How to apply to the AScI international summer research programme
The call for the 2024 summer research positions will open on January 2nd, 2024 and will close on January 29th. The application link will appear on this page.
This page is only about the application process. For information about the program and projects please see the links below.
- update 6.11.2023: These pages are being updated this week.
Please expand the sections below for more info.
|Positions published||mid-late Decmeber 2023|
|Deadline for applications||29.01.2024|
|Student selection and interviews||February|
|Invitation letters from Departments||mid March|
|Internship, Get to know Finland course, poster exhibition||June-August 2023 (12 weeks)|
Note: The info below was updated for the 2023 call on 03.01.2023.
The following must be combined into a single pdf in the given order. Only pdf files are accepted.
- Motivation letter: The motivation letter is an important part of the application.
- Explain why are you interested in an Aalto Science Institute summer research position, what are your personal interests in terms of research, and why you selected the project(s) you did.
- Also indicate any special circumstances with regards to visit dates.
- Mention your future study/research plans.
- Length: 1 page, or up to 2 pages if you have a number of technical things to discuss regarding the projects.
- CV: A summary of your academic and work history with contact details.
- 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 write a list 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 the passing grades are 1 - 5 with 5 being the highest). We get applications from well over 150 different universities and over 80 countries, so don't expect us to understand your system.
- A letter of recommendation 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 as a pdf attachment to [email protected] with subject line "last name of applicant-first name of applicant-LOR". It must be received by the Jan 31 application deadline. 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.
- The recommendation letter should clearly indicate the referee's name, email and phone, department and university.
- 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.
- 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.
- (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.
Most of the fields in the application form are quite clear but some are not so obvious.
Here are some tips on filling the form
Can I apply for more then one project?
Yes, on the application form you can specify 3 projects in order of preference.
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.
Can the research work be done remotely (in my home country)
All positions are located on the Aalto University Otaniemi campus in Espoo, Finland. All Aalto employees must be physically present in Finland, so paid remote research work is not possible.
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 and one part time assistant. 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 May - July. Am I eligible to apply for an AScI internship?
You need to mention in your motivation letter when you will be able to travel to Finland. The recruiting research group will decide if the student’s timetable suits them.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. 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 motivation letter when you will be able to travel to Finland. The recruiting research group will decide if the student’s timetable suits them. If you choose to arrive later than 04 June, then you will miss out on the welcome event and other activities organized between 01 June and your arrival. Please also be aware that in Finland, summer vacations typically start around 20 June, and services are a bit limited until the end of July. Student accommodation is unavailable after August. You would have to organize the accommodation for yourself in September independently, using private market options (these include student sublets, hostels, AirBnB etc.) 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.
Can I submiut more than one letter of recommendation?
Well, you can submit more than one, but don't assume that the researchers reviewing your application will have time to read more than one. So make sure the most important one is first. In most cases we recommend you submit only one.
Do I need to be a current bachelor's or master's student to apply?
It is perfectly OK if you are between degrees - for example if you graduate before summer and will not enrol in your master's until after summer. Longer breaks between degrees are also acceptable, but this is a bit of a grey zone, so you need to explain your situation clearly in your cover letter. Those graduating with a master's in spring may also be accepted.
I am a PhD student, can I apply?
Sorry, the programme is only for bachelor's and master's students. The good news is that for PhD students we have a different instrument for funding visits in the School of Science. You should contact the Aalto professor/research group directly, and if they are intrested in your visit then they can apply to AScI for funds to cover your travel and accommodation for 2 months.
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 is often no special benefit to the AScI program (travel bonus and access to student housing). Also most of the positions are also available through the local calls of the departments.
My school does not provide 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.
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 your transcript/application documents.
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 embassies 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. Typically the summer researchers come on a Schengen visit visa which is why the employment is for less than 90 days. 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.
I study in Russia or Belarus. Will the EU sanctions affect me.
Due to EU sanctions Aalto University refrains from research collaboration with researchers with an affiliation to Russian or Belarusian institutions. In practice, this means we are currently unable to hire summer researchers who are returning to Russian or Belarusian institutions. Please understand that this is not based on citizenship, and a number of Russian citizens joined our programme in 2022 and 2023.
Are AScI summer researchers affected by EU sanctions.
Yes, Aalto complies with applicable export control and sanction laws and expects similar compliance from each person accepted to AScI program. Please understand that the sanctions are not based on citizenship.
General EU info: https://www.sanctionsmap.eu
- For questions concerning the research topic, please contact the academic contact person listed in the topic description.
- For general questions concerning the programme or application procedure, contact the AScI admin at
- [email protected]
- AScI applicants zulip chat platform: https://asci-applicants.zulip.aalto.fi/join/pk76gyvr3bele74tmgoohnsj/
- 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.