Course ObjectiveThe aim of the first internship is to apply the competences acquired
during the previous courses in a research project in order to ground
the knowledge, attitudes and skills of interdisciplinary research. More
specifically, the aims of the internships are:
• The student conducts scientific research under supervision;
• The student is able to find scientific information and to
evaluate this for the benefit of his or her own research question under
• The student is able to apply scientific methods and knowledge, to
answer research questions and to generate evidence‐based knowledge under
• The student is able to formulate a research question, to choose,
to implement and to evaluate the (appropriate) research method, and to
phrase the obtained results in report under supervision;
• The student learns to cooperate with researchers of various
• The student is able to orally present the research results and to
discuss the findings;
• The student obtains a good impression of a potential future field
Course ContentThe internship is a compulsory part of the Master MPA. The duration of
the internship is 5 months (27 EC). An internship placement must provide
the student with the opportunity to learn how to conduct research under
supervision. The onsite supervisor of the internship is linked to an
academic or research institution.
Internships can be conducted at various locations such as the Ministry
of Health, Welfare and Sports, the Public Health Inspectorate, the
Health Council, medical organizations such as the municipality health
service (GGD), consultancies, the (pharmaceutical) industry and several
research institutes, such as universities or e.g. the National Institute
for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). It must fit the chosen
An internship typically has three phases:
• In the first phase, you write an extended research proposal
consisting of an introduction, background, theoretical/conceptual
framework, research questions and your research methodology.
• In the second phase, you collect and analyse your (qualitative
and/or quantitative) data.
• In the third phase, you do your final analysis and present your
findings both orally and in a report. The presentation seminar is a
compulsory part of this third phase.
Teaching MethodsResearch internship
Method of AssessmentReport (55% ), Oral presentation (15%), Execution (30%) and Attitude
Within six weeks after the start of the master internship, an interim
evaluation will take place to assess whether there is a reasonable
chance of the placement being brought to a successful completion.
The internship is supervised by one and assessed by two lecturers. Both
lecturers are members of the academic staff at VU University Amsterdam.
The onsite supervision can be carried out by a trainee research
assistant (AIO), postdoc or researcher.
Entry RequirementsTo ensure that students do have enough background knowledge, it is
required that you have passed the three compulsory courses: ‘Research
Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems',‘Analysis of Governmental
Policy’ and ‘Communication Organization and Management’ (grade at least
LiteratureVerschuren, P. and Doorewaards, H. (2010) Designing a research project
(2nd edition) Eleven International Publishing, The Hague.
Gray, D.E. (2014) Doing Research in the Real World (3rd edition)Sage
Publications Ltd, Los Angeles.
Substantial additional reading on both research methodology and the
topic of the research, to be searched for by student.
Target AudienceStudents MSc MPA year 1
Additional InformationInternships can only start when the draft research proposal and
application and agreement form is approved and signed by the
Further information on Master internships is made available on Canvas.
|Period||Ac. Year (sept)|
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||dr. T. Zuiderent-Jerak|
|Examiner||dr. T. Zuiderent-Jerak|
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