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Internships for Research Master Students

NIDI offers the possibility for Research Master students of universities to do an internship. An internship can be used for a master thesis, or a course in the curriculum that involves research activities of the student him- or herself. NIDI is involved in many different interdisciplinary research projects related to demography, that may be interesting to participate in for an internship.

Current projects that are open for applications can be found below. More information about the research topic can be acquired from the contact person given in the list. General information about terms and conditions of the internship can be found in the right column of this page. The intern will be supervised by a senior researcher. In a number of cases, and with proven ability of the intern, the possibility exists to write a PhD proposal as a spin-off of the internship to be submitted to NWO or another subsidizing organization.

Proposals will be posted here until a suitable candidate has been found, or the project is removed from the list of activities. You will hear within 4 weeks after applying if you are accepted or not.

Given the length of time it takes to prepare for an internship in your study, it is advisable to apply in an early stage, so that your stay can be planned well in advance.


Currently open internships: none


Examples of previous internships:

Internship 2019-2, 22-5-2019 [Status: closed (position filled)]
Health and retirement
Michaël Boissonneault

This research internship in the field of health and retirement will contribute to a research project on the impact of chronic conditions on participation to the labor market at older ages. In most European and North American countries, younger cohorts are expected to retire at a higher age than older cohorts did. However, health deteriorates with age and often forces older workers to retire early. The main goal of the project is to provide quantitative estimates of the burden of chronic diseases on working life expectancy at the later stage of a career.
The successful candidate must show a strong interest in doing research with a quantitative focus and must be enrolled in a Master’s degree in demography (population studies), epidemiology, public health or any other related discipline. Knowledge of the statistical programs Stata or R is preferred but not mandatory.
Duration: 6 months.

Internship 2019-1, 30-4-2019 [Status: closed (position filled)]
Harmonized histories project within the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP)
Judith Koops

The Generations and Gender Programme (GGP) is a cross-national research infrastructure on population dynamics and family change. One of the tasks of the GGP team is to develop and coordinate the Harmonized Histories. The Harmonized Histories is an international comparative dataset, created through harmonizing data from existing surveys into one common format. It currently contains data from 21 industrialized countries. The data capture a person’s fertility and union histories as well as information on the timing of leaving the parental home. In addition it captures other information, such as: socio-economic status, place of residence, information on the childhood family (e.g. parental divorce, number of siblings), etc. Researchers use this dataset to study international differences in family formation, changes over time in the transition to adulthood, intergenerational transmission of family-related behaviour, and so forth. The main focus of the internship will be on harmonization work.

RM Internship 2017-1, 7-2-2017 [Status: closed (position filled)]
The causal effect of education on the occurrence of chronic diseases later in life.
Dr. Govert Bijwaard

Several studies have found a positive association between education and health. It is commonly assumed that a large part of this association derives from the causal effect of education on health outcomes. Confounding factors that affect both education choices and health, such as parental background and intelligence, may play an important role in shaping this strong association. Ignoring this endogeneity will bias the estimated impact of education. One solution to this problem is to explicitly modelling the interdependence of educational attainment, health outcomes, and confounding factors through a structural model. We use such a model to investigate the differences by education in the occurrence of chronic diseases later in life. We also determine how much of these differences is explained by education, and how much by (latent) intelligence and by observed characteristics.

Duration 5 months.

RM Internship 2013-1, 6-3-2013 [Status: closed (position filled)]
New patterns of parental investment into children.
Dr. Anne H. Gauthier

This study is part of a broader project called "Families in the Middle" and which aimed at exploring the daily realities, strategies, and functioning of middle-income families in Canada and the United States. For this particular study, the aim will be to understand the nature of parents' investments into their children, as well as their motives and determinants. In particular, we are interested in the role of education, income, and social class, as well as the differences in parental investment by family size.

The data for this project were collected in 2008-2010 and consist in more than 150 qualitative interviews with parents as well as survey data. Under the supervision of the project leader, the intern will be expected to (1) provide assistance with the analysis of the qualitative data (including the writing of analytical memos); and (2) evaluate the relevance of the findings from a European comparative perspective. One of the outputs of this internship project will be the preparation of one article for the bulletin Demos.

Duration 3-4 months.

RM Internship 2012-1, 6-3-2012 [Status: closed (position filled)]
The return migration of students.
Dr. Govert Bijwaard

The international flow of students has grown very rapidly the last decade. Foreign students not only constitute a sizable immigrant share, but are also actively recruited by universities, and international competitiveness in this sector is a chief policy concern. Yet, little is known about their behaviour after graduation. Students have high departure rates. The students that remain may seek employment in the host country. It is also very common for students to find their (future) spouse during or shortly after their studies. Thus many aspects of the behaviour of international students in the host country are unknown. This merits the analysis of return migration behaviour of students in the light of their employment and union formation processes.
Based on unique longitudinal administrative data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on all foreign students entering the Netherlands between 1999 and 2007 a sophisticated duration model will be estimated for the return intensity of these recent migrants. This model also allows us to identify the causal effect of union formation and entry on the labour market on the return migration intensity, correcting for possible endogeneity of the employment and union formation-process, and the return-migration process. A similar method has been used to find the causal effect of labour market changes on the return intensity of labour migrants. 

Duration 4 months.

Terms and conditions of NIDI internships

NIDI welcomes interns currently enrolled in a Research Master programme who wish to focus on demographic research as part of their Research Master's training. Interns are selected on the basis of an application, that should include:


  • a CV
  • the grades of their BA diploma, and (if present)
  • proof of their research and writing skills, in the form of a publication, research report, etc.
  • a statement expressing interest in the topic.


Once accepted, the terms of the internship, such as its goals, details of the programme, the expected output and how the supervision will be organised, are set down in an internship agreement.


NIDI offers the following to interns:


  • A monthly allowance of € 450.- gross (based on a full time appointment, otherwise proportionally adjusted on the basis of part time factor) in the form of salary. Tax and premiums will be deducted from this salary.
  • Reimbursement of commuting cost according to the standard KNAW regulations
  • Coverage of all obligatory legal insurances (e.g. labour disability, Wajong, but not unemployment insurance, WIA or health insurance)


The total time coverage of the internship depends on the topic, but is in general between 3-5 months. Full-time or part-time arrangements are in principle both possible, but specific requirement may apply.


Letters of application including the above mentioned documents should be sent to the director of NIDI, Prof. dr. L.J.G. van Wissen (PO Box 11650, 2502 AR The Hague, or

Additional information about specific projects may be obtained from the contact persons for each project. Candidates will hear within four weeks of their application if they are accepted or not.

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