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Isnin, 28 Mei 2012

Industrial PhD

Since this type of PhD route is quite new in Malaysia, students often get confused with the traditional PhD. I compile here some basic information about industrial Phd for new and potential or existing students to understand first before embarking on a 3-year or more application PhD project. The sources are from two Malaysian universities (UUM and UTM) and The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation in Denmark

What is Industrial PhD Programme?

Malaysia requires a large pool of PhDs to give impetus for sustainable growth of our economy. There is a huge opportunity for researchers to resolve work related issues, problems, or find solution to problems. Recognising the importance and the positive impact that will accrue from this strategy, the Malaysian government has formulated policies with financial incentives, to encourage full-time Malaysian employees from  both public and private sector organisations, to join the Industrial PhD Programme which is more application oriented.  It is an alternative to the traditional PhD, which is more inclined to knowledge enhancement. The expected outcome is that, the research should add value to the organisation through tangible (economic gains) / intangible (social) benefits, or improve / enhance organisation’s overall efficiency, effectiveness, performance, profitability and that lead to enhancement of competitiveness of our nation in the long run.

In UUM, all students must undertake:

1. research at the workplace;
2. research with the topic and scope based on real problems at their workplaces, related to their jobs, and in their respective field of specializations;
3. research projects that have potentials in improving the operation, services, and management of  the organisation/industry.

Students shall also be subjected to the existing UUM regulations related to post-graduate studies for conferment of PhD degree.


Innovative knowledge for Industry and Academia

An Industrial PhD is a Doctoral Research Program which accommodates the range of activities that support original and innovative work that encompasses the academic, professional and technological fields and is not restricted or related solely to a traditional 'scientific method'. Qualitatively, Industrial PhD is equivalent to all other types of doctoral programs, including the conventional PhD.

Industrial PhD is a doctoral program that provides opportunities for students/researchers to bridge the gap between two worlds. The objective of the program is to establish cooperation between the university, a company and student/researcher, on a specific research project that is of high value to the company and the participating parties.

There is researcher demand, workforce trends, industry needs and/or national priorities which give rise to the need for the development of such an industrial doctoral program, in transforming the country into an innovation-led economy (New Economic Model).

The development of such an industrial doctoral program is a clear strategic priority for the institution of higher learning, and the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MyBrain15 Initiative).

Industry-based PhD Programme or Industrial PhD at UTM an attractive alternative to the conventional PhD, being better suited to the needs of the industry, and providing a more vocationally oriented doctorate with industrial relevance. It is highly flexible and able to accommodate candidates from all levels of management. It is a full-time postgraduate programme where candidates have the opportunity to spend most of their time carrying out the research at their respective organisations or industries.


·       Research focus based on industrial issues or problems;
·       Joint supervision by experts from the University and industry;
·       Research conducted in the industry and candidates do not have to leave their workplace.
·       A PhD program distinct from the conventional PhD degree in term of mode of research, but preserves the mark of original or innovative research and scholarship expected of a doctoral study;
·       The company benefits from access to new/innovative and valuable knowledge acquired by the student/researcher during his or her studies. In return, the University gains access to new knowledge and innovation provided by the private company.
·       PhD student/researcher is employed by a private company during the entire research work, while being registered as a PhD student at the university.


In Denmark, an Industrial PhD project is defined as an industrially focused PhD education. The research project is conducted in cooperation between a private company, an Industrial PhD student and a university. Third parties from both the public and private sector can be attached. (See

In Denmark, a mandatory part of the Industrial PhD education is the special business course offered by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation. The course concludes with a business report, which must be about the commercial aspects of the Industrial PhD project in a theoretical and company-relevant context. For Industrial PhD projects in the public sector, the business report must be about the institutional benefits of the project.

See the Guidelines for the Industrial PhD Programme in Denmark at

Selamat berjaya.


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