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One of the PhD council seminars.

Research visits and internships

In general, Chalmers encourages PhD students to spend some time outside Chalmers, whether it is a research visit to another university or research institute, or an internship in a company.

Research visit

You are going to spend time in another university/research institute, work with people in something that should be usable in your thesis. You are paid by Chalmers, normal salary and an allowance; you might also apply for travel grants/scholarships, e.g. if you need to pay housing in both Gothenburg and in your place of visit. (TODO: links for grants/who to contact about it)


You are employed by a company, and must take leave of absence from Chalmers during your internship.

Before you start, make sure that you are allowed to publish the results of your work as a paper -- this is not obvious in a company. If you cannot, but would still like to do the internship, discuss with your supervisor if this is okay, and if you are able to get an extension to your contract.

Bart gave an example of steps he followed in order to get an internship at Google. Details may vary from company to company, but this is a general guideline how to proceed.

  1. Talk about your plans in a follow-up meeting in advance, 6-12 months before the intended visit
  2. Apply for the internship. You can do it the standard way, e.g. send your application, wait for them to contact you and offer you a group, go to an interview, if succesful, get the job. Your chances are better if you know someone in the company who can recommend you; if you have any chance of doing that, you can skip some steps in the beginning, like generic interviews. In Bart's case, he sent the application in September 2014 and was contacted for the generic interview in October 2014, and group-specific interview in January 2015.
  3. After you've got the position, apply for a leave of absence in Chalmers. Sort out your teaching duties and how your leave affects your holidays and sick days for that year. It is good to talk about these things already when you start planning your internship, e.g. to your follow-up committee.
    1. Extension for your PhD is guaranteed for parental leave or sick leave; for internship, it is likely, but not automatic. Be aware of that when you apply.
  4. Sort out practical things in your destination, such as visa and housing.
  5. Return to Chalmers to finish your PhD. You might get a job offer from the company; strategically thinking, you could time your internship towards the end of your PhD studies, so that you could be open for possible job offers. If you're not finishing your PhD soon, you can also apply to do another internship next year, and keep the door open to that company.

Finally, an informative picture:

Guidelines how to get an internship
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Page last modified on September 16, 2015, at 01:59 PM