What is it?

Doctoral placements or ‘Industrial Placements’, offer an invaluable opportunity for Ph.D. students to develop experience in working with a business. Placement periods are typically a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 18 months, although placements can be accrued through a number of shorter placements if appropriate.


The placement may be project focused or more general in scope so there is an opportunity for business to use young talent to problem solve or develop new commercial ideas.


Very Short 0 – 3, Short 3 - 18 months - although can be accumulated through a series of short-term engagements.


A contribution is expected towards the cost of the doctoral placement although this varies according to the specification of individual calls.


Hosting can be beneficial in using specific expertise in solving or developing a project, as well as promoting wider knowledge exchange. It can also encourage productive engagement between partners who benefit from a motivated, high-quality Ph.D. student undertaking cutting-edge research relevant to the organization's priorities and objectives.

Suitable for which Businesses?

Relevant to organizations from the public, private and third sector who would benefit from the expertise of a researcher working on a project. Hosting a placement can also promote engagement and collaboration with academics from the university and lead to wider relationships that can benefit the host organization.

How do you engage?

The first step is to articulate what the placement will entail and the proposed timescale. This stage is critical as it provides a basis for discussion with the University/Academics in terms of business need and the capability of the University to deliver within the timeframe. Where the business is already aware of academics working in this area then they can contact them directly or the university engagement team. There is typically a national call and application process by universities, doctoral training centre’s and/or research councils for placements.