Industrial Doctoral Degrees Plan

The Industrial Doctorates Plan is a Government of Catalonia programme that aims to foster development of strategic research projects at companies. Students carry out their research and produce their thesis in an industrial setting and with the backing of a university.

Industrial doctorates represent a different way of producing a thesis that lets students focus on the real needs and problems encountered at companies. The projects are developed through partnership agreements between the university and the company.

The plan brings together four different parties: the company, the university, the doctoral student and the Government of Catalonia.


Industrial doctorates aim to:

  • Contribute to the competitiveness and internationalization of Catalonia's industrial sector and retain talent.
  • Enable doctoral students to carry out research and innovation linked to any area of knowledge in the private or public sectors through experimental development or industrial research projects.



The Government of Catalonia helps fund these projects under two systems:

  • Industrial doctorate projects co-funded by the Government of Catalonia.
  • Industrial doctorate projects with specific funding.

The following requirements apply to both types of funding:

  • The thesis must be produced as part of a partnership agreement between a company and a university.
  • The company must employ the student on a three-year contract.
  • The student must have a thesis supervisor at the university and a project manager at the company.
  • The student must have obtained an average mark of 6.5 or higher on their academic transcript from university studies that allow admission to an official doctoral programme.
  • The thesis supervisor must be a member of a research group recognized by the Government of Catalonia (SGR).
  • The time that the student spends on the research project must be divided between the company and the university.
  • The student must participate in training programmes on specific skills related to the coordination and management of projects, business plans, industrial and intellectual property and any other relevant subject areas.
  • The student will receive annual mobility funding from the Government of Catalonia, which can be carried over for a maximum of three years. This funding is to enable the student to attend workshops and conferences related to the research project, or to visit other company offices, universities and research centres outside Catalonia.
  • The company must be up to date with its tax and social security obligations.
  • The grants are available for a maximum of three years from the award date.



For the student:

  • A three-year employment contract with a company with a minimum gross annual salary of €22,000 (for industrial doctorate projects co-funded by the Government of Catalonia).
  • Enrolment expenses are subsidized by the Government of Catalonia.
  • Take part in an R&I project with high added value for their CV and work with a company that is committed to innovation and research.
  • Supervision at the company and the university to guide and assess the student throughout.
  • Work in laboratories and facilities at the participating companies and universities.
  • International visits, conferences and workshops, and the chance to build a network of contacts to help develop their career in the future.

For the university:

  • Boost Catalonia's development by increasing levels of innovation.
  • Help to train research staff who can tackle highly complex and interdisciplinary challenges subject to strict feasibility and quality requirements.
  • Establish and strengthen links with companies who want to face up to the challenge of continually improving in their field.

For the company:

  • A sound basis for improving the company's long-term competitiveness: highly qualified staff, improved international profile and the experience needed in a global, interconnected world.
  • Access to cutting-edge scientific equipment and technology.
  • Work closely with academic staff at universities, providing experience and knowledge in a specific area.
  • Corporate income tax deductions and social security allowances.
  • Work with scientists who could become strategic partners in the future.



  • Interested companies or students write to
  • Applications are assessed by the UOC's Scientific Committee.
  • The student or company is put in touch with the Knowledge Transfer and Research Support Office (OSRT), who coordinate the project and the agreement between the two parties.
  • The company and candidate's joint proposal is published on
  • The candidate applies for the doctoral programme they are interested in from the UOC website.
  • The candidate signs in to the UOC's Virtual Campus, where a tutor will provide further information. They then submit the admissions documents required.
  • The University issues a letter of admission to the doctoral programme.
  • Once the candidate has been awarded a place on the industrial doctorate programme, the UOC contacts them to explain how to enrol.
  • The student works on the thesis at the company for three years. During this time, the thesis supervisor provides support and carries out regular progress reviews.
  • Students are awarded their doctorate once they successfully defend their thesis.

Faculties and research groups

UOC industrial doctorates are offered through seven faculties and four doctoral programmes, in collaboration with the University's 45 research groups, listed at


  • Arts and Humanities
  • Information and Communication Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Law and Political Science
  • Economics and Business
  • Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications
  • Psychology and Education Sciences

Success stories

Since 2013, the UOC has supervised 19 theses funded through the Industrial Doctorates Plan in partnership with the following companies:

  • 3&Punt Solucions Informàtiques, SL
  • Accenture, SL
  • Carethy E-commerce, SL
  • Euncet Formación, SL
  • Fira de Barcelona
  • Fundació Privada Promoció d’Escoles
  • Fundació Privada Taleia - ViOD Games Studio
  • Golmar Sistemas de Comunicación, SA
  • ICA, Informática y Comunicaciones Avanzadas, SL
  • Ideograma, SA
  • IED, Istituto Europeo di Design, SL
  • Iniciativa Barcelona Open Data
  • Institut de Microcirurgia Ocular DOS, SL
  • Institut Nou de Sant Gregori
  • Rhenus Logistics, SAU
  • SBS Seidor, SL
  • Ubikwa Systems, SLU


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