The 2023 cohort of ISTerns at the ISTernship Poster Session in August 2023.

ISTernship Summer Program

Bachelor’s and master’s students can apply for the ISTernship program. Students who are interested in basic research in the fields of biologycomputer sciencedata science & scientific computing, mathematicsphysics, neuroscience, chemistry & materials, and interdisciplinary areas, are encouraged to apply. Applicants who graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree within a year from the program start date, are also eligible to apply.

The call for applications for the ISTernship Program 2024 Intake is now closed.

The ISTernship is a summer program for bachelor’s and master’s students who are looking to expand their scientific research experience by conducting a short research project. Since 2013, each summer, selected applicants join the ISTernship program and work closely with our faculty or a lab member on a short research project.

In the application form, applicants should indicate 1-3 professors they would like to work with. After being selected, successful applicants agree on a research project with the professor.

Upon arrival, ISTerns receive an introduction to research at ISTA as well as an introduction to the ISTA Graduate School. The program culminates with a poster session, where ISTerns present their work to peers, faculty and lab mentors.

For more information and frequently asked questions, see the ISTernship FAQ.


We welcome applicants from across the world.

Applicants 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.

Applicants who graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree within a year from the program start date, are also eligible to apply. That means, applicants that graduated before May 15, 2023 are not eligible to apply for the program. 

Students accepted to or enrolled in a PhD program are not eligible to apply.

ISTernship applicants can also apply for ISTA’s PhD program, however, if they are invited to an interview for the PhD program that would make them ineligible for the ISTernship program.

All short-term mobility programs between ISTA and Russia have been suspended. As a result, any applicants currently enrolled in universities located in Russia are ineligible to apply for the ISTernship call.


2-3 months between May 15 and September 15. Exact dates and length are decided together with the supervisor.


The call for applications for the ISTernship Program 2024 Intake is now closed.

For more information about the application, please see the ISTernship FAQ.

Application materials

We ask you to upload the following documents to the application portal:

  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • University transcripts and diplomas of all degree programs and all years you have attended and/or are currently enrolled in (we recommend to submit these in the original language as well as in English)
  • Contact information of 1 or 2 referees

ISTernship Program Information

Successful applicants receive assistance with travel and visa arrangements, if required.

Each successful candidate receives compensation to assist with the cost of living in Austria and travel to and from Austria.

Financial Support

ISTerns receive a monthly compensation. The ISTernship program is developed in cooperation with OeAD, the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research.

OeAD handles the scholarship payments for a period of up to 3 months between May 15 and September 15.

Successful applicants receive assistance with travel and visa arrangements.

Health Insurance

Austria has a statutory social security system; this means that you will have access to health insurance as soon as you start your ISTernship program at ISTA.

More about Health.


ISTerns will have access to subsidized accommodation on campus – in the ISTA-owned and -operated apartments, or accommodation in OeAD-operated student residences in Vienna.

This is a great way to connect with the student community outside of labs and classrooms.

More about Housing at ISTA.

ISTernship Community

There are a number of events either specifically organized for ISTerns or open to ISTerns aimed at making their time at ISTA as valuable as possible.

  • Presentations providing short overviews of the research conducted in groups at ISTA given by the relevant professors or their Postdocs (July & August).
  • Invitation to annual ISTA events over summer.
  • Annual poster session in which ISTerns prepare a poster detailing their research project at ISTA (August).

Three former ISTerns, Siong Chen Meng, Marta Luterek, and Gabriele Quaranta, talk about their experiences and offer tips for a successful application.

Marta Luterek: I’ve spent my ISTernship in the Loose group, where I gained insights into the molecular mechanisms that drive intracellular self-organization. I gained a lot of confidence working independently and analyzing data, as I got great supervision from my mentors in the lab. Moreover, I developed my practical skills in multiple techniques, particularly protein purification and TIRF microscopy. I also enjoyed the challenge of preparing a poster at the end of my stay. Most importantly, I met many other ISTerns, with whom I became great friends.

Gabriele Quaranta: I was an ISTern at the Novarino Lab and contributed to a project that aims to discover the role of extracellular proteins in autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. During my time in the lab, I learned many new techniques and how to design experiments. My amazing supervisors guided me through the whole process, teaching me “the secrets of the job” and allowing me to learn from my mistakes. Thanks to this valuable experience, I’m looking forward to continuing my studies in the field of neuroscience.

Siong Chen Meng: At ISTA, I worked in the Palacci group, studying the behavior of artificial swimmers on curved surfaces. I learned a lot during my ISTernship, such as how to code in MATLAB—a programming platform—and how to use an optical microscope. However, my most important takeaway was how to present my research. With the help of my supervisors, I was able to craft a presentation that not only told a story but also provided the details needed for others to understand my research. On top of that, I appreciated the diverse and international nature of my fellow ISTerns. It was amazing to learn about their cultures and histories.

Learn more here.
Benefits of the ISTernship Summer Program
  • Monthly compensation
  • Access to affordable health insurance
  • Allowance for travel costs
  • Housing on campus or in the OeAD residences in Vienna
  • Free access to the ISTA shuttle bus with hourly service to Vienna on business days

In cooperation with


If you have any questions, feel free to contact us:

It is also possible to do a scientific internship (year-round) at ISTA. See this page to find out more.

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