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Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) Industrial PhD Student Program 2024

Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) Industrial PhD Student Program 2024

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Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) Industrial PhD Student Program 2024

SSF is investing SEK 39 million in the Industrial PhD Student Program, supporting 12 doctoral students in research and postgraduate training, with the goal of enhancing collaboration between academia and industry while ensuring the attainment of a doctoral degree.

The program shall contribute to excellent research in the areas SSF prioritiezed areas: natural science, technology and medicine. Joint doctoral students between industry and university increase cooperation between the sectors, drive innovations, while at the same time doctors with high attractiveness for Swedish industry are examined.

The initiative applies to people who have not yet been admitted to postgraduate studies. During the grant period, the doctoral student must conduct research and be at least 80 percent employed by a company, and have two supervisors, one at the university and one at the company. The institution must be Swedish.


  • The grant amounts to SEK 3.25 million, which is expected to cover about half of what a doctoral student project normally costs.

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  • The grant provides funding for research and postgraduate studies within natural science, engineering, or medicine for an industrial doctoral student, in collaboration between industry and academia. At least two qualified persons shall serve as main supervisors for the doctoral student during the entire grant period – one at a higher education institution (HEI) and one at a company. The supervisors shall be well established within their respective organizations. The two supervisors in unity constitute the steering group for the project.
  • The main applicant is the main supervisor of the doctoral student at the HEI and is responsible for reporting to SSF. The HEI where the main applicant is employed administers the grant. The HEI must be Swedish. The main applicant must be employed and active to at least 80 percent at the HEI.
  • The co-applicant is the supervisor at the company. The co-applicant must be employed and active to at least 80 percent at the company. The company must be commercially sound with respect to the responsibility for the doctoral student’s work over several years and possess enough competence to both contribute to and benefit from the knowledge gained in the project over short and long term. The company shall normally be registered in Sweden or close enough to Sweden that the exchange is feasible and can be justified strategically for Sweden. Furthermore, there must be no questionable personal ownership relationship between academia and business. Instead of a company, the industrial party may also be a hospital if the project involves clinical research. Industrial research institutes or similar organizations may not represent neither the academic nor the industrial party in this call for proposals.
  • The industrial doctoral student must not be admitted to doctoral studies at the time of application. The industrial doctoral student does not need to be identified at the time of application but must be admitted to the industrial doctoral program and be employed at the company before the start of this project. The doctoral student must be to at least 80 percent employed by the company for the entire grant period. The doctoral student shall devote the equivalent of four years of full-time work to the project and is expected to share her or his time between the university and the company. Beyond that, up to 20 percent of the doctoral students working hours can be devoted to other activities such as departmental duties if this work is funded by the HEI.
  • An applicant may only submit one application, this applies to both main applicant and applicant. A main applicant who has an ongoing SSF industrial doctoral student grant is not eligible to apply if there is a grant period overlap between the two grants.

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Evaluation of Industrial PhD Student Program

The applications will be reviewed by an evaluation committee consisting of external experts from both academia and industry. The following evaluation criteria will be applied:

  • Scientific quality of the proposed research project
  • Strategic relevance and expected industrial/societal impact
  • Mutuality (regarding needs and commitment) in the declarations of intent from both parties
  • The qualifications of the supervisors
  • Relations, e. g. that there are no inappropriate financial or personal dependencies between the company, the doctoral student, the HEI and the supervisors.

You should check out: Research Innovation & Collaboration Exchange (RICE) Fellowship Program 2024

Application for Industrial PhD Student Program

The application must include (in addition to other information specified in the portal):

  • Research plan, including scientific state of the art (5 pages). It must be formulated jointly by the company and the HEI and include planned activities between the company and the HEI.
  • CV and list of publications for both applicants.
  • Letters of intent from both the academic and the industrial party, describing the commitment for the project, written by the department head (or equivalent) at the HEI and the research director (or equivalent) at the company. Both parties shall ensure that the necessary practical arrangements are in place. In addition, it should be certified that the supervisors have the support and time allocated for this purpose.
  • Brief description and required qualifications of the prospective doctoral student.
  • Strategic relevance and expected societal impact in a 10-15-year timeframe.
  • Description of how intellectual property rights contractually will be handled.
  • Budget.
  • Description of the company with details such as corporate ID number, number of employees, net/gross turnover, business activities and a link to webpage.
  • Description of any dependencies (current or former) between the company, the doctoral student, the HEI and the supervisors.

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Type of Opportunity Scholarships and Fellowships
Deadline21 May,2024
Organizer Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)
Contact the organizer[email protected],



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