How to apply for internship/thesis work/research

The instruction belongs to the following themes

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

If you are interested in a laboratory or research group traineeship or wish to work on your thesis at the University of Helsinki, the best way to find a placement is to contact interesting units directly. You can look for possible supervisors in the University of Helsinki Research Portal. Start the search in time as you will need to have secured yourself a supervisor at the time you apply for student status at the University of Helsinki. 

When contacting a suitable supervisor

Pay attention to the following things:

  • Write only to one person at a time. Teams and departments often discuss applications they received and if many receive the same email, it gives a bad impression. Also, emails that have several receivers tend to go unanswered since it’s common to expect someone else to answer. Unless you have other contacts, it’s a good idea to contact the group leader.
  • State clearly and in short at least your motivation for seeking for the supervision of the said group/professor, the status you wish to gain (intern/ERASMUS trainee/thesis work etc.) and what you wish to get as a compensation or if you are receiving a grant from your home institution or elsewhere and wish to work unpaid.
  • if you look for a thesis supervisor, you should present a preliminary research plan and have another supervisor already from your home institution.
  • Attach your CV to the application.

Once you have found a supervisor

In case you are applying with the Erasmus+ SMS or other exchange agreement, you will receive a student status at the University of Helsinki, if you get accepted. Please see how to apply as an exchange student

In case you will receive the Erasmus+ SMP traineeship grant, or some other grant, you have to apply for the visiting student status in order to get a student status.

In both cases you need to get an invitation letter from your supervisor / sign a learning agreement for training. You find a template for the invitation letter in the application instructions. In addition you need to get credits (~5 ECTS/month) for your work at the University of Helsinki in order to get the students status. This is the case even if your home institution would not require credits for your traineeship. You can agree on the amount of credits and other details with your supervisor. You can order a transcript of credits at the end of your stay. Work in a research group is often evaluated as pass/fail unless otherwise agreed with the supervisor well in advance. Thesis work will also appear as research work on the transcript and be recorded as thesis only at your home institution. 

Lammi biological research station Internship Programme

If you are interested in an internship / traineeship that will provide you with an abundance of real-world experiences and challenges in the beautiful environment of a world class biological station, have a look at the Lammi International Internship Programme.

Tips for searching for a job in Finland

You might be interested in the following pages that assist in searching for a job in Finland


We wish you good luck with finding a suitable supervisor and hope to meet you in Helsinki some day soon!