In a global world where uncertainty is ever present, companies and institutions must react quickly to change and innovate in order to seize new opportunities, solve complex problems and bring value to society and people’s lives. To respond to the need of organisations to make a real impact, Politecnico di Milano recommends the Industrial Ph.D., i.e. a research doctor who investigates and explores a specific project or topic, working to quickly translate the results of the research into value for the organisation.
An Industrial Ph.D. can be developed from a junior profile, e.g. a recent graduate, by issuing a three-year thematic Ph.D. scholarship funded by a company in agreement with the doctoral programme.
Companies can also invest in the higher education of their own employees, by accessing the Executive Ph.D. 4-year programme, whereby the selected candidates can train, develop and complete a Ph.D. research at Politecnico di Milano, while holding their job and salary.
The Ph.D. programme includes both training, in the form of courses offered by the Ph.D. programme and the Ph.D. School, and research, that can be carried out in the company, in the Ph.D. department or in either organisations, depending on the type of agreement.
Each Industrial Ph.D. project is based on specific needs of the organisation and is developed by applying university research skills and methods to challenging problems where innovative answers are needed.
The Industrial Ph.D. in Information Technology provides advanced education and research in four major research areas: Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics, Systems and Control, and Telecommunications. Today, these research fields are of enormous scientific and technical interest for industry, government organizations and society. During the program, candidates acquire a problem-solving methodology which is an added value for innovation-driven companies who want to keep pace with the most advanced research and have employees who can bring new ideas, stimulate innovation and creativity, and be progress promoters.
Computer Science and Engineering aims at the development of Information Technology and its application to innovative products and services in many fields. Examples of research areas: artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, information systems, database management, bio-informatics, security and reliability, information design for the web, methods and applications for interactive multimedia, advanced software architectures, and computer performance.
Electronics: the research activities focus on new developments, such as applied nanoelectronics, sensors and diagnostic technologies, genetics and biomedicine, diagnostics of cultural heritage, and astrophysics applications.
Systems and Control: control systems science, robotics and industrial automation, nonlinear and networked systems, ecosystems and environmental modelling, and operations research. Examples of specific research topics are: predictive, distributed, and robust estimation and control; automation of automotive, transportation, collaborative and mobile robotics; ecology, natural resources management, and climate change.
Telecommunications: given the interdisciplinary nature of the world of telecommunications, many skills coexist in this section, among them: transmission systems and telecommunication networks, radio and optical wireless transmission, digital signal processing, electromagnetic methods, remote sensing methods and systems, audio and video analysis and production.
Thematic Ph.D. scholarships
How does it work?
To fund a three-year Ph.D. scholarship within the Ph.D. IT programme, the company must sign an agreement with the DEIB. The scholarship will then be issued in the first available public call for Ph.D. applications. Companies can exploit a tax credit for funded scholarships in Italy, according to the current law.
Opportunities offered by the PNRR programme
The PNRR programme has granted several Ph.D. scholarships to the Politecnico di Milano. The investment associated with the Ministerial Decree n.117 aims at enhancing high-profile skills, particularly in the areas of Key Enabling Technologies, through the establishment of dedicated doctoral programmes, with the contribution and involvement of companies. Industry-sponsored thematic scholarships can be issued along this programme with a 30,000 € discount. There are also fiscal incentives for the recruitment of junior researchers by companies.
Ph.D. scholarships can also be funded by other PNRR initiatives (Centri Nazionali, Ecosistemi dell’innovazione, Infrastrutture di ricerca e tecnologiche di innovazione, Partenariati estesi).
The Ph.D. School of the Politecnico di Milano admits industrial doctoral paths aimed at employees on whose higher education and personal growth the company or organization is willing to invest.
What is it?
Executive Ph.D. positions are available for employees of private companies or other external organizations. Executive Ph.D.’s keep their job and salary while pursuing the Ph.D. degree.
Candidates are evaluated by the Faculty Board and, if eligible, admitted directly in the Ph.D. programme, without a public call, under the signing of an agreement with the company. The duration of the Executive Ph.D. programme is 4 years.
The thesis topic and the related research workplan are established by mutual agreement between the company and the Ph.D. Faculty Board.
The Ph.D. candidate is co-supervised by a DEIB professor and a tutor from the employer organization.
The Executive Ph.D. is a unique growth opportunity both for the employee and the company. The former receives higher education training on methodological and technological topics as well as transversal skills and learns a research-oriented work methodology in a scientifically fertile environment, while maintaining his/her job and salary. The company, on the other hand, besides upgrading the employee’s knowledge and abilities, can exploit the Ph.D. executive programme to develop a research on a topic of interest to the company, that requires a medium/long time horizon to fully unfold, and that can later become a valuable innovation asset in the company’s portfolio.
Finally, with the apprenticeship contract for advanced education, the company has the opportunity to develop a research training programme and to recruit high quality young people. Active participation in research activities by its employees will foster innovation and lead to developments in innovative areas.