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The Research internship

In the first half year, each specialisation of the 1-year Master's programmes starts with four theoretical courses combined with more practical training in academic and other professional skills. For the specializations of the Research Master's programme, the internship period starts in November of the 2nd year.

In all of the specialisations you are required to devote most of the second half of the Master's Programme to a research internship. Under the supervision of two supervisors (a faculty member or an external, local, internship supervisor, and a second -faculty- supervisor) you have to plan, conduct and analyse the results of your own research project. In the final stage of the Master's Programme, you are required to write a report on your research in a Master's thesis, in English.

The research internship is an important part of your Masters training. Here we will try to provide you with more detailed information on application procedures, further details of the requirements, and available research internship positions.

Finding a topic
There are a number of sources of information that you can use to start thinking about possible themes and topics for your research internship. You may have encountered some interesting topics during your academic coursework, or particular professors may have inspired you with their research focus.

Researchers in the faculties FPN and FHML and associated research institutes that participate in your programme are an invaluable resource, whether you want to conduct your internship at the UM, at another Dutch university or research institute, or abroad. You are encouraged to contact UM faculty members directly to find out more about their work and to discuss possible options for research internships. You may also locate potential external internships on your own, but keep in mind that you will also need an internal UM supervisor for your internship, so it is important to discuss your plans at any early stage with a local faculty member whose research has a similar theme.

Another source of information is the list of internship positions that are periodically offered  If you are considering applying for one of the posted internship positions, you should always contact the internship coordinator for your specialisation first! There may be an additional selection process for popular positions.


Aims of the research internship

Students of the master programs of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, are required to conduct a research internship that involves planning, conducting, and analyzing the results of the student’s own research project. This work will result in an individually written Master’s thesis.

In this research project, the full empiric cycle must be followed. The student comes up with his/ her own research question; in case of a duo internship, both students should formulate and investigate their own research question.

In case of participation in ongoing research, the student (ideally) also formulates his/ her own research question. The research question must be a scientific question that can be answered with the research project. Research projects can be both qualitative and quantitative in nature.

The research topic is preferably matching with the content of the student’s master specialisation. Although this is not a requirement, it seems more logical for the student’s curriculum vitae to investigate a topic within the realm of the chosen master specialisation.

The extent of the internship should be in proportion to the amount of credits (EC) (which varies somewhat between different master programs/ research master etcetera). 1 EC = 28 hours.

Students preferably test (real) participants; this is also to the student’s advantage, as he/ she will be able to get in touch with the future work field. In case this is not possible, the data must be at least originating from participants (such as in research with databases, questionnaire research, existing image and sound material). In case this is not possible (e.g., in case of a meta–analysis), more emphasis must be put on one or more other parts of the empirical cycle (e.g., more advanced statistics, and/ or more background/ introduction to the topic, leading to the research question).

The number of participants is preferably related to the power calculation in the research, but should not be a leading criterion for a good research internship. The number of participants should be scientifically valuable yet also practically doable within the time frame of the internship. This accounts for a minimum amount of participants, but also for a maximum amount of participants. The number of participants can be adjusted downward – if requested by circumstances -­‐ but not upward. The research proposal plays an important part here: in this proposal (which must be assessed by both supervisors prior to the data collection) the estimated number of participants will be specified and can be discussed.

Statistics should be in concordance with the research design: students must be able to answer the research question/ hypotheses with corresponding, adequate statistical methods. Accordingly, different methods are used in qualitative and quantitative research, respectively.

The Clinical Internship

In some cases a clinical internship is also possible or required.

Who can do a clinical internship? The clinical internship is...
compulsory for:optional for:possible for graduated students of:
Forensic Master      

Specialisation Neuropsychology         
of the 1-year Master

Specialisation Neuropsychology
of the 2-year Master

Specialisation Psychopathology
of the 2-year Master

Specialisation Psychology & Law
of the 1-year Master

Specialisation Health & Social Psychology
of the 1-year Master

Specialisation Developmental Psychology
of the 1-year Master

Specialisation Neuropsychology
of the 1-year Master


Internship abroad

The FPN International Relations Office (IRO) can assist you with practical matters related to an internship abroad. 
Visit IRO on EleUM for information about scholarship procedures, housing, visa matters and experience reports from former interns.

Related links

The Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice rev. 2012


See the programme specific pages for Master, Research Master and Forensic Master.

Last modified: Tue, 26/06/2018 - 15:42

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