Een foto van een blauwe onderwaterplant.
Een foto van een blauwe onderwaterplant.

InternShifts: doing an internship together in the laboratory

TLC voucher project
Project member(s)
Koen van den Dries
Project type


The Molecular Life Sciences program has a limited number of internships available due to a lack of space and resources. In addition, the Department of Cell Biology has also hired twice as many students in the academic year 2021/2022 than there are internships. With this in mind, how can we ensure that all students can do an internship in a laboratory?

A strategy called "InternShifts" could provide a solution to the problem. In this strategy students are paired up, and they work part-time in the laboratory and part-time from home. As far as is known, no research has been conducted into the effectiveness of paired internships in the past.

Desired solution

Koen van Dries will be incorporating this method in research-internships within the Molecular Life Sciences program. Through research, his goal is to gain more insight into the experiences of students in the field of the practical learning project and their own professionalization. In addition, it is his intention to find out the best working method for supervisors.

Based on the collected data, the concept of InternShifts can be improved. If successful, it could provide a solution to the shortage of internships in research labs. Moreover, students are expected to improve their collaboration and communication skills as they have to make agreements about their presence and activities in the workplace.

Action plan

In January 2021, six student couples will start an internship at the Department of Cell Biology. Koen will then research the learning experiences and professional development during the InternShift. This includes both the perspective of the student and the researcher.

Qualitative data is collected through interviews with the students and supervisors. Koen and his team will take these interviews both halfway through the internship and when the internship is finished. The data that is collected can be compared with the exit interviews that were conducted with students over the past eight years after their (regular) internship.


This project is funded by a TLC voucher from the Radboud Teaching and Learning Centre. This voucher programme aims to set up projects in the field of educational innovation, lecturer development and educational research.

View all voucher projects

Contact information

Would you like to know more? Do not hesitate to contact the voucher stakeholder, Koen van den Dries, via