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**This internship is part of the University’s Jeff Metcalf Internship Program. Please review the Metcalf Interns’ Responsibility Notice to learn more about program requirements for Metcalf interns.

Students are responsible for independently finalizing the logistics of their internship, including transportation and lodging. If you are considering an internship in Los Angeles, Miami, NYC, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or abroad, please reference these helpful city guides. **

About this Job

Institute Description:

The VIB Center for the Biology of Disease is a vibrant international research center where key issues relevant to major human health challenges are investigated. Ranked as the second best life sciences institute in Europe, research at the VIB achieves world class standards. The department, based in Leuven, Belgium, and associated with the KU Leuven, has a strong emphasis on neuroscience. VIB Researchers have access to high-end technologies, core facilities, and technical support all housed in a new, purpose-built research building.

Leuven is a vibrant historical city located in the heart of Europe. Brussels, the multicultural capital of Europe, is only 20 minutes by train, whereas Amsterdam (2 hours), London (2 hours) and Paris (1.5 hours) are all within reach.

Internship Description:

We are looking for a highly motivated student who wants to contribute to making exciting new discoveries in the field of synapse biology. Our Intern will work on a designated summer project related to current research in the Laboratory of Synapse Biology under the supervision of a senior PhD student. Many different techniques are used in the lab to approach different biological questions related to the molecular mechanisms of synapse development and circuit wiring, ranging from biochemical analysis to electrophysiology. Research projects in the lab are varied, but most focus on the study of synaptic adhesion molecules.


Our Intern will be a research assistant on an exciting project that is currently ongoing in the lab. He or she will have the opportunity to conduct research both independently and collaboratively with other members of the lab, and will be able to learn new techniques relevant for research in the neurosciences. The intern will need to devote time to reading literature in the field, and the most pertinent publications will be recommended. Additionally, the intern will attend weekly lab meetings, where different members of the lab present the progress of their research. The Intern will also have the opportunity to present his or her work at one of these meetings at the end of his or her stay in the lab.


Specific projects include (but are not limited to):


·         Complete a short-term research project associated with a larger project running in the Laboratory of Synapse Biology.

·         Master several methodologies relevant for biological research. Which techniques would need to be learned depends on the research project, but there are many possibilities available. Examples include cell culture, confocal and super-resolution microscopy use and image analysis, and molecular cloning.

·         Involvement in weekly lab meetings, where the Intern will also present the progress of his or her work for the whole lab.



  • Previous laboratory experience and a demonstrated interest in neuroscience research are both strongly preferred.
  • Must be highly motivated to do scientific research at the lab bench.
  • Must be open to working on different assigned projects, learning new technologies, and working with other researchers in the lab.


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Job Qualifications

Allowed School Years

Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Allowed Majors

All majors allowed

Work Authorization Requirements

No Belgian visa will be required as long as the chosen applicant stays for 90 days or less.

Contact Information

Anna Schröder