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Searching for Research Internship?

A long time after my blog Event Reminder: Annual Career Fair at Karolinska, I can now happily proclaim: “Hooray! I get one!” If you are curious about how I got my first full-time employment  in Sweden, or you are looking for an internship position here, this blog should be most relevant to you. Instead of speaking about how to find an internship in general, I will focus on a special type of internship —- research internship in a lab, which is extremely common to students in natural sciences.

Just as other job types, searching for vacancy is the first and perhaps the most important steps for research internship. In short, there are three most common ways:

1. Open resources: social websites, company websites

2. Semi-open resources: career fair, school/department

3. Networking

Open resources

1. Social Network

In terms of accessibility and quantity, employment-oriented social networks, such as LinkedIn, are one of the most common tools for young people looking for jobs (and especially for master thesis in Sweden). LinkedIn is a good place to start with, but I would argue it is less specific for research jobs. For example, here is LinkedIn’s recommendation for me:

For those future researchers (trust me you will be one), I would recommend another website Researchgate. Compared with LinkedIn, Researchgate specifies in employment within academia.

My favorite part about Researchgate is the “Questions” page, where you can ask and even answer questions from people working in the same field as yours. (I constantly look for advice there when my experiment fails, before talking to my supervisor.)

2. Direct application to companies

These social networks work by filtering and recommending jobs, in order to save our effort in browsing the companies’ websites. Therefore, if you are still worried about whether you miss any information, it is always a good idea to visit the companies’ websites directly. For example, you can find vacancies in all sectors as well as all regions from AstraZeneca, the Swedish pharmaceutical giant:

Semi-open resources

Semi-open resources grant you more up-to-date and accurate information, and higher successful rate than those from open resources!

1. Career Fair

At a career fair, you will be able to talk to the company representatives. What is of paramount importance is, you will know which institutes or companies are recruiting/not recruiting, and what kind of people they want. For example, I learn from KTH’s career fair that SOBI does not hire any summer interns because of the summer vacation time; from the one at Karolinska I learned that phD is a prerequisite for a job I am really interested in, so better not waste time in applying. Make a list of the companies/institutes that has internship offers and apply one-by-one later!

2. School/Department

I think it is no need to further emphasize the necessity in careful checking and reading Newsfeed from your school and department. Besides that, I strongly recommend to be a subscriber of KTH Exjobbportal: it always selects the most suitable and employment type for you. By choosing my preference in field and job type, below is the latest news I got from it. Absolutely relevant!

In parallel with KTH Exjobbportal, you can find all different kinds of position, ranging from internship to full professorship from  Jobs Opportunities at KI. The best thing is the whole application procedure can be done through the same website.

3. For MTLS students, our department offers 6 paid summer internship positions at Science For Life Laboratory. The application often starts at the end of April, so make sure that you check the Email daily!


It is easy to understand as human we trust people whom we personally know. If your potential employer knows you, and fortunately you are a capable candidate for the job —- you are the one!

That is also exactly how I get this precious opportunity to work as a stipend holder at Karolinska during summer. My current supervisor, Professor Alexander Espinosa, was one of my course teachers at Karolinska. After completion of the course, I asked him if I could work as student volunteer in order to learn the CRISPR-Cas9 techniques. After three-month of part-time working at his lab, he generously invited me to continue my project during summer.

After going through these things, I feel lucky for the opportunities I am given, and I am extremely thankful for all the teachers, classmates and friends who help and support me along this circuitous path! And to all of you who are reading this blog, below is the most important thing I would like to say:

It is absolutely okay to be rejected. It just indicates how many times you tried. Never get frustrated and move up 🙂


One thought on “Searching for Research Internship?”

  1. Tianlin He all your article contains something interesting, either it is related to technology or science. I am also looking for an internship this summer. I have also gone through Researchgate. It is awesome.Yahoo Support

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