Professional Licentiate

The Professional Licentiate programme – industrial graduate schools for specialists in the business sector – provides the universities with the opportunity to reach key individuals in industry who wish to pursue postgraduate studies for a limited period, while remaining with their respective employers. The programme makes it possible for the universities to develop postgraduate programme alternatives adapted to business, and for participating companies to develop cutting-edge expertise in the relevant fields of development.

How Professional Licentiate contributes to the development of Integrated Research and Education Environments (Kompletta miljöer):

Professional Licentiate provides universities with the opportunity to develop and strengthen postgraduate programmes that are being carried out in collaboration with the business sector. The collaboration that this programme makes possible also contributes to strengthening relationships between academia and the business sector, which can make positive contributions to research and development activities and educational operations at the university. For the business sector, this is an opportunity to offer specialists advancement in a field of knowledge as part of a two-year postgraduate programme.

About the programme

The Knowledge Foundation Professional Licentiate programme provides Sweden’s new universities the opportunity to apply for funding of a graduate school for two-year postgraduate programmes intended for working professionals in the business sector. The programme is intended to meet the needs of the business sector for research expertise through providing working professionals with the opportunity for advancement in a field of knowledge. It is also intended to provide universities with more flexible formats for postgraduate programmes. The goal is that this will contribute to profiling the university and to developing its research and education environment. The programme is aimed at key individuals active in the business sector. The doctoral student is employed at the company and should have several years of work experience.

The programme’s contribution to the university’s development

The Professional Licentiate programme is regarded as an important venture for the university to strengthen its position, both nationally and internationally, within the graduate school’s subject area. It can also contribute to academia’s competence development in the field, for example through increased insight into and knowledge about industrial challenges. Through postgraduate programmes in collaboration with the business sector, the research and education environment at the university can become a clear and natural collaboration partner for the business sector. This form of collaboration also contributes to creating important networks between academia and the business sector, which in turn can result in continued deeper collaboration between participating parties after the conclusion of the graduate school.

The programme’s contribution to business sector development

The programme is regarded as an important venture for the supply of competence to the business sector. Experiences from postgraduate programmes in collaboration clearly show that this is not a general competence boost but a competence supply venture that contributes to competence building where the business sector needs it. Joint solutions of research problems provide the opportunity to produce tangible results for participating companies such as new or further developed products and processes. The graduate school makes it possible for the business sector to establish valuable networks. In addition to the important contacts created with academia, the graduate school also make it possible to establish valuable relationships among participating companies. Experiences show that these networks can lead to new business contacts, the identification of joint product development projects and larger industry-wide research projects.

Programme design

This is a two-year industrial graduate school intended for working professionals who wish to train to become specialists in the business sector and leads to a licentiate degree. At least four doctoral students should participate in the graduate school. The Knowledge Foundation contributes SEK 900,000 per licentiate degree awarded to fund the graduate school. The study period for the doctoral student must be planned for a maximum of four years. The total commitment of the business sector, with in-kind contributions and/or direct funding, must be at least equivalent to the amount the Knowledge Foundation contributes. Companies’ contributions can, for example, consist of salary costs for the research students, time for mentors/supervisors at the company, or contributions to other activities that contribute to the development of the doctoral student or the graduate school. The Knowledge Foundation requires the university to fund the graduate school.

Who can apply, and how it works

• Sweden’s university colleges and new universities, authorized to award graduate degrees in the intended field, are eligible to apply for funding.
• The project must be co-produced together with business partners, and their contribution must be described in the application.
• Calls for proposals within the programme are issued annually, in spring. Applications must be registered via the Ansök & rapportera portal.

Linda Assbring
Programme Manager for NU, Industrial Graduate Schools and Professional Licentiate
073-712 81 17


Åsa Ödling
Programme Administrator for Prospekt, Recruitments, Research profiles, Industrial Graduate Schools, Professional Licentiate, HÖG and Sidus
073-712 81 45