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ADMISSION CRITERIA

  • Who can apply to the InnoEnergy PhD School?

    We welcome applications from PhD candidates who are registered at a European university or other degree-awarding institution, and are enrolled in a PhD position, especially those who wish to add entrepreneurial, innovation and business skills to their own area of research. To have enough time to complete the InnoEnergy PhD School’s programme of training and international placements, you must have at least two years left before undertaking your PhD defence.

  • What do you look for in a candidate?

    When it comes to attributes and thesis topic, we are looking for PhD candidates with a genuine interest in energy innovation and turning their research into innovation, and who are actively looking to make an impact with their research. Candidates should also be working on a thesis with strong innovation and entrepreneurship potential, as well as industrial relevance in one of our thematic fields.

    To be eligible for the InnoEnergy PhD School, you should already be enrolled on a doctoral programme at a degree-awarding European Higher Education Institute at the time of your application, you should have at least two years remaining before your PhD defence, and you should have secured financing for the entire duration of your research.

  • Can I apply to if I do not have a PhD position and project yet?

    You need to enrol as a PhD candidate at a higher educational institute with degree-awarding rights before you can apply. You must also have secured financing for the full period of your thesis. As soon as these are in place, you are free to apply.

  • Can candidates from any university apply?

    We accept candidates from any degree-awarding institute of higher education in the EU, EEA and Switzerland – however it must be or apply to become an InnoEnergy project partner to be eligible. After acceptance, a formal agreement is signed between InnoEnergy and the institute. More details about our partnership network are available here.

  • I’m thinking of doing a PhD next year. Can I apply now?

    Once you are enrolled on a PhD programme at a European university, we will be happy to receive your application. However, we do not accept applications from future doctoral candidates who have not yet secured a position or funding for their entire programme of research.

  • I am enrolled in a non-European university at present. Can I apply to the InnoEnergy PhD School?

    No. At present the InnoEnergy School can only accept applications from PhD candidates enrolled on a PhD at a degree-awarding institute of higher education within the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.

  • I am not an EU national. Can I apply to the InnoEnergy PhD School?

    Yes, we can accept applications from PhD candidates from around the world. However you must be enrolled on a PhD programme at a degree-awarding institute of higher education within the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland that is or is prepared to become an InnoEnergy project partner.

  • What research topics are of interest to the InnoEnergy PhD School?

    We welcome applications from PhD candidates whose research addresses topics from any one of InnoEnergy’s thematic fields.

    This includes:

    • Clean coal technologies
    • Electricity storage
    • Energy efficiency
    • Energy from chemical fuels
    • Nuclear instrumentation
    • Renewable energies
    • Smart and efficient buildings and cities
    • Smart electric grid
  • I don’t have a technical background. Can I apply?

    Yes, absolutely. Creating a sustainable energy future requires practitioners from a variety of disciplines to work together – which is why mixing business and technical aspects of innovation is one of our core goals.

    If you come from a non-technical field such as energy management, economics, business and innovation, or can convince us of the value of your area of research, we would be happy to receive your application.

  • Do I need permission from my supervisor and/or my university?

    Yes. As part if the application process we need a letter from your supervisor confirming that they are happy for you to participate in the InnoEnergy PhD School. Given the nature of the training courses and the obligatory international placements it would be impossible for you to participate without their encouragement. Your university must also be or become an InnoEnergy project partner.

    However, your supervisor is not losing a researcher, but gaining the opportunity to extend the influence of the lab across Europe, increase the lab’s attractiveness to grant-giving and funding bodies, to grow its contribution to international research activities, and to develop its reputation for both innovation and collaborative research. Your participation in the InnoEnergy PhD School can also increase the lab’s innovation capacity, and its ability to turn research results into patented, revenue-generating products and services.

    This can be a considerable barrier so it must be clear how to do this and for example if there is some kind of standard agreement that can be quickly signed. And what about if the supervisor is from company, do they also have to sign it?

  • My supervisor isn’t convinced. What information can I give him or her?

    Your supervisor is not losing a researcher, but gaining the opportunity to extend the influence of your lab across Europe. By participating in the InnoEnergy PhD School and increasing the impact of your research, your lab is likely to be more attractive to grant-giving and funding bodies. Your participation in the InnoEnergy PhD School is likely to grow the lab’s contribution to international research activities, and to develop its reputation for both innovation and collaborative research. Your participation in the InnoEnergy PhD School can also increase the lab’s innovation capacity, and its ability to turn research results into patented, revenue-generating products and services.

    If you need more information please get in touch at phdschool@innoenergy.com.

  • Do I need to have a business or industrial organisation involved in my PhD thesis?

    Yes. Our goal is to bring the worlds of business and research closer together to improve the innovative output of both. You should have an industry or business partner involved in some way. This can include, but is not limited to: project definition, supervision, offering an internship, or financial support.

  • How long does participation in the PhD School last?

    Once we have accepted your application, you are expected to participate in the InnoEnergy PhD School and its activities until you complete your PhD thesis.

    Your enrolment in the InnoEnergy PhD School begins with a formal agreement between InnoEnergy and your employer, and lasts for as long as you are paid for research project, up to a maximum of four years. Candidates undertake the training in addition to their research. It is intended to complement and add depth to your work, and should not replace or detract from your research, or add to the time needed to complete your thesis. They may, however, replace any courses that you would otherwise undertake at your university.

    If you have any questions about the formal agreement please get in touch at phdschool@innoenergy.com.

TRAINING

  • Why do you offer training?

    The InnoEnergy PhD School provides access to a unique series of training courses and educational opportunities that focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and business for doctoral candidates and future innovators. It provides additional depth, context and insight to your research, equips you with in-demand skills and attributes that have value in the employment market, and offers significant opportunities for networking with peers and practitioners across Europe. The training and international placements are designed as an addition to your own research: they should complement your work rather than replace or detract from it.

  • What type of training do you provide?

    We offer access to training courses run and hosted by our academic partners across Europe. The training is designed to complement your own research, and should not replace or detract from it.

    Mandatory courses currently include: Energy Economics, the Innovation Bootcamp or the Entrepreneurship Summer School. Optional courses include an Introductory and Advanced Teamwork and Leadership, and IP Strategy. We constantly monitor the courses we offer to ensure they remain relevant to PhD candidates in the field of sustainable energy. We regularly add new courses to our list, and remove others that are no longer delivering the highest level of value to our candidates. The current curriculum can be found here.

  • When can I do the training?

    Training courses are repeated every year or every two years, giving you plenty of opportunities to complete the mandatory courses and at least one optional course. The training is intended to complement your own research, and should not replace or detract from it. All courses must be completed before you finish your thesis, and you must complete them within a maximum of four years.

  • Do I have to pay to participate in training courses?

    No. Participation fees for the training courses are funded by InnoEnergy.

  • Does the training replace part of my research?

    Absolutely not. The training is carefully designed and planned to add depth and context to your research, to complement your work and that of your lab with innovation management skills and business insights, and to help you build your own network and that of your university. It should not detract or undermine your won research in any way.

  • Does the InnoEnergy PhD School award ECTS credits?

    InnoEnergy is not a university and so we cannot award ECTS credits.

    However, the operators of our courses are all accredited institutions of higher education, and may award ECTS credits for completing the course. If ECTS credits are not awarded, the operator will give you a certificate of participation, stating the number of teaching hours, which enables your host university to recognise the training accordingly.

  • What accreditation do I get on graduation?

    After fulfilling the requirements of the InnoEnergy PhD School, you are awarded a certificate from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) demonstrating your innovation and entrepreneurship accomplishments.

INTERNATIONAL PLACEMENTS

  • What do you offer?

    The InnoEnergy PhD School provides access to a unique series of complementary training courses and educational opportunities that focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and business for doctoral candidates and future innovators. It provides additional depth, context and insight to your research, equips you with in-demand skills and attributes that have value in the employment market, and offers significant opportunities for networking with peers and practitioners across Europe. The training and international placements are designed to complement your own research, and should not replace or detract from it.

  • What are international placements?

    As a participant in the PhD School, you are expected to enhance your research by working for at least four months on an international placement in an organisation located in another country from your host university.

    You can choose to undertake several placements, as long as your total time in foreign organisations is between four and 12 months. You may split one placement into several periods, but at least one of these periods must last a minimum of three months.

    Your may spend your international placement in either a research or business organisation. However, the location and the research project must be approved by your supervisor and by the local InnoEnergy PhD School officer.

    Within a month of completing your placement, you must write a 5-10 page report explaining:

    • Your choice of the host organisation
    • The assignments you undertook during your stay
    • The outcome for you and your thesis
    • The outcome for your employer
    • The outcome for the organisation hosting your placement
  • How long does an international placement last?

    You can choose to undertake several placements, as long as your total time in foreign organisations is between four and 12 months. You may split one placement into several periods, but at least one of these periods must last a minimum of three months.

  • Does InnoEnergy fund the entire placement?

    Funding from InnoEnergy is available for one or more international placements for a maximum of 12 months in total. However, that funding is made indirectly through your host university. The level of funding you receive will therefore be determined by your host university in accordance with its own policies.

  • Do all candidates have to undertake an international placement?

    Yes, this is one of the key requirements of the InnoEnergy PhD School. We believe international placements provide you with essential networking opportunities, as well as offering you the cross-cultural perspectives necessary in a global industry like the energy sector. They are designed to complement and add depth to your research, and should not replace or detract from it.

  • Do international placements replace my research?

    Absolutely not. International placements are designed to:

    • Add depth and international perspectives to your work
    • Complement your research and that of your lab
    • Aid your understanding of complex organisations
    • Help you build your own cross-cultural network

    They should not detract or undermine your research in any way.

  • Can InnoEnergy find an international placement for me?

    Unfortunately, we cannot find placements for candidates in the PhD School. However, many of our business partners, from large enterprises to specialist SMEs to innovative start-ups do host PhD candidates, and we advertise these positions through our CommUnity platform.

  • Can I undertake an international placement at an organisation outside Europe?

    In exceptional circumstances, it is possible to carry out an international placement in an organisation outside Europe. If you find a placement in the US, for example, that offers benefits you cannot find in Europe, then you would need to provide a written case demonstrating the value of your proposed placement in order for it to be eligible for funding. However, European placements preferred and when looking for a placement, European organisations should be your priority.

  • Do I have to pay to participate in an international placement?

    InnoEnergy funds travel, accommodation and living costs for your international placements indirectly, through your host university. The level of funding you receive will therefore be determined by your host university in accordance with its own policies. Funding is available for one or more international placements that last in total for 12 months.

  • Does InnoEnergy PhD School cover travel and related expenses?

    Yes, InnoEnergy pays up to €9,000 in total for each candidate to cover their entire placement. This means that candidates who undertake a six-month international placement, for example, are eligible for €1,500 per month, while candidates who opt for a 12-month placement are eligible for funding of €750 a month.

    However, the funding is made available to the host university, which is ultimately responsible for funding candidates’ travel, accommodation and living costs while participating in training courses and international placements.

FUNDING

  • Can you fund my PhD / post-doctoral work?

    No. The InnoEnergy PhD School mainly provides access to complementary educational and networking opportunities and international placements across Europe, but it does not fund individual PhD research.

    However, we do provide funding to businesses who host PhD candidates as part of our Innovation Doctorate. More details of the Innovative Doctorate are here.

  • Do you offer scholarships?

    No, InnoEnergy does not fund PhD positions directly. Instead, we fund additional activities that are focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and business skills that run in parallel to normal PhD studies.

    However, a number of our partner universities and research organisations do offer scholarships, and we encourage you to contact them directly for available positions and funding.

  • What do you fund?

    InnoEnergy PhD School funds the training courses so that they remain free for PhD candidates to attend. We also indirectly fund expenses linked to the training modules and international placements through your university. This can cover all or part of your travel, accommodation, and living costs, depending on the policy of your university.

    We cannot fund your international placement if you are already in receipt of funding from another European programme.

  • Do I have to pay to participate in training courses?

    No. Participation fees for the training courses are funded by InnoEnergy.

  • Do I have to pay to participate in an international placement?

    InnoEnergy funds travel, accommodation and living costs for your international placements indirectly, through your host university. The level of funding you receive will therefore be determined by your host university in accordance with its own policies.

  • Does InnoEnergy PhD School cover travel and related expenses?

    Yes, but the funding is made available to your host university, who will ultimately be responsible for funding your travel, accommodation and living costs while participating in training courses and international placements

MAKING AN APPLICATION

  • How do I apply to the PhD School?

    We only accept applications through our online application form. Guidance for applicants as well as the application form can be found here. You will also need to upload a number of documents with your application.

    Please make sure you read through the entire application process before starting your application.

  • When is the application deadline?

    The InnoEnergy PhD School is open for applications at all times, so there is no deadline. However, the evaluation committee that decides which applicants to accept meets three times a year, usually in March, June and November. The final selection is through a face-to-face interview as part of a day-long assessment centre.

  • Will you confirm receipt of my application?

    Yes. Once you have completed the online application, you will receive an automatic confirmation by e-mail.

    If you do not receive the confirmation e-mail, we have not received your application. If this is the case please contact us at phdschool@innoenergy.com.

  • What documents will I need to send in with my application?

    You will need to prepare the following documents with your application form:

    • Your CV or résumé
    • Photo ID
    • A copy of your passport or ID card
    • A cover letter explaining your reasons for applying
    • Letter of support from your thesis supervisor
    • Letter of interest from your industrial partner(s)
    • Transcripts and certificates of your Master’s degree
  • I made a mistake in my application. Can I change it?

    Once you have submitted your application form, you cannot make any more changes. However, you can send an email to phdschool@innoenergy.com with details of your change request and we will try our best to accommodate you.

  • How long does the admission process last? When can I expect a reply?

    You can apply at any time, but the evaluation committee that decides which applicants to accept meets three times a year, usually in March, June and November. The final selection is via a series of online interviews plus a face-to-face assessment interview, so in order to be fair to all applicants the whole process can take some time. We will keep you informed of progress at every stage.

  • Can you let me know what my chances are of acceptance?

    I’m afraid we can’t enter into individual assessments. The best way to find out your chances of success is to apply .

  • Can you tell me what the evaluation committee thinks of my application?

    Unfortunately, we cannot share candidate rankings or the results of the evaluation committee’s assessments during the application process. As soon as they have made their decisions regarding places we will let you know.

  • Do you contact successful and unsuccessful candidates?

    Yes. All applicants to the InnoEnergy PhD School are notified about the outcome of their application, whether they are successful or not.

  • How do you select successful candidates for the InnoEnergy PhD School?

    Your application will be assessed for eligibility by the evaluation committee. Eligible candidates are then evaluated and ranked.

    The evaluation committee looks for candidates who:

    • Can demonstrate an interest in innovation in the energy field
    • Wish to turn research into viable business opportunities
    • Are working on a thesis with strong potential for innovation and entrepreneurship
    • Have a strong industry connection for their thesis
    • Are actively looking to make an impact with their research
    • Are currently enrolled at a degree-awarding European Higher Education Institute
    • Have at least two years remaining before their PhD defence
    • Have secured financing for the entire duration of their research
    • Are conducting research with a strong industry focus in one of our thematic fields

    Candidates are then ranked according to the following criteria:

    1. Motivation: candidates who can demonstrate an exceptional interest in innovation, entrepreneurship and business creation.
    2. Innovation: candidates who have an innovative research project that is highly likely to lead to a new business being created, a new product being developed, or a new offer of service being made available.
    3. Know-how: candidates who have an excellent background in engineering, science, business or management and strong entrepreneurial ambitions.

    The top-ranked candidates are then called for interviews and to take part in a day-long assessment centre.

  • I have been accepted! What happens next?

    Congratulations! To confirm your acceptance, you need to define a personal training plan with your local PhD School officer. This aims to ensure the best follow-up for your chosen activities and to allocate the right budget for your participation in the InnoEnergy PhD School.

    Your enrolment begins as soon as your receive an official acceptance letter from the PhD School director, and lasts for as long as you are paid for your research project.

  • What do I need to do once I have been accepted to the PhD School?

    Your enrolment begins as soon as your receive an official acceptance letter from the PhD School director, and lasts for as long as you are paid for your research project.

    Once enrolled in the PhD School, we expect you to:

    • Create a personal training plan
    • Complete all the mandatory training courses
    • Complete at least one optional training course
    • Undertake international placement of at least four months and a maximum of 12 month
    • Write an entrepreneurship, innovation and business thesis. This is a proposal for a research and development project that will develop a product or service to be made available on a commercial basis, in accordance with the InnoEnergy Innovation Projects

    We also ask you to keep us information of your success stories, for example awards, new collaborations or new business you start as a result of your work. We also ask that you keep us informed of any difficulties that may affect your involvement in InnoEnergy PhD School.

  • What happens to the data I provide during my online application?

    We store your data in a database for the purpose of evaluating and assessing your application material. When the application process is complete, we delete all the following data from all applicants who have not been accepted onto a programme: name, date of birth, email, phone and Skype number, passport ID, and address, plus ALL documents sent to us as pdf.

    We keep the following data for statistical purposes only: application number, citizenship, study preferences, programme eligibility and evaluation, educational background, English level, personal statements regarding reasons for applying. All retained data is anonymised. Personal data from accepted students is deleted after graduation.

    For more information please see our privacy policy.

ABOUT US

  • What is InnoEnergy?

    InnoEnergy is the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe.

    InnoEnergy was established as a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in 2010, with the goal of creating a more sustainable energy sector for Europe and beyond. Like all KICs, InnoEnergy brings together the three elements of what we call the Knowledge Triangle – higher education, research and industry – to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing Europe today.

    InnoEnergy supports and invests in innovation at every stage from classroom to end-customer. We have a network of more than 250 industrial, research and academic partners that enables us to build connections across Europe, and bring together inventors and industry, graduates and employers, researchers and entrepreneurs, and businesses and markets. The Master’s School is a key part of our strategy and helps us build an informed, engaged and ambitious workforce to achieve a sustainable European energy industry.

    You can find out more about the EIT and the KICs here.

  • How is InnoEnergy funded?

    InnoEnergy is partly funded by the EU through the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and from the contributions of our 26 shareholders. As a commercial company, it is also financed by returns from the innovative products it sells, and the products and companies it invests in.

  • What is the EIT?

    The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is a body of the European Union, which was established in March 2008. Its mission is to increase European sustainable growth and competitiveness by developing a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to reinforce the EU’s capacity for innovation. You can find out more about the EIT here.

  • Do you keep the data I provide during my online application?

    We store your data in a database for the purpose of evaluating and assessing your application material. When the application process is complete, we delete all the following data from all applicants who have not been accepted onto a programme: name, date of birth, email, phone and Skype number, passport ID, and address, plus ALL documents sent to us as pdf.

    We keep the following data for statistical purposes only: application number, citizenship, study preferences, programme eligibility and evaluation, educational background, English level, personal statements regarding reasons for applying. All retained data is anonymised.

    Personal data from accepted students is deleted after graduation.

    For more information please see our privacy policy.