Industry Partnered PhD Projects: Impediments, Coping Strategies and Procedures
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In the modern knowledge-based economy, industry is increasingly seeking to forge alliances with universities to generate innovative products and practices that may provide them with a competitive advantage. Simultaneously, universities are seeking to retain their relevance as the predominant providers of new knowledge, as many companies across a range of industries actively pursue their own research and development agenda, thus generating a greater proportion of all created intellectual capital than previously. There is a growing acceptance of more widespread research project linkages between universities and companies; traditional research training programs such as the PhD are not immune to this changing landscape. Whilst industry partnered PhD projects can potentially have a range of benefits to all concerned parties, particularly the student, current approaches and support mechanisms are far from ideal, presenting a range of impediments to be overcome through effective research project management functions. In an attempt to mitigate such impediments and leverage research training processes and outcomes, achievable from this partnered arrangement, this study explored a range of impediments and coping strategies associated with this form of partnered research training through both reported literature as well as a series of interviews with PhD candidates and their academic as well as industry supervisors. The exploratory study led to a priority list of impediments mapped to the most appropriate coping strategies to overcome them. Moreover, the mapping exercise led to the development of a structured procedure to guide industry partnered PhD projects, which aims to mitigate the various challenges of this style of partnered research arrangement whilst leveraging its benefits.
Proceedings of 20th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education: Engineering the Curriculum
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