, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 463–483 | Cite as

The Training of “Triple Helix Workers”? Doctoral Students in University–Industry–Government Collaborations

  • Taran ThuneEmail author


Changes in knowledge production, increasing interaction between government, universities and industry, and changes in labor markets for doctoral degree holders are forces that have spurred a debate about the organization of doctoral education and the competencies graduates need to master to work as scientists and researchers in a triple helix research context. Recent policy also has supported a redefinition of researcher training with increasing focus on broader skills and relevance for careers outside the university sector. Consequently, it is pertinent to investigate current changes in doctoral education and researcher training. Particularly further knowledge about university–industry collaboration as a context for researcher training is required. With this in mind, this study provides empirical illustrations of how research training carried out in collaborative research contexts is experienced by doctoral students, and offers some insight into antecedent and process factors that are central in shaping PhD students’ research and training experience in collaborative research contexts. Based on the empirical data and a review of existing literature, suggestions for further research are made.


Triple helix University–industry–government relations Collaborative research Doctoral students Researcher training 



The paper reports on a research project funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Science and Education. Their support is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks also go to the two anonymous reviewers who provided insightful comments on the paper. A preliminary version of the paper was presented at the Triple Helix 7 conference in Glasgow in June 2009. Any mistakes or omissions remain the sole responsibility of the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU STEP)OsloNorway

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