Undergraduate students are an active and important part of everyday life at the Max Delbrück Center
Undergraduate students are an active and important part of everyday life at the Max Delbrück Center.
At the Max Delbrück Center, all pre-doctoral students, i.e. students of bachelor, master, MD or equivalent studies, are considered undergraduates. They are working as interns, conducting their summer research projects, or most often, working on their bachelor or master thesis projects. Even if you simply want to broaden your research experience, learn a new technique or improve some of your skills, you are welcome to apply for an internship at the Max Delbrück Center.
Who can apply for an internship at the Max Delbrück Center?
Research at the Max Delbrück Center is diverse and highly interdisciplinary, with broad thematic orientation, and collaborative projects that provide insights into many different aspects of life and disease. Therefore, undergraduates of all disciplines of natural sciences, including biology, biotechnology, molecular medicine, to chemistry, physics or mathematics, as well as computer science and engineering, are invited and welcome to carry out their internship, as well as bachelor or master research, in one of our research teams.
Undergraduates of all disciplines of natural sciences, including biology, biotechnology, molecular medicine, to chemistry, physics and mathematics, as well as computer science or engineering, are invited and welcome to carry out their internships in one of our research teams.
How to apply for an internship?
The first task is to identify the research groups and projects of interest. Please browse the profile pages of our research labs and, after selecting your favourite topic or project, contact the Group Leader(s) of interest directly.
In your application letter, you should present yourself and your background, and explain why you would like to join the particular working group.
Your application letter should include:
A short CV, highlighting your educational background and research experience (if you have any)
Motivation letter explaining your research interest, motivation and the purpose of your stay (e.g. bachelor or master research thesis project)
Information on a potential funding source available to you (exchange program, scholarship, e.g. Erasmus internship)
Information on the potential start date and duration of your stay
Contact details of potential referee who could support your application with a recommendation letter
The Max Delbrück Center does not have a central program for internship funding, however, some of the research groups do have funds available for this. This should be discussed with each group leader individually. Some universities, local governments, or funding organizations and agencies (e.g. Erasmus, DAAD) also provide financial support to visiting young researchers. You can browse through databases of funding organizations, such as those available on Research in Germany information platform.
How does an internship at the Max Delbrück Center influence your possibilities of becoming a part of our International PhD Program?
If you would like to continue your research career as an PhD student at the Max Delbrück Center, there are several possibilities to become a part of our International PhD program:
International PhD Program Recruitment. This is possible only if you worked at the Max Delbrück Center for less than 3 months during 2 years prior the online interviews, and you want to apply to a different research group than the one you carried out your intern research in. If more than two years have passed since the end of affiliation with the Max Delbrück Center (contract or guest registration), there are no restrictions regarding the choice of the research group, and you are eligible to apply for the International PhD Program recruitment (all information is available on our webpage).
Internal PhD Fellowship Positions. If you spent more than 3 months in the past 2 years as an intern or a student at the Max Delbrück Center, or you want to apply to the same research group you carried out your intern research in, you are considered to be an internal candidate. In this case, you may apply for Internal PhD Fellowship positions(internal access only). Deadline for the applications for the Internal PhD Fellowship positions is May 1st each year.
Direct contact. Just as applying for an internship, you can always contact the Group Leader directly, sending your CV and a motivation letter and expressing your interest in becoming a part of the research group. This is independent of the time you spent as an intern in the group/ Max Delbrück Center. Availability of positions depends on interest and funding possibilities of the individual research groups.
The Max Delbrück Center closely collaborates on various student exchange programs, with several universities and institutes.
As a part of the Erasmus+ agreement between the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU) and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU),students of the KNU have the opportunity to carry out their Master thesis research at the Max Delbrück Center.
KNU conducts an internal selection of candidates who can then find a suitable research project within one of our research groups, mentored by a HU-affiliated MDC Group Leader. Selection process is finalised in mid-May. Duration of the program is typically five months.
The Erasmus + internship was a truly important life experience. I have radically changed my views on science and plans for the future.
Unipharma-Graduates, the EU Erasmus+ Program, coordinated by the Sapienza University in Rome and Noopolis Foundation, selects MSc students from Italian universities to perform a six-month internship abroad. The students should have a background in biology, chemistry, pharmacy and/or biotechnology and are preselected by the coordinator of the program. Typically, the fellowship is awarded to 8-10 out of 150 candidates per year.
Apart from getting new skills in a wet lab, I also attended many lectures and conferences which gave me new information about the state of the art science. I am completely sure that this experience will be helpful for my future career.
The most interesting part of this initiative is that the research projects and the shortlisting process are managed exclusively by the PhD students from the host institution. This gives them the opportunity to submit a proposal for a short project that would be beneficial for their PhD research, as well as the possibility to gain the experience in selecting and supervising an undergraduate student.
The undergraduate students that are eligible for this program have a background in biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, engineering, or a closely related field, and have completed at least the first two years of their program by the time of the internship start.
For internship opportunities, please browse the profile pages of our research labs and, after selecting your favourite topic or project, contact the Group Leader(s) of interest directly.
For general inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact our Graduate School Office:
Graduate School Office
Max Delbrück Center
Robert-Rössle Strasse 10