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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, or speak to your faculty international exchange coordinator.


Student Research Mobility Programme

If you want to do research abroad, you could consider the STREAM (Student Research Mobility) programme. This is an exchange programme between Leiden University and six other LERU universities (League of European Research Universities).

Negative travel advice? Check your destination

You may not go on exchange 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.

More information

Read more about internships, research and fieldwork abroad.

Photo: Harriët Meiborg

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 the blackboard course ‘Study & Internship Abroad - Faculty of Science’, 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. Send this form to the Science International Office, Gloria Schildwacht:
outgoing@science.leidenuniv.nl. 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 CV template, which you can easily upload 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 Blackboard 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.

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