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Internship MSc Political Science



From the beginning of January until the end of March 2017 maximally 15 students will be given the opportunity to do an internship with an NGO, interest group, government or international organization, political party or media organization (see Course Information on Blackboard). Students are responsible for finding an internship position. It is important that the organization is willing to allow and facilitate the student to implement a research project relevant to the organization or its activities. The internship is followed by a three month internship project seminar which lasts from April to June. During the internship seminar the student will write his or her thesis on the research project. This research paper takes the form of an academic paper. That is: it invokes theory to help answer a clearly formulated question (or hypothesis) on the basis of systematically collected data. Both the internship, and the internship project seminar count for 15 EC (in all: 15 + 15 = 30 EC).


Applications with your motivation letter, resume, and a letter of reference should be sent to the internship coordinator Dr. Yvonne Kleistra (y.kleistra@fsw.leidenuniv.nl). She provides support in finding an internship position, but the ultimate responsibility for finding a position lies with the student. Students who have already found an internship that meets the requirements will be given priority in the selection process.

Students that have been selected for the internship program and have found an internship position submit the following documents to the internship coordinator: 1. an internship plan, 2. a formal internship agreement, and 3. a short research proposal including the subject, main research question, research methods, and several publications relevant to the subject. Plan and agreement (see forms B1 and B2 on Blackboard) have to be submitted before the internship starts, the research proposal should be submitted ultimately by December 16 (see deadlines below). After the internship has ended the student hands in the filled out and undersigned 4. Supervisor Assessment form (see form B3) and 5. an internship report (1500 words: see examples on Blackboard).

Given the emphasis on doing research during the internship, it is important that the participants of the program should verify at potential internship positions the consent of the internship organization for doing research within the organization. In case of doubt, consult your internship coordinator. The Institute of Political Science acts as a facilitator and advisor to find a suitable internship position where both internship work and internship research can be done. The research ideally yields data that can be used in the internship project seminar which leads to the thesis, with a length of approximately 8,000 to 10.000 words. Specific organizational as well as facilitating aspects can be derived from the Schedule and Deadlines hereafter.


Internship (15 EC): 1. Pass/Fail based on Assessment form by organization internship-supervisor (B3 on the BB); information from interim report and meetings with supervisors; and on internship report written by the student.
The internship report must count 1500 words and entails: description of the internship, including the type and aims of the organization; the various activities the internship entailed, and the function of these activities for the work of the organization; a reflection on the internship in light of the academic study of political science, and on the contribution of the internship to the development of professional skills.

Internship project seminar (15 EC): 1. Research proposal (Pass/Fail by supervisor and second reader); 2. Graded thesis


Fridays 3 February – 19 May 2017, 13.00-15.00h, room 5A37

Thursday 22 September 2016, 15.00-17.00h in 1A21: Obligatory Information meeting


Friday 16 December : First version of research proposal (comments before 23d).

Wednesday 1 February: Submit revised version (comments before 17 February)

Friday 23d February: Research proposal approved by second readers.

Friday 19 May: Full draft of the Thesis

Friday 9 June: Final version of the Thesis

Students must register for one of the regular master thesis seminars when: they miss the application deadline; they cannot secure placement with an approved organization before 9 December 2016; or their research proposal is not approved by the first and second reader by 23 February 2016.


For more information about the internship option please contact Dhr. Dr. Frank de Zwart (zwart@fsw.leidenuniv.nl).