Summer Internships for Undergraduates

 You are an undergraduate student interested in a summer research stay in our labs? Apply from December 1st!

The NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials offers the opportunity for undergraduate students to be introduced to the research carried out within the Center and specialize in the domain of soft materials.

Each year, the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials offers up to 20 undergraduate students (from Switzerland and around the world) the opportunity to spend the summer participating in cutting-edge research within one of the Center research groups at the University of FribourgEPFL, ETHZ, CSEM or Empa. The undergraduate students have the chance to not only get a glimpse of advanced research work and acquire hands-on work experience, but also to develop transferable skills and network with professionals in their own field of interest.


  • What we offer

     Students taking part in the program spend 8 to 12 weeks working in a laboratory of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials, where they have the opportunity to work on a research project and to interact with leading experts in their fields of interest and fellow students from around the world.

     The students get a glimpse of advanced research work, gain desirable hands-on work experience, develop their transferable skills, and have a unique opportunity to explore career options and network with an interdisciplinary team of professionals.

     Beyond doing research in the hosting lab, students of the program come together for scientific lectures, social and networking events. At the end of the summer, the students present the results of their research projects at a poster session followed by a summer party.

     The students have the opportunity to learn about Switzerland from an insider perspective, and to take some first steps toward learning or practicing French and/or German language skills.

     In addition, there is the possibility to have ECTS assigned for the contribution done within the URI program. For two months in the lab, 6 ECTS are credited and 9 ECTS for 3 months. This applies only for stays at the University of Fribourg (not possible at ETHZ, EPFL, CSEM or Empa).

     What is more, our summer interns have actively contributed to a number of scientific publications, showcasing the exceptional quality of research and valuable hands-on experience provided to the students. 

  • Financial support

     The NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials organizes and directly covers the costs of housing for the whole period of the research stay. It also reimburses travel costs to Switzerland for all successful applicants.

     Local living expenses (such as meals and local transportation) are not covered by the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials.

     All students must have their own health and accident insurance from their home country valid in Switzerland for the whole period of their internships. The Center does not reimburse insurance costs.

     Living expenses in Switzerland are higher than in many other countries. For example, for the city of Fribourg the cost of meals at the University cafeteria (breakfast, lunch, dinner) is around CHF 35 per day; and a monthly ticket for local transportation costs between CHF 49 and CHF 65. You can find useful information to plan the budget of your stay here.

    For students coming from European universities, excluding UK, there is the possibility to additionally apply for a travel grant under the Swiss-European Mobility program. Eligibility criteria can be found here.

  • Students with special needs

    The NCCR takes the specific needs of disabled students into account during their internship. The concerned students are invited to contact either us (, the University of Fribourg’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Office, the EPFL’s Study Management service, or the ETHZ’s Disability Advisory Service.

  • How long are the research stays?

    Research stays last at least 8 weeks and have a maximum duration of 12 weeks in the period from June 15 to September 15, 2024.

  • How to apply?

    To apply to the program you need to fulfill the following conditions:

    1. Be a national of Switzerland, a member state of the European Union, or a country with a visa exemption agreement with Switzerland for a maximum period of stay of 90 days. The list of countries with a visa exemption agreement with Switzerland can be consulted here. Applicants from countries requiring a visa for Switzerland are not eligible to apply;

    2. Be enrolled at a University as a full-time undergraduate student in a relevant field of natural sciences, such as medicine, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics or materials science.

    3. Be an undergraduate student having concluded a minimum of two years of a degree program by the start of the research stay;

    4. For students following a 4-year bachelor, certify that you are and will be registered as an undergraduate at your University/College for the upcoming academic year (i.e. that you have and will have an undergraduate status upon returning to your home institution);

    5. For students following a 3-year bachelor: If you are in your second year, you should certify that you are and will be registered as an undergraduate at your University/College for the upcoming academic year. If you are in your third year, you should certify that you are registered as an undergraduate at your University/College;
    6. You do not select a research stay at your Home University. For example: if you are an undergraduate student at the University of Fribourg, you are not eligible to apply for a research project at the University of Fribourg;

    7. Have very good (oral and written) English language skills (level B2/C1).

    8. You are available to participate in the poster session on the 22nd of August 2024.

    Students who have already obtained their diploma or bachelor degree before the start of the internship are not eligible to apply. Masters students are unfortunately not eligible to apply.

    Undergraduate students studying in Switzerland and at partner institutions of the NCCR Bio-Inspired Materials are encouraged to apply.

When can you apply?

Interested in applying? 

The list of undergraduate research projects for the summer of 2024 will appear here once the call is open. Find out more on the application and selection processes here.


Should you have any questions concerning the program, please contact the Scientific Coordinator at

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