Frequently Asked Questions on the ISTernship program

The following is a list of frequently asked questions on the ISTernship program at IST Austria.


ISTernship Program Overview

  • What is the ISTernship program?

    The ISTernship is a summer internship program at IST Austria which offers research opportunities to outstanding undergraduate students interested in biology, computer science, data science, mathematics, physics, neuroscience and interdisciplinary areas.

    Interns will choose a group to work in, will be assigned a specific project and will conduct research under the close supervision of one of the members of the faculty and, for experimental labs, a lab mentor.

    Interns will receive an introduction to research at IST Austria as well as an introduction to the IST Austria Graduate School. The program culminates with a research symposium, where the interns present their work to their peers, faculty and lab mentors.

    Internships are full-time and will be conducted exclusively in English.

  • How long is the ISTernship program?

    The duration of the ISTernship program is 2-3 months between May 15 and September 15. Selected candidates choose the exact length and dates together with the supervisor.

  • Do I need to speak German?

    No. English is the language used for communication at the Institute.

  • Which projects can I work on?

    In your application, you need to indicate your preferred professor(s) to work with. The participating faculty will be announced latest when the call opens. Selected candidates will be assigned to a research group and will decide on a project to work on together with their host professor.

    You do not need to contact the professor(s) during the application phase.

Application

  • Who is eligible to apply?

    Candidates must be enrolled Bachelor- or Master of Science students (or similar) in good standing at a degree granting institution. They must have completed at least the fourth semester of their bachelor’s studies (before the respective start date).

    All students, regardless of nationality or country of residence, are eligible to apply.

  • How do I apply?

    The application period for the ISTernship program opens each year around mid-December when a link to an online platform will be published. The deadline for the application is in February. Reference letters are also due by February. More specific information will be published closer to the application period here.

  • When is the application deadline?

    The application deadline is each year in February. More specific information will be published closer to the application period on this page.

  • What documents do I need?

    To complete your application, you will need the following:

    1. Your resume/CV: include

    1.   your educational history from high school onwards
    2.   relevant work experience
    3.   additional qualifications
    4.   list of publications (if any)
    5.   scholarships, awards, etc. (if any)

    2. Statement of purpose: a one-page essay in which you explain

    1.   your research experience and the research area(s) you find the most interesting
    2.   your motivation for applying to the IST Austria ISTernship program
    3.   which professor(s) you are interested in doing research with

    3. University transcripts/diplomas of current and completed/previous degrees

    4. One or two referee(s) who taught or supervised your work in an academic setting: you will need to enter

    1.   their names
    2.   institutions, and
    3.   email addresses

    The referee(s) will be contacted directly by us (by email) and asked to submit a reference letter for you. The reference letter is needed to complete your application.

  • What is a letter of recommendation?

    The letter of recommendation is a statement where the referee assesses the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the applicant in terms of that person’s suitability for the ISTernship.

    You need to indicate at least one referee in your application. These are people who have taught you or supervised your work and are, therefore, able to evaluate your academic and research performance.

    Referees are contacted directly with a link to a recommendation form. Your application is complete only if at least one of your referees submits a letter of recommendation.

    Please be aware that the deadline to submit the letter of recommendation is the same as the application deadline. Therefore, please give your referee(s) enough time to submit the letter.

  • Do I need a language certificate?

    No language certificates are mandatory for the application. You may upload a language certificate for English if you want to.

  • How and when will I be notified of the results?

    Notifications to all complete applications will be sent out around mid-March.

    After receiving an offer to join the ISTernship program, selected candidates will need to accept the offer within about a week.

  • What are my chances of getting accepted to the ISTernship program?

    The acceptance rate for the ISTernship is normally around 3 %.

Financial Support

  • Is there compensation for ISTerns?

    All ISTerns receive a monthly scholarship payment as well as access to affordable health insurance and subsidized housing.

    In addition, ISTerns receive an allowance for their travel costs.

  • How will I receive my monthly scholarship?

    IST has entered into an agreement with OeAD in order to facilitate administrative matters.

    After accepting your offer to the ISTernship, you will receive the official scholarship document from OeAD. In case you need a visa for coming to Austria, OeAD will send a confirmation to the respective Austrian representative.

    OeAD will disburse the monthly scholarship and travel allowance, and arrange an insurance after your arrival if necessary. Note: for visa applications, you will need to take out a travel insurance valid for 10-14 days. For further information, please see www.oead.at/scholars.

  • Is accommodation available?

    Housing is available on the IST campus. Space is limited and rooms are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

    If you do not get a room or if you prefer to stay in Vienna, mark your interest in the respective field on your scholarship document (sent out by the OeAD) and you will be linked to the OeAD Housing Office which will provide accommodation in Vienna for you.

More about IST Austria

  • Where is IST Austria?

    IST Austria is located just outside of Vienna, Austria. It is a short 25-minute bus ride from Heiligenstadt (end of subway line U4).

    Vienna is consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in. ISTerns have the choice of living on campus, a quiet area with beautiful woods and close to the world-famous monastery (Stift Klosterneuburg), or right in the hustle and bustle of Vienna.

  • How do I get to IST Austria from Vienna?

    By public transport:

    1. Take the U4 subway (green line) in the direction of Heiligenstadt until the last stop “Heiligenstadt”.

    2. Take the IST Shuttle Bus or Bus 400 to the stop “IST Austria”. The trip takes approx. 25 minutes.

  • How do I find out more about IST Austria?

    The best way is to browse our website, the most up-to-date source for events and institute-related announcements. If you’d like to find out more about the PhD program at IST Austria, please visit: http://phd.ist.ac.at

    You’re also invited to “like” our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram or connect via Twitter to stay in the loop about IST Austria and the whereabouts of our scientists!

    In addition, there is the quarterly newsletter, which is a summary of the highlights of our institute, in a compact quarterly format.

  • Who do I contact if I have questions?

    If you have any questions about our ISTernship program, feel free to contact us: istintern@ist.ac.at

Campus & Community
  • Is on-campus housing guaranteed?

    IST Austria strives to guarantee housing for the duration of your internship and for the first year of study as a PhD student. Single students as well as couples/families are welcome to stay in one of our over 100 residences. You can also choose to live off-campus. Read more about Housing.

  • What extracurricular activities are available on campus?

    There is a variety of extracurricular activities such as sports, student groups and social clubs. Read more here.

  • What dining options are available on campus?

    You can choose to have breakfast or lunch at the cafeteria. Other options include a café/pub, a Starbucks corner, coffee kitchens in each building, and vending machines. See more about Dining here.

  • Do I have to pay for health insurance?

    Austria has a statutory social security system; this means that you will be automatically covered by social insurance as soon as you start your PhD program or internship at IST Austria. IST will take the necessary steps to register you with the Austrian health insurance company (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse – ÖGK). Social insurance is funded by social insurance contributions, which are paid both by the employer – IST Austria – and the employee – PhD student or intern. Insurance contributions are calculated on the basis of the employee’s gross income. Read more here.

  • Where is IST Austria?

    IST Austria is located just outside of Vienna. It is a short 25-minute bus ride from Heiligenstadt (U4). See this page for directions to the institute.

    Vienna is consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in, and students have the choice of living in Klosterneuburg, a quiet area with beautiful woods and close to the world-famous monastery (Stift Klosterneuburg), or right in the hustle and bustle of Vienna.

  • Where do IST Austria students come from?

    At the moment, we have scientists from over 70 different countries and a very diverse and international student population. About a quarter of our students are Austrian.

    IST Austria is committed to promoting diversity and equality, and we encourage applicants from all over the world to apply to the PhD program at IST Austria.

  • Do I need to speak German?

    No. English is the language used for communication at the Institute.

    However, being able to speak German makes a lot of things much easier in daily life in Austria. For this reason, IST Austria provides free German courses for students enrolled in the PhD program.

  • Do I need a visa?

    If you are not from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you will need to apply for a visa in order to legally take up employment and register as a PhD student at IST Austria.

    When you get an offer from IST Austria, you will be sent information on how to apply for your visa from abroad.

  • Where is IST Austria?

    IST Austria is located just outside of Vienna. It is a short 25-minute bus ride from Heiligenstadt (U4). See this page for directions to the institute.

    Vienna is consistently voted one of the best cities in the world to live in, and students have the choice of living in Klosterneuburg, a quiet area with beautiful woods and close to the world-famous monastery (Stift Klosterneuburg), or right in the hustle and bustle of Vienna.

  • Where can I live?

    Housing is available on the IST campus. International students are prioritized if they choose to live on campus.

    There is a guesthouse with 38 rooms (24 single rooms, 6 single rooms equipped to be suitable for persons with disabilities, 4 double rooms, 4 junior suites), for short stays of up to 2 months. For longer stays (2 months to 1 year), there are 28 short term apartments and 90 long term apartments. There are both single and family/shared apartments.

    A room or apartment can be rented for a period of up to one year after arrival, giving incoming international students time to find suitable accommodation for the subsequent years. Note that housing on campus is subject to availability.

    Please find more information on the IST website.

  • What is student life like at IST Austria?

    Our PhD students are an integral part of the scientific community, and apart from scientific research activities, they are also actively involved in various sports and other leisure activities.

    There is the annual IST Institute Retreat, which scientists and staff of the whole Institute are invited to attend, and at which students are a significant presence.

    Some of our students also live on campus, and are actively involved in all the activities that the Institute has to offer.

  • Where do IST Austria students come from?

    At the moment, we have scientists from over 70 different countries and a very diverse and international student population. About a quarter of our students are Austrian.

    IST Austria is committed to promoting diversity and equality, and we encourage applicants from all over the world to apply to the PhD program at IST Austria.

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