COMPARED STUDY ON THE NATIONAL LEGISLATIONS ON INDUSTRIAL Ph.D.


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The aspects regarding the legal framework of setting up and ruling PhDs in Europe differentiated a great deal around Europe and the differentiation follows an axis starting from countries of North Europe to South Europe.  The comparison study we have conducted initiated with investigating the difference at the level of standard PhD since in most countries this type of doctorate set the rules also for industrial PhD.

Regarding the standard PhD the following were observed:

  • for North Europe partners, the rules are mainly set at a university level as for the others the legislation is set at a national level
  • even if the number of domains are slightly different from partner to partner, starting from 5 and arriving at 14 domains, in the Eastern Europe countries these domains are divided in subdomains arriving at a very large number of 77 subdomains (Romania case)
  • the development of the PhD program mainly lasts for 3 years long with a possible extension from 2 to 4 years for finishing the thesis
  • the admission policy is nearly the same for all partners
  • the supervise of the PhD thesis is performed by HEIs professors
  • the types of grants differ from country to country and it could be at the national level, government or other sources
  • the recognition of the title is set at the university level with exception of 2 countries Sweden and Romania that has recognition at national level
  • the benefits of having an PhD title come mostly from academic side

In general, rules applied on the Standard PhD extended as well to the Industrial PhD and represent the basis of the legislation for the latter type of PhD. Starting from this point of view one can conclude that existing differences between the standard PhD legislation of partner countries in this grant are even bigger in the case of industrial PhD.  In the following, we present some of these differences:

  • From the report given by UK and Sweden we can conclude that the legal framework is almost the same and it is characterized by the autonomy of the university in developing a PhD program
  • In Romania and Greece there is no concept of industrial PhD even there is HEIs collaboration with companies in developing PhD themes and programs
  • In Poland the legal framework is almost the same as in Romania and Greece but starting from few years ago the term of industrial PhD was brought in legislation and a relevant legal framework is created
  • The autonomy of the universities in taking decisions for development of PhD programs in Romania, Poland and Greece exists but is limited and governed by dedicated educational legislation.
  • In Italy exists a very structured legal framework which define three types of industrial PhD programs
  • There are no major differences between the standard PhD domains and Industrial PhD one
  • The place of the PhD program implementation is mainly the university site with some cases companies site
  • The contractual agreements between companies and universities describing the finance, supervision, Intellectual properties confidentiality and copy rights
  • The admission policy is the same as for standard PhD
  • The supervising of the PhD program is made by a supervisor from HEIs together with a person from the company side considered as tutor
  • The final evaluation procedure of this type of PhD is the same as for standard PhD
  • The results of the PhD program can be disseminated based on agreements between HEIs and SMEs

Based on the above findings we induce that the divergence of educational legislation between countries implies the imminent need for legal harmonization at European level.

The following tables present key aspects of the National legislations on industrial PhD. They were classified based on the board agreement, minor differences and significant differences that appeared from the reports of the six partner countries.

More information on the national legislation of the industrial Phd based on the final reports of the partners can be found here.