one foot in the academic world and the other in the public and/or private sector.

Some benefits of an Industrial PhD are:
  • Increased opportunities to participate in collaborative research projects with the private/public sector
  • Experience with working in non-academic environments
  • Potential on-going collaboration with the private/public sector
  • To experience research as something concrete
  • The opportunity to make a material difference in the real world
Industrial PhD applications are handled by Innovation Fund Denmark. On their website you’ll find all relevant info about the programme, but below is a quick view at the requirements and process you need to be aware of.

The Industrial PhD at Innovation Fund Denmark.

Requirements - Candidate

Besides identifying and committing a company, a supervisor from the company and a supervisor from the IT University, candidates for an Industrial PhD must:

  • have an education at a master’s degree level
  • have obtained a weighted grade point average of at least 8.2 on the Danish 7-point grading scale (9 on the 13-point scale) for the entire master’s programme (i.e. for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees) OR have obtained a weighted grade point avarage of at least 9.5 on the Danish 7-point grading scale (9.4 on the 13-point scale) for the master’s degree alone, if it has a nominal duration of at least 120 ECTS
  • have attained at least the grade 10 for any final thesis/examination project
Lower grades than the requested may be compensated for by other factors (publication of peer-reviewed articles, research based patenting, relevant research experience, etc.)

Requirements - Company

The company must:

  • be a company in the private sector with a division physically located in Denmark
  • be able to financially support the Industrial PhD project for all three years
  • designate a company supervisor and a co-supervisor capable of supervising the candidate with regard to the industrially related aspects of the project

Requirements - Third parties

Other relevant organisations can also be attached to the project as third parties. Third parties can be based in any country.


Before you do anything else read Innovation Fund Denmark’s guidelines for the Industrial PhD Programme as they determine the overall conditions for applying, approval, subsidy and completion. Find the guidelines here.

It is highly recommended that you elaborate the application in close collaboration with the company and the IT University. Besides the application to Innovation Fund Denmark you are to submit an application to the IT University’s assessment committee to obtain enrolment as a PhD student. If you have any questions in this regard you are welcome to contact

Find all information on how to apply as well as application and project description templates here.