Eligibility and application

The EPFL Excellence Research Internship Program (ERIP) offers laboratory internships of three months to outstanding students. Candidate have to be enrolled in the program partner universities from North America and Singapore, regardless of nationality. (see list of partners below)

Excellent students (top 10%) at the Bachelor’s level are accepted, and applicants must:

  • have at least completed their 2nd year of Bachelor’s degree (undergraduate) when they start the internship
  • be enrolled as regular students at their home university during the whole length of the internship
  • come from one of our program’s partner universities (see list of partners below)
  • be nominated by their home institution international exchange office (exception made from some institutions in the list below)

Internships are generally three months long and should be part of the student curriculum.
Longer internships are accepted if they are part of the student’s home university-accredited projects. In this case, a proof must be attached to the application form. Please however note that the Excellence scholarship provided for the Excellence Research Internship is for a maximum of three months only.

The following institutions from North America and Singapore have a partnership with the Excellence Research Internship Program that includes structured research internship opportunities. Students from these universities only are eligible to apply to this specific program.

If you are studying in an institution in North America and Singapore that is not in the list please contact us by email to verify your eligibility. We have ongoing discussions with several other institutions in these regions.


  • McGill University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo


  • Nanyang Technological University – NTU Singapore

United States

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University California San Diego
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Students coming from the above universities must be nominated by their home institution, except for McGill University.

Students must be nominated by their home institution in order to participate to the Excellence Research Internship Program (except for McGill University).

This concretely means that you must reach out first to your Study Abroad/International Office and get selected by them before we could consider your application file.

Students who are not eligible for the Excellence Research Internship Program and are interested in internships in specific areas have the possibility to apply to the following programs (distinct eligibility rules):

Your application

Applications are now closed for Summer 2024.

The applications must contain the following documents and information:

  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Motivation letter – detailed info below
  • Official transcripts – detailed info below
  • Contact details of two references – detailed info below
  • Scan of your passport in PDF format
  • Choice of three EPFL laboratories – detailed info below

Timeline for the internship is flexible between May and September, but placement is linked to lab availability.

Incomplete and late applications will not be considered.

Detailed information

Your motivation letter (max. 800 words) should highlight your interest in pursuing this program and your expectations in terms of outcomes, as well as the following information:

  • Your qualification and research experience
  • Your motivation, interests and expectations in undertaking a research internship at EPFL
  • Your choice of laboratories: justify your choices with respect to your profile and explain why you are suitable for the laboratories – This section is particularly important as it will be read by the laboratories to determine if you are a good fit in their group.
  • Your future study / research / professional / personal objectives
  • Your potential interest in a student exchange or graduate studies at EPFL (Master or PhD)

If you are a 3rd year student and above, you should send an official transcript with the final grades of your two previous years of study at your current university.

If you are a 2nd year student, you should send an official transcript with the final grades of your first year of study at your current university.

If you are a 1st year student, you are unfortunately not yet eligible.

If you do not have the official transcripts yet, please download the unofficial ones. Further in the process and upon your preselection, we will ask you to complete your application file.

Your referees could be a tutor, a professor, a past employer, or an internship supervisor. Carefully select the best options in relation to your application and your laboratory choices.

A reference request will automatically be sent to your referees after the submission of your online application form.

It is your responsibility to ensure that we receive your reference letters by December 10th latest. You can follow the status of your reference letters via the registration form portal.

EPFL hosts around 500 laboratories and research groups with cutting-edge infrastructure in disciplines ranging from mathematics, physics or chemistry to life sciences, architecture or engineering.

Browse the list of laboratories and research groups or look by research domain, choose your three favorite ones, and indicate the name of the laboratory itself and its head in the online application form.

To increase your chances of working in the laboratories of your choice, make sure your profile is a good match. Your choice will be taken into consideration, but there is no guarantee that you will be placed in one of your selected laboratories.

We do not have a list of laboratories interested in hosting interns because of the difficulty of keeping an updated and accurate catalogue each year. Please note that the College of Management of Technology is a small entity and thus offers only very limited opportunities.

Application process

The EPFL Central Admission Committee will review all complete applications in December and shortlist successful candidates. Shortlisting decisions will be communicated by the end of December.

Applications will then be submitted to the laboratories for final selection and recruitment. Laboratories are free to conduct interviews and successful candidates will receive an email of full acceptance to the Excellence Research Internship Program.

Practical information

You will find here all practical information regarding the Excellence Research Internship Program.


The FAQs contains answers to recurrent questions on the program and admissions.


For more information on the Excellence Research Internship Program, please contact us:

[email protected]

Centre Midi – CM2 348
Station 10
CH – 1015 Lausanne

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