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Internships, research and fieldwork

Each faculty and some study programmes have their own guidelines and procedures for internships, research and fieldwork abroad. Take a look under your faculty and programme tab for more information.

Corona measures

The corona measures may affect your travel plans. Read more on the Studying in times of corona website.

What is STREAM?

Via the Student Research Mobility Programme (STREAM) you can take part in research projects at other European universities who are, like Leiden, members of LERU (League of European Research Universities).

Research projects

The following universities offer research projects: 

It is anticipated that more LERU universities will offer research projects in the future, for example Lund University, Sweden. 

Who can apply?

You can apply for a research project via STREAM if you meet the following conditions: 

  • You are a third-year bachelor or a master student at Leiden University
  • Your average grade is at least 7 out of 10, or 3.2 out of 4 (GPA)
  • Your English level is at least B2
  • You meet any additional criteria for the research project in question


  1. Carefully read the information about the research project and check if there are additional criteria and whether it fits into your study schedule.
  2. Prepare the required documents:
    • Motivation letter (max 500 words, in English)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Recent list of grades
    • Two reference letters 
  3. Complete the application form.
  4. Send the completed application form and required documents to the international exchange coordinator at your faculty.
  5.  You will receive a decision on your application within approximately six weeks.

Financial support

If you are admitted to a STREAM project, you may be able to apply for an Erasmus+ for Traineeships grant in certain circumstances.


Contact Usha Mohunlol, Leiden University's STREAM coordinator. 

Roberta Sellaro

Assistant Professor, Leiden University

Roberta Sellaro

“I had the opportunity to supervise an amazing student, extremely motivated, very skilled, professional, and trustworthy. She designed an entire study on her own and managed to program a complex virtual reality task”.

Linda Ravazzano

University of Milan

Linda Ravazzano

Research at Leiden University: “Taking part to the STREAM programme had been a great opportunity to work in a true research project inside an international research group. This experience not only made me grow up under an academic point of view, but also gave me the opportunity to discover a new country and to meet people from all over the world”.

Marnix van de Sande

Utrecht University

Marnix van de Sande

Research at University of Zurich: “The STREAM programme offered me the opportunity to experience research first-hand, which really helped me in discovering my own passions and qualities. I am really grateful that I got the chance to take part in an ongoing research project as a fresh BSc graduate. The experiences in the lab have given me a solid impression of what work in a biomedical research lab is like, and this helped me a lot in the choice for a master's degree. I have a much more realistic view of what life as a PhD student is like, and I now know better what to expect if I decide to continue in research”.

Faculty and programme information

Take a look under your faculty or programme tab for further information on internship, research of fieldwork opportunities and procedures for students on your study programme. Alternatively, make an appointment with your faculty's international exchange coordinator

Check your destination

You may not do an internship, research or fieldwork in a country for which negative travel advice has been issued. Check here if your destination is safe. This webpage is in Dutch, but by entering the country name (Dutch spelling) you can view the safety status on a map. If your destination is red or orange, you may not go there.

Photo: Harriët Meiborg

More information

Read more about internships, research and fieldwork abroad.

Application for a research project or internship abroad or in Leiden

How to find a research project or internship abroad?

If you want to go abroad to follow a research project, you are not limited to the list of exchange partner universities. You can take your research project at an university, but also at another organization or company.

Application for a research project or internship

Step 1

Find a research project or internship abroad.

There are no strict application deadlines for research projects or internships. However, there are application deadlines for scholarships and it will definitely take time to arrange all the practical and administrative matters. Therefore we advise to start for a research project within Europe at least 6 months and outside Europe at least 9 months before departure.

Your academic staff can recommend which organisations will fit with your specialisation or interest. Besides, the Science International office, your study advisor and the Science Career Services can give support. You can also check different websites for worldwide vacancies, for example Graduateland and Going Global. On our Blackboard course you can read reports of Science students who have followed an internship or research project abroad before.

Step 2

Complete the Study Abroad orientation form. If you need further guidance, you can request an appointment to discuss your plans.

Step 3

Apply for a research project or internship by sending your host organization:

• Your motivation letter
• Your CV 
• A recommendation letter of a professor in Leiden who knows you well 
• Your latest transcript of records with a conversion table of your grades (in English). The Science International Office can make this transcript for you.

The Science Career Services offers a free CV and cover letter check during their walk-in hours. You might also want to use the Europass platform, for example to easily create a CV and upload it on your LinkedIn profile.

Step 4

Are you welcome to join your host organisation? Ask the host organisation for an official letter of invitation, including the starting and ending date of your research project, a short project proposal (summary), the name & address of your supervisor and a signature. Please note: All research projects need to be supervised by a member of the academic staff + a representative of the host organisation providing the internship.

Step 5

Send the letter of invitation and project proposal to a Leiden staff member and ask if he/she is willing to act as home supervisor.

Ask permission of the Board of Examiners, via your study advisor. To use the credits abroad for your curriculum here, you will need to ask permission of the Board of Examiners after receiving your invitation. You can send them the official letter of invitation together with your motivation. Mentioned the amount of ECTS you expect to earn. 

Note: Biology students need to complete and send the 'Research Project Agreement’ which you can find on the Biology Brightspace course.

Step 6

Please remember to send a copy of the official invitation letter, project information + the permission of the Board of Examiners to the Science International Office. Visit the Science International Office for information on scholarships and further advice.

An internship abroad after graduation

You can also apply for an Erasmus+ grant for an internship within Europe after your graduation. Please note that if you want to apply for this grant, you need to find the internship and you need to be selected before your graduation. For more information, you can contact the Science International Office.

Find all information on Blackboard

You can find all the information about studying abroad in the Blackboard course ‘Study & Internship Abroad - Faculty of Science’ (course ID 4ABROAD-0000FWN).

Go to the Blackboard course

Nice to hear you want to apply for an Erasmus+ research project at the Faculty of Science of Leiden University! 

Please follow these steps carefully: 

Step 1) Contact the research group in which you are interested 

If you are interested in following a research project, please review the Faculty of Science website to check our research group. If you find a group that matches your field of research, we ask you to secure a spot in the research group yourself.  Please note: we do not guarantee research projects and research groups might be full, so make sure to apply a.s.a.p.. Most research groups prefer to invite students for at least 5 months. You can directly contact the supervisor of the research group and send: 
•    Your motivation letter, including start/ending dates
•    Your latest transcript of records (in English)
•    Your CV
•    If available, a recommendation letter of your home university
•    Proof of your Level of English

Step 2) Online application

If you are invited by one of our research groups, please let us know via incoming@science.leidenuniv.nl and submit an online pre-application for independent study abroad or internships. After verifying your pre-application, you will be invited to submit an online application. 

Make sure to upload proof that you are registered and actively studying, and proof of language proficiency. This is either an official language test or a language statement from your home university. If you cannot upload all the required application documents directly, you can choose the option ‘upload later’ and upload the documents later.

Please note: the online application is needed to arrange a legal student status for you at our university. You are not allowed to work in the labs, without a legal student status. Only after you are admitted we can fill and sign your Erasmus+ Learning Agreement or similar documents. You admission is conditional, the condition can only be lifted if Leiden University reopens for exchange students in Fall 2021. Our current semester (Spring 2021) for exchange students is cancelled due to the Covid restrictions.  

Step 3) Student visa 

Non-EU/EEA students will need a visa to follow a research project here in the Netherlands. After submitting your online application, Leiden University will support you with this process. For a student visa, you will need to pay a student visa fee and you will need to proof that you have sufficient funds for living. For more information, please read our visa/residence permit website. If you have any questions about visa, please contact exchange@sea.leidenuniv.nl or our visa team via visa@sea.leidenuniv.nl

Step 4) Housing

Finding housing in Leiden can be a real challenge, so make sure to start early! For the best chance of securing housing through the university, students should ensure they pay their (non-refundable) housing fee of €350 as early as possible after application and before the housing application deadline of 1 June for the Fall semester and 15 November for the Spring semester. Other costs, such as the refundable €500 housing deposit, are due before arrival. During the summer, research trainees can contact the Leiden Housing Office to ask if they have ‘short-stay housing’ available. You can find more information on the Leiden University’s housing website

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