Higher Education

, 58:637 | Cite as

Doctoral students on the university–industry interface: a review of the literature

  • Taran ThuneEmail author


Doctoral students are highly important in university—firm relationships, since they are significant producers of knowledge in collaborative research projects, they are an important channel for knowledge transfer between universities and firms, and are vital in network configurations between firms and universities. An increasing number of doctoral students interact with firms, but we know relatively little about the experiences of these students or how collaboration influences their training, research and subsequent careers. With this in mind, this paper presents a literature review of (1) theoretical assumptions concerning the roles doctoral students are expected to fulfill in university–industry relationships, and (2) empirical research of doctoral students’ interaction experience and outcomes of doctoral student-industry interaction. The aim of the paper is to develop hypotheses for further research on doctoral student—industry interaction.


University–industry collaboration Doctoral students Roles Experiences and outcomes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NIFU STEP Norwegian Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and EducationOsloNorway

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