Tove Evjen and Mathieu Ichard are the first two to earn a doctorate on the job thanks to support from the Industrial Ph.D. scheme. The two were recently honoured at the Research Council’s Focus on Business conference, an annual event for trade and industry.
As of today, 95 companies throughout Norway are receiving support for 115 doctoral candidates under the scheme. The Research Council expects to allocate funding to another 40 doctoral research projects in 2012.
Mathieu Ichard and Tove Evjen are the first two to earn a doctorate on the job. (Photo: Morten Brakestad)
Three-year doctoral degree education
Under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme companies may apply for support for a three-year period for an employee seeking to pursue an ordinary doctoral degree at a degree-conferring university or university college. The doctoral research project must be relevant to issues related to the company’s long-term challenges.
Established by the Research Council in 2009, the scheme is designed to strengthen cooperation between companies and research institutions, boost the level of research activity in trade and industry, and train new researchers who will generate the knowledge needed by the companies that employ them.
Dr Evjen and Dr Ichard point out the benefits of conducting research while employed in a company:
“Under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme I got the opportunity to see the results of my own research implemented by the company before I had even completed my degree,” says Dr Ichard, who earned a doctorate in chemical technology. “The company got commercially valuable research expertise on which to base new products.”
Tove Evjen and Mathieu Ichard with Trond Giske, Minister of Trade and Industry. (Photo: Morten Brakestad)
“You experience an entirely different daily pace and dynamic when you conduct research in a company,” explains Dr Evjen, whose work has focused on cancer drugs. “The most important thing about the scheme is that we use research results to develop new projects and technology that will hopefully be of relevance and benefit to society.”
Minister and research director pleased
“The Research Council’s scheme for supporting employees in private companies who are pursuing their doctoral degrees while working clearly enhances the interplay between the business sector and the research sector,” says a pleased Minister of Trade and Industry, Trond Giske.
Director General of the Research Council Arvid Hallén is equally positive: “The doctoral candidates have a unique opportunity to engage in scientific activities in a company environment and to view research in the context of commercialisation. This strengthens the ties between trade and industry and the research community, and doubles our expertise.”