Company Support of CDT Student Projects

Company Support of Student Projects

The CDT in Pervasive Parallelism aims to connect industry partners with our staff and students and involve companies in following, proposing, supporting and potentially assisting with projects of interest. We’d like to engage industry on a broad front and there are multiple forms that this engagement can take. Our approach is flexible, but our underlying principle is to offer companies benefits in proportion to their own input to a project, or to the CDT in general.

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How can companies support PhD projects within the CDT?

1. Financial support of the project

2. In-kind support, including: 

  • development of topics
  • staff time for co-supervision of projects
  • offering the student access to data, equipment or other resources
  • hosting the student for a placement or internship

What can the CDT offer you in return?

1. Appropriately skilled graduates as potential employees

Getting involved in a student project – especially hosting the student for a time – is a great way to build ‘mindshare’ with them and get them thinking about your company, its technologies and markets, before they graduate. At the same time, you can find out how they work and whether they might make a suitable employee post PhD.

2. Intellectual Property (IP)

If you’ve been involved in shaping or supporting a project then its outputs are likely to be of relevance to you. Another part of the quid pro quo of company support for studentships is access to the intellectual property (IP) arising from (and going into) the project. We are flexible in our approach to this, and our underlying principle is always to make the IP offer proportional to the support offer.

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Details and Examples

For some indicative structure, we have defined broad levels of company support for projects and respective IP offers as Bronze, Silver and Gold. These are consistent with the range of company-sponsored studentships the School of Informatics has hosted over the last few years and we hope they will provide a useful common reference to frame initial discussions.

On the company side, the key elements are:

  • level of cost coverage
  • an ‘enabling contribution’; e.g. data, equipment or some other critical resource which is central to the project

On the University side, the variables are:

  • the types of license offered
  • the length of the option period for negotiating an exclusive commercial license

Every company partnering with us on a project will be offered an internal research license to the outputs, plus the opportunity to negotiate a commercial license. For Gold level support, we’ll offer an automatic royalty-free, non-exclusive commercial use license to the outputs, and the longest option period for negotiating exclusivity. For Silver and Bronze levels, we’ll offer the option to negotiate a commercial license (exclusive or otherwise), but the option periods will be shorter.

The University of Edinburgh will, where possible, make available any relevant background IP (i.e. pre-existing University IP used on a project) required to commercially exploit a project’s foreground or arising IP.

The graphic to the right outlines the three levels of contribution and respective IP offers, as examples of our general approach, but we aim to be as flexible as possible, adapting to the size and resources of our individual partner companies as needed.

If you would like to discuss supporting a studentship or otherwise engaging with the CDT PPar, please contact the CDT staff and Business Development Executive at: