Aalto Science Institute (AScI)

How to apply to the AScI international summer research programme

Applicants must read through the summer research (internship) programme web pages before applying and before contacting AScI or the academic contact persons. In particular you must **carefully follow the instruction in the section "Compulsory attachments to the application form" below.**

The call for the 2023 summer research positions will open on January 2nd, 2023 and will close on January 31st.

 

  • The list of projects will be published on this site around December 16.
  • The projects vary from year to year but you can get an idea of what will be offered by looking at the list of 2022 projects (link below)
  • The summer 2022 programe was a great success. We received a record of over 1300 applications from 70 countries for the 55 positions across the fields of science and engineering. 60 interns from 20 countries spent a productive and enjoyable summer here at Aalto University.
Aalto Science Institute international summer research programme
AScI summer research program: 2022 project list

Dates

Positions published

16.12.2022

Applications opened 02.01.2023

Deadline for applications

31.01.2023

Student selection and interviews

February

Invitation letters from Departments

mid March

Internship, Get to know Finland course, poster exhibition

June-August 2023 (12 weeks)

 

Contact Information

  • For questions concerning the research topic, please contact the academic contact person listed in the topic description.
  • For general questions concerning the internships or application procedure, contact the AScI coordinator at [email protected]
  • All questions related to employment contracts should be directed to the respective departments' HR staff. The selected students will be informed about their HR contact persons.

Required qualifications

Internship applicants must be at least second year undergraduate students or master's students in a suitable field at a recognised university. The applicants must have an academically outstanding background appropriate for the proposed internship topic, and an excellent command of English.

Compulsory attachments to the application form (combined into a single pdf in the following order)

  1. Motivation letter: The motivation letter is part of the application form.    
    • Explain why are you interested in an Aalto Science Institute intern position, and what are your personal interests in terms of research
    • Also indicate any special circumstances with regards to visit dates.
    • Future study plans.
  2. CV: A summary of your academic and work history with contact details.
  3. Official* transcript of the university studies that you have completed.
    • * by "official" transcript we mean a transcript that clearly has been issued by your university or printed from a university webpage. Further verification may be required from shortlisted candidates.
    • If the transcript is in a language other than English, a (unofficial) translation of the transcript must be submitted. You should append the translation to the same file as the copy of the official* transcript.
    • In addition, please assemble a list of courses + descriptions of courses that will appear in the final transcript (spring courses), but are not in your current transcript. You should append the list to the same file as the copy of the official* transcript.
    • Please make sure the grading scheme is explained. If it not automatically on the transcript you can attach an extra page giving the details. (eg In Finland grades are 1 - 5 with 5 being the highest). We get applications from well over 100 different universities and over 70 countries, so don't expect us to understand your system.
  4. A recommendation letter from a professor or supervisor.

    • The recommendation letter should be written by a university professor or lecturer, or a person who has supervised you in either an academic or employment capacity.
    • The letter should be attached to the application file and uploaded by the candidate.
      • If the referee is uncomfortable with this please explain that under Finnish privacy rules, candidates can always request to see their full application file (which includes recommendation letters), and so letter are never really private.  Please see Aalto University's Privacy Notice to Employee Candidates.
      • If your referee is still uncomfortable giving you the letter directly then please request them to mail it to [email protected] with the name of the candidate in the subject line.
    • AScI will not contact or ask for the letter of recommendation from the referee by email or phone. Only in the case that the applicant is shortlisted by the supervising research group, the referee could be contacted after the deadline of the call.
    • Applications without the letter of recommendation will not be processed.
  5. Proof of sufficient English skills: TOEFL, IELTS or other standard test is recommended but not required. Alternatively, you may provide one of the following:
    • A statement from your university/language course regarding your language skills.
    • A seminar report or something you have written as part of your studies to demonstrate your competence in written English.
    • If your university studies are English, then a clear statement of this fact on your CV and cover letter.
    • Anything else which in your judgement clearly indicates your English level.
  6. (not compulsory) Any other document you wish to attach to support your application. In general it is better to have further documents available on a website and specify the link in your cover letter and/or CV.

 

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

 

Can I update my application once submitted?

Before the closing date you can delete your whole application and re-submit. The applications will not be viewed until the closing date, so don't rush. Get everything correct before submitting.

How competitive are the internships?

For the summer 2022 intership we received approximately 1330 application for 55 positions. Many of these applications come from outstanding students at top ranked universities in their countries. However, do not be discouraged, as depending on the topic some of the positions were much more competitive than others (100 applicants for some projects as compared to only 20 for others). If you have a strong interest in a particular topic and the right background and enthusiasm, you should definitely apply.

When are the results of selection known?

By around the end of February (a more precse date will be given closer to the time). Your application will not be processed any faster if you contact AScI. See also the next two questions & answers.

How long can I expect to wait for an answer to a question that I've asked by email?

AScI has one part-time coordinator. Therefore, you must wait at least one week before resending your question. All questions will be answered in due course. We ask that you familiarize yourself with all the materials on this website before you ask a question. Please note that we receive over 1000 applications, and deal with a very large volume of inquiries around the opening and closing time of the application form, so it is important to identify yourself properly in your email. A clear subject line also helps.

My holidays are from the first week of May until the end of July. I'll be able to stay until the first week of August. Am I eligible to apply for an AScI internship?

The majority of interns will arrive in June so any coordinated activities for the intern group will not start until then; you would have to be self-guided and rely on help from your hosting department. Similarly, you would miss out on any activities in August. Results of the selection should be known by the end of February. If this sounds acceptable to you, please send in your application.

My holidays are from the end of June until September. Am I eligible to apply for an AScI internship?

You need to mention in your application form when you will be able to travel to Finland. If you choose to arrive later than 01 June, then you will miss out on any information sessions, events and courses organized between 01 June and your arrival. Most of the activities at AScI take place in June. No extra info sessions will be organized for latecomers. You will have less opportunity to get to know other AScI interns who have arrived by early June, and you will have less time to carry out scientific work before you give your presentation in the mid-August seminar. You should be able to apply to this programme nevertheless. The recruiting research group will decide if the student’s timetable suits them. Please also be aware that in Finland summer vacations typically start around 20 June, and services are limited until the end of July. Availability of accommodation can become a problem after the end of August (student dorms are used by our local students from September onwards). You would have to organize the accommodation for yourself in September independently, using private market options (these include student sublets, hostels, AirBnB etc.) Your hosting department may be able to help but you can expect to pay more for accommodation in September. If this sounds acceptable to you, please send in your application.

My academic referee strongly prefers to send the reference letter to AScI directly. How should I indicate this on the online application form?

Firstly, please see item (4) above.

You should write a brief statement indicating that your referee will send the letter to AScI directly and include this statement in your submission file in place of the actual referee letter. (in that case, we prefer to receive the letter as a PDF attachment file from the academic referee's official university email address). It is important that the academic referee sends the letter of reference to us before the application deadline. We reserve the right not to process applications that are not supported by an academic or work related letter of reference.

Is the summer internship offered by Aalto University Science Institute only restricted to bachelor's students or there is a possibility for master's students to join?

Yes, the AScI internship programme is open to all current bachelor's and master's students. In fact some

I am an international/exchange student at Aalto. Am eligble to apply?

The internships are open to all students. Please note that if you are an Aalto student then there often no special benefit to the AScI program (travel bonus and access to student housing). Also most of the positions are also avilabe though the local calls.

My school does not provide official transcripts in any electronic format, what should I do?

A scanned copy is acceptable.

My transcript is in Klingon, but a transcript in English is required. I want to know if I can submit an English transcript translated by myself, attached to an original Klingon transcript. If no, should I submit the English transcript notarized by my university or Notary Public?

We will accept your English translation if it is attached to the original transcript.

Due to the pandmic or other reasons my grades/transcipt for the autumn sememester are not yet avialable, what should I do?

Write a list the courses you have completed and attach it to you transcript or upload as a separate document.

Do I need to provide a scanned copy of my passport or ID card?

If you are selected as one of the interns, then our HR department will contact you for necessary documents. There is no need to submit anything in advance.

Why did the name of the programme change from "internship programme" to "summer research programme". Is this an internship or not? 

By the usual dictionary defintion, it is certainly an internship. And if you are required to do an internship as part of your studies our programme is suitable. However, an internship also has a certain specific legal meaning according to Finnish employment and visa rules. According to these rules you are not considered and intern and so we have changed the name to reduce confusion with visa categories and in communication with emabssies and so on. More information regarding visas will be provided to you if you are selected for the program.

Will I have trouble getting a visa to Finland and which kind should I apply for?

We can not give specific visa advice on this page. The details are dependent on your specific situation and also vary over time. In previous years we have had interns from very many different countries and there have not been major difficulties. So you don't need to worry to much about this. More information regarding visas will be provided to you if you are selected for the program.

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