Graduation in a company

If you would like to do a graduation project in a company/organization, then you should always first find a staff member in a suitable research group willing to supervise the project from the side of the TU/e. Normally, the contacts with the company have been established by your supervisor. We strongly advise against contacting a company yourself first and then look for an appropriate TU/e supervisor. Together with the TU/e supervisor and the company you draw up a description of your graduation project. 

The company will often require you, and in some cases the university as well, to enter into an agreement concerning your graduation project. In this agreement, among others, aspects such as liabilitynon-disclosure/confidentiality and intellectual property rights are arranged. 

As such, the agreement can be tripartite (between you, company and the TU/e) or bipartite (between you and company). If you are a non-EU international student, or if you are in the Netherlands on a student visa, you must use a tripartite contract. (Please note that your supervisor cannot sign the contract on behalf of TU/e.) 

In the first case (tripartite), the TU/e prefers to use its own model internship and graduation agreement, Parts A and C and Part B, or the Standard internship agreement for non-EU/EEA-students from Nuffic (provide links from Forms page). 

If a company is willing to sign the TU/e model agreement or Nuffic agreement would satisfy, then getting the signature from the TU/e side will be reasonably fast. 

If, however, a company insists on having their own agreement, then the whole process might take considerably longer as the university educational lawyer might need to be consulted first. 

It is important to note the following information as regards clauses concerning: 

Non-disclosure/confidentiality 

Intellectual property rights 

Liability 

Check for the above clauses also in case a company offers you a bipartite agreement. If these clauses or other terms or arrangements in the agreement are not entirely clear for you, please, contact your academic advisor. (S)he might need to consult with the university educational lawyer further. 

Please note that handling of the contract by the TU/e, including arranging the signature of the managing director on the tripartite agreement, must always go via the academic advisor and thus not via the TU/e supervisor, nor directly to the managing director. 

Your academic advisor is also the person you should contact with questions about the process. 

For more information on graduation project agreements check the following page

Hence, if you plan to do your graduation project  in a company, we strongly advise you to start making arrangements early (not weeks, but rather a couple months before the start of your project).

For graduation projects in companies that require a graduation agreement, the normal graduation procedure (see the Graduation checklist), should thus be extended with the following steps (after submitting your study program): 

1. You explain to the company that it is highly preferable that the TU/e model Graduation agreement is used. 

2. Submit your graduation plan together with the proposed graduation agreement in an email to CSA.MCS@tue.nl and Academic.Advisor.MCS@tue.nl 

3. The academic advisor will judge, on the basis of your submitted study program and your study progress, whether the intended starting date of the project is realistic and arranges that the managing director signs the agreement if the agreement meets the requirements listed above 

Confidentiality MSC thesis  

Please visit https://intranet.tue.nl/en/university/services/education-and-student-affairs/education-general/internship-and-graduation-project-agreements/non-disclosureconfidentiality/ for information on the confidentiality period of your MSc thesis. 

Summarizing confidentiality forever is not allowed. There are the following 3 variants of confidentiality: 

  1. Public 
  2. Confidential for two years (company-based projects only) 
  3. Confidential for five years (company-based projects only; motivated request should be attached; requires approval of the Graduate program director) 

It is advisable to discuss this upfront with the company in order to prevent unexpected surprises or extra work because of writing a new MSc thesis or adapting the thesis.