Regulations concerning industrial internships

Via industrial internships, the PhD candidates can obtain training that offers them valuable experience for their PhD-track and/or future career. As with research visits at external academic institutions (see the information under scientific activities), internships must be discussed and agreed upon in advance with the supervision team.

The ILLC Programme distinguishes between two types of internship, which are subject to different regulations:

  1. Industrial internships that content-wise are a close fit with the PhD candidates' research
    These internships are related to the content of the candidate's PhD project, and hence they are not considered to be an external activity to the candidate's PhD track. In this case, the PhD contract of the candidate is not suspended nor extended due to the internship, unless the internship is paid. If the internship is paid and a suspension of the contract seems desirable, this must be approved by the PhD Programme director in addition to the supervision team.

  2. Industrial internships that content-wise are not a close fit with the PhD candidate's research
    PhD candidates can request an industrial internship that is not directly related to their PhD project to gain experience in the corporate world. Supervisors should indeed encourage some of their PhD candidates to gain such experience, as it can help them in their future career if they choose a path outside of academia. Since this type of intership poses a risk to the institute (because the PhD candidate might take up an employment elsewhere and not finish the PhD), it is subject to the following additional rules:
    • The duration of such an internship is restricted to 6 months.
    • The candidate signs a document stating their intention to return and complete the PhD thesis after the internship is finished.
    • The internship cannot take place in the 1st year of a PhD track and should ideally not take place in the last year either.
    • The internship has to be approved by the supervison team and by the institute (a request has to be submitted at least 3 months in advance to the ILLC PhD Programme director). This type of internship thus needs to be planned well in advance and can be denied in some cases.
    • Part-time internships (e.g., 20%) can be considered.
    • During the internship, the PhD candidate's contract will be suspended (fully or partially, depending on the time commitment). If suspension (or time reduction) of a contract is not possible (as in the case of some scholarships), then the internship cannot take place during the candidate's PhD track.

Exceptions to these regulations might be possible in special cases. Always discuss any internship plans with your main supervisor and ask the PhD Programme director in case of doubts.