Research internship (NWI-IMC047, 15 EC)
In the research internship ( NWI-IMC047)
you carry out a research or R&D-type project in which you apply
the knowledge and skills acquired in your Master.
A goal of the research internship is to gain experience in your
future work field, in academia or in industry. It also gives
giving you the opportunity to find out about a prospective work
environment, and some experience in carrying out a larger
individual project as preparation for the Master thesis.
Depending on your interests and your Master specialisation,
you can choose to do the research internship internally
in one of the research groups of ICIS or externally at some
company or organisation in industry or the public sector.
can also do your research internship in an academic setting
outside ICIS, for instance in a research group in another faculty
of Radboud University, or at another university altogether.
You can also do your research abroad, but be aware that requires
some planning ahead.
Irrespective of the type of project,
you will always need a
`internal' supervisor who is an ICIS staff member (i.e. an
assistant, associate, or full professor, or a lecturer). Even if
you plan to do your research internship externally, start
asking around to find an internal supervisor
MONTHS before you plan to start!
There is a faculty-wide
administrative procedure for the internships: you have to register in Osiris when you start, and at the end you have to submit your final report, as a single PDF file, to the thesis submission website.
This procedure is not only used for the research internship
but also for the master thesis
(NWI-IMC029). Confusingly, both are called `internships' in the
terminology of our faculty.
Can I do my research internship externally, with a company, a
research institute or group outside ICIS or
Yes, this is possible, but you will always need to get an internal
supervisor who will take responsibility for ensuring that
your project contributes to the learning outcomes of the Master's
degree program and is of the right level for a Master student.
How can I find an external organisation to do my
You can look for companies or organisations on your own, but
you can also contact the coordinator of your Master track or
other ICIS staff members for suggestions.
Who can supervise a research internship?
Any ICIS staff member (assistant, associate, or full professor)
can act as supervisor.
For an internal project, the supervisor may delegate the daily
supervision to another member of the research group (for
example a PhD student or postdoc).
What is the difference with the Master
Unlike for the Master thesis, the internship need not be a
completely independent and stand-alone research project.
The aim of the internship is to get some practical experience
in carrying out (practical or academic) research, so this can
be as part of a team and in collaboration with others.
Depending on the specialisation and the specific topic this can
take difference forms, e.g. doing a case study, trying out
tools & techniques, developing tools or prototypes, or a
combination of this.
What is the difference between the research internship report produced
as part of the internship and a Master thesis?
For the internship report there are basically two options:
The report can be a mini-master thesis, and have a similar
set-up to a bachelor or master thesis. It will then describe and
motivate the research, the approach taken, the results, the
conlusions that we can draw from all this, and reflect on the
Alternatively, it may be be better to spit the report into two
parts: A) one part documenting the outcome/results of the work
and B) a separate document that reflects on experience,
describing what what you did and learnt. (See the template
documents below for guidance on what should be in this.)
Especially if you do your research internship at an external
organisation the second approach may be better. Part A can then
be a report that meets the internal requirements of
the host organisation (it could even in Dutch, if that
organisation does not use English as the standard working-day
language, though that will be the exception rather than the
rule). For part B see the template documents below for
guidance on what should be in it.
You can then still choose to include part A as an appendix to part B.
But if part A is some internal document of the host
organisation there may be practical reasons not to do this.
(Internships report are not published openly on the web, but
they may be shared with future students on an ad-hoc basis.)
The second approach may also be better if the research
internship involves group work or close collaboration with
others, as in that case you cannot really present the outcome
as your individual achievement. For example, in an research
internship you might collaborate with a PhD student to write
some technical report or scientific article together, which
could then act as part A. It may also be better in a more
practical projects where the main result is say some software
prototype that is best described and documented
separately from your reflection on the research internship
Can I combine my research internship and master thesis?
If your research internship project turned out to
be really interesting and worked out well, then you could consider
continuing on it as a Master thesis project, if your supervisor approves.
However, note that
this is the exception rather than the rule, and don't count
on it that this will be the case. And some supervisors will
not agree to this.
Doing different things - tackling different topics, doing
different kinds of research, and working with different
people and organisations - for your research internship and
your master thesis will give you a broader experience.
Also, things may not work out as expected: you may be fed up
with the topic after your research internship, or with the
people involved, or they with you. Moreover, there may not be
interesting avenues left to explore that would be substantial
enough for a 30 EC Master thesis.
For the student
BEFORE YOU START
Think about want to do your research internship and
talk with possible supervisors. Depending on other courses
you are still taking, you may want to do the internship
half-time during an entire semester, or full time during one
If you need help coming up with a topic or supervisor or, you
can directly contact any ICIS staff member. If you do not
know who to turn to, contact the coordinator of your Master
Martha Larson for Data Science
Sven-Bodo Scholz for Software Science
Ileana Buhan for Cyber Security
Jurriaan Rot for MFoCS.
Your supervisor must be an (assistant or associate) professor
or lecturer. For internal projects at ICIS, your daily
supervisor can also be a post-doc or a PhD student.
In discussion with your university supervisor and, if you do
your internship outside the university, your supervisor(s)
there, try to come to a short (2 page max) project plan for your
This plan should describe
who is acting as supervisor(s);
a brief description of the context of the research you will
be doing, and some background info on this
(this will typically include a review of some key
a description of the research activities you will be
the start and end date of the internship. The research internship is 15 EC (which equals 420 hours, i.e. around 11 weeks) so students typically do it full-time in one quarter, or half-time over a semester.
It may be unrealistic to include a very detailed planning for the
research activities and more sensible to just list the different
steps in the order that you will do them, or having several options
here, for possible courses of action depending on progress.
ENROLL FOR THE COURSE IN OSIRIS.
As described on the
faculty webpage for internships and thesis projects, you will then receive an email with a link to a form to fill out, possibly together with your university supervisor (you will need to provide the personnel u-number of your university supervisor). When you submit the form you also upload the project plan. You have one month to complete this form after you register in Osiris.
Also send the project plan to the coordinator of the master
specialisation you are doing, i.e.
Martha Larson for Data Science
Sven-Bodo Scholz for Software Science
Ileana Buhan for Cyber Security
Jurriaan Rot for MFoCS
To get a desk in one of the student rooms,
contact Simone Meeuwsen. You can contact
her via S.Meeuwsen@cs.ru.nl or in her room M1.00.06.
HALFWAY DURING THE INTERNSHIP
schedule a meeting with your university supervisor to
discuss how things are going and what the plans for the
remainder of the internship are -- and if these need to
(If you do your internship internally in the university, you
will typically meet up with your supervisor more often.)
Your university supervisor may require that you write up
a mid-term review for this: a short document,
in the order of 2 or 3 pages, where you
reflect of the research done so far and look ahead
on what you'd like to learn or try.
Topics to address:
Which activities you have carried out, incl.
how you have documented or recorded your work?
Which (preliminary) results and contributions were achieved?
How did you document these so far?
Reflection & Evaluation
What went well/not so well? What was harder/easier than expected?
What bottlenecks/possibilities/new problems/new ideas came up in the
course of doing the research?
What is the plan for the rest of the internship? This can
include skills you want to work at or try out, topics you
still want to learn about, and plans for documenting the outcome.
AT THE END OF THE INTERNSHIP
Write up a final report. This can take two forms:
The report can be a relatively short document of a
couple of pages describing the process of what you've
done, the outcome, and some reflection on what you have done
and learnt. See below for more info on
issues to address there.
Alternatively - and your supervisor may insist on
this! - your report can be more in the style of a
self-contained document which documents the
whole process and the outcome of the research in
detail, in the style you will be required
to use for your master thesis later.
In the latter case, you can choose to address the issues listed
below either in a final 'Evaluation' section of this full report
or write that up as a separate short document.
(But note that when uploading your report to the thesissubmission.science.ru.nl website, you can only upload one PDF document, so then you'll have to merge these two documents into one PDF before submitting them.)
Either way, issues to address in your final report:
State the problem that you are addressing during the
internship and why it is important. Include a discussion
of the ethical aspects of your project, as relevant.
Then, describe the activities you have carried our, incl.
how you have documented or recorded your work.
Describe which activities you have carried our, incl.
how you have documented or recorded your work. Include a
discussion of the ethical aspects of your project, as
relevant. Then, describe the activities you have carried
our, incl. how you have documented or recorded your work
What were the results and contributions?
How did you document these?
Only give a very brief description of the outcome of the
research, possibly with pointers to places where
more can be found about this. E.g. if you have produced
or contributed to software, data sets, articles,
technical reports, or other forms of documentation, then
give pointers to these, but you don't have include all this in this
Reflection & Evaluation
Don't just evaluate and reflect on your results, but also
on what you've done to get there.
What went well/not so well/(not) according to plan? What
was harder/easier than expected? (Either due to the
subject matter, or your skills and experience.) Are there
particular activities that you found hard or easy, or
that you are not (or not yet) good at? If you were to start
over on the internship, what would you do differently?
Look ahead to your Master thesis, and to your future
career: also given your experiences in the research
internship, what kind of research would you (not) like to
do for your Master thesis? Would you want to do your
Master thesis internally at the university or at an
external organisation? What are topics, skills, or
activities that you want to work at during your Master
thesis or your future career? Are there topics or
activities that you want to avoid in the future? Or that
you would to specialise in your future career?
WRAPPING THINGS UP AT THE END OF YOUR
Make sure that your supervisor at the university approves
of your report. (If you do your internship at a company
or other external organisation, of course also make
sure any supervisors there are ok with the content.)
Once your university supervisor has approved the your final report,
Upload the report to http://thesissubmission.science.ru.nl.
Give a presentation about your project.
You can reserve a room for this by
sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In that mail, please
indicate (a) the minimal number of persons you expect, (b)
the date, (c) the start and end time, (d) the kind of
activity, in this case, an internship presentation.
Your supervisor will automatically receive a) two online
evaluation forms, one of which (s)he can forward to the
second evaluator, and b) the
form (aka testimonium) to fill in to give you the credits for
the course and ii) evaluation forms that (s)he can forward
to a second evaluator. Once the testimonium is filled in and signed,
either you or your supervisor can hand this it in to the Student Service Desk.
For the supervisor
For internal projects, the supervisor should involve student
in ongoing activities in the research group such as
group seminars, coffee breaks, etc. Ideally
interns function as members of the group, allowing for
If there are several interns in the group, having
Scrum sessions may be a good way to foster interaction.
For external project, the university should meet the student
a couple of time - at least once roughly halfway during
the internship - to keep an eye on progress and direction.
After students have completed their internship report
and uploaded this to the faculty thesis submission website,
schedule a time for a short (15 minute) presentation
Announce the talk over the student mailing list
for the specialisation, so that other students can attend
to get some idea of possible research internship projects.
The supervisor is responsible for the final assessment,
taking input of any external or daily supervisor into
The supervisor should also find a second staff member
to provide a second evaluation.
The evaluation forms are handled by online forms,
as explained on the
If you you prefer to fill it in offline as preparation
for the online edition we still provide a digitial copy here
[ PDF, DOC]
In one of the emails you get from the system after the
student uploaded the last version of their thesis, is an
attachment to fill in (with PASSED/FAIL, NOT with a grade).
For the coordinator of the master specialisation
The coordinator of the master specialisation should
help along the match-making of students and projects;
(remind supervisors to) announce research internship presentations
over the student mailing list for the specialisation.
if students are finishing their internships
at roughly the same time (as typically happens at the end
of the semester), synchronise with the supervisors
on a morning or afternoon to have all the